You don’t need a castle, acres of land and a fleet of luxury cars to consider estate planning. It applies to us all. It’s a process that you should begin if you want your wealth and possessions passed to relatives with minimal cost and fuss when you die.
Death – it’s certainly a conversation stopper. But we must all consider it, and the financial implications for our families. Mapping out a clear path for your assets when you’re gone makes sense.
Estate planning is not something solely for “wealthy ” clients, either. In fact, in many cases, modest estates will mean more to the recipients who have less.
And there is not an age barrier. Why wait until retirement? You can start considering what happens to your worldly possessions at any time, while you are still working and in good health.
We all have estates – a house, car, savings, insurance policies and even a collection of interesting stamps. It all adds up to what you will leave in a Will to friends and family.
What is estate planning?
Most of us save for a rainy day, pay off the mortgage and invest in people, projects and properties in one way or another. That takes time, effort and money. Why not protect it so that you leave a lasting legacy?
“What will happen to my things?” is a simple but poignant question. You can and should play a lead role in such decisions, even when you’re gone!
Let’s face it, nobody wants to leave important financial decisions to others when you have spent a lifetime building a portfolio of investments. You want your wishes carried out, instructions followed and people benefiting from your generosity as you decree.
That, in essence, is estate planning. It usually begins by establishing a Will or Living Trust, but goes much further. There should be a well formulated plan, properly documented, with all recipients named so that all aspects of your life can be managed and resolved after you die.
Without effective estate planning, those valuable and personal assets could get caught up in legal wrangling and inheritance tax payments.
What are the benefits of estate planning?
Unless the estate being passed on is very small, it’s likely that the surviving family members will have inheritance tax issues to handle.
Prepare all aspects of your estate carefully and you can make the process much easier on friends and relatives, ideally minimising the tax bill that the government will be happy to demand. It’s not a case of avoiding tax or ducking social responsibilities, it’s about making the current regulations work for your estate.
Here area a few of the more obvious benefits of estate planning:
- Name your preferred executors or trustee(s) to handle your estate
- Avoid squabbles and ensure that assets go to the right beneficiaries
- Reduce expenses and taxes to a minimum
- Provide income for your immediate family
- Nominate a charitable cause of your choice to receive support
- Enable succession planning for a business so it can continue
Of course, it’s not all about death. If in later life you require a care package of some kind, and become unwell and unable to resolve important financial matters, that could leave your estate in jeopardy.
Putting an estate plan in place while you are fit and well means that care fees and other end-of-life costs can be considered as part of planning. You might put an Advance Decision (a living Will) in place, and make a lasting Powers of Attorney, so your future needs can be properly met by people of your choosing.
This all puts you in control and eases potential stress and heartache on friends and relatives after your death.
Do I really need an estate plan?
Like most things in life, you don’t need something until you need it. While it will be no problem to you (we’re being frank here, you will be dead), there could be a range of problems for your relatives.
If you pass without an intentional estate plan legally signed off, any remaining assets will be distributed in line with probate laws.
If you are married and have children, this would probably result in your spouse and children receiving equal shares. Depending upon the relationship between your spouse and the children, that could mean your spouse receiving only a small part of the estate. Would they struggle to get by?
You have a choice. Why leave such matters to chance, conflict and drawn-out court procedures?
Estate planning on your terms
What Logic Wealth Planning offers is a rounded package of services that can help you achieve the financial plans you want in place for your family.
Let’s face it, if we help you with investments, mortgages and pensions, we’ll have a pretty good idea about your estate. We’re in the perfect position to help you plan what happens to your assets.
There’s no hard sell. We discuss estate planning as we do all other areas of wealth planning – centred around you, on your terms, at a pace comfortable to you. We provide a few wise words based on years of experience.
Estate Planning is a big step for anyone. We look at it as one of life’s necessities. We’re here to help you realise the best options for you and your family.
It’s also important to note that estate planning is an ongoing process, not a one-off event. Logic Wealth Planning would help you review and update the details as your personal circumstances, financial situation and any applicable laws change during your lifetime.
For more information about how Logic Wealth Planning can help you organise your estate, please call our team on 0808 1234 321.