Sarah Baguley TEP and Chloe Smothers from the Private Client team at Ince (Cardiff) share their tips for organising your property, financial, health and welfare affairs.
Prepare a Will:
A Will is a legally binding document that specifies how your assets will be distributed after your death. It can help provide financial support for your loved ones, reduce the amount of inheritance tax payable on death and safeguard the family home.
If you die without a Will, there is no guarantee that your wishes will be granted, as your estate will be divided according to certain rules by law (known as the ‘intestacy rules’).
If a solicitor prepares your Will, they can explain your options, ensure that all of your assets and eventualities are covered, carry out your wishes in the most tax-efficient way possible, and adequately deal with overseas assets, businesses and intricate family structures.
Set up Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs):
Dealing with physical and mental incapacity is a growing challenge for families, further exposed by the pandemic. For example, the ITV documentary ‘Kate Garroway – Finding Derek’ reveals how, in the absence of an LPA, Kate was unable to access funds to manage her husband’s care. There are two types of LPAs you can put in place:
- Property and Financial Affairs: Allows a person(s), known as an attorney(s), to make decisions about your property and finances, such as selling or buying property or managing your bank accounts and tax affairs. While you retain capacity, your attorney(s) can only act with your consent.
- Health and Welfare: Allows a trusted individual(s) to decide your daily routine, living arrangements and medical care (e.g. consent to or refusal of life-sustaining treatment). Your attorneys can only make these decisions if you lose mental capacity.
If you own a business, it also advisable to put in place an LPA dealing specifically with your business affairs.
A solicitor can assess your mental capacity, discuss suitable attorney(s), advise on how your attorney(s) can make decisions, and ensure the LPA covers all eventualities.
Initiate tax, estate and succession planning:
Estate planning is necessary to protect your wealth. It involves planning how to structure your assets, so that your wealth is passed down to the next generation in the most tax-efficient way possible.
It helps maximise an individual’s wealth by utilising available tax exemptions and reliefs. This can be achieved by making lifetime gifts, tax planning through will drafting and/or setting up trusts.
Your solicitor can advise you on the tax implications of making lifetime gifts, analyse tax mitigation opportunities, and advise on the structures available to achieve family succession and asset protection goals.
For tailored information and advice, contact Sarah Baguley on 02921 681 098 or [email protected].
The information above does not constitute as legal advice. You should not take action or omit to take action based on this information. If you require any help on the issues raised above, please get in touch using the details above.