Everyone thinks about saving, investing and buying a house, but protecting your estate is rarely on the agenda. It should be considered as we plan what will happen to our wealth.
That term “estate” often causes confusion and panic. It conjures images of rolling countryside, a string of valuable properties and acres of farmland.
That couldn’t be further from the truth. We all have estates, things we accumulate and ultimately pass on to friends and family. Houses, investments, trinkets, valuables and cars.
Incredibly, most of us devote more time to planning where we’ll have that special anniversary meal, or where to spend that next family holiday.
There really should be an emphasis on getting our estates in order – and not leaving it until it’s too late. Plan who inherits the various elements of your estate and you’ll enjoy peace of mind when you are older.
Furthermore, you’ll have control over the whole situation and you can choose who gets what before you die.
What is your estate?
Your estate is the total value of the things you own. Some items will be very valuable, such as your home if the mortgage has been paid off. You might also have a large pension pot remaining.
It is important to make a list of your possessions, including those things that have been hidden away in the garage and loft for years. Get them valued.
When you appreciate what your estate is, what it is worth and what you would like to do with it, that’s the perfect time to consider estate planning, making a will and even thinking about inheritance tax implications.
If you die without a will in place, this is known as “intestate” and your estate is divided up based on certain rules. Your wishes might not be taken into account. There could be family squabbles!
Estate and will planning
Sometimes, providers of financial services and products help people to invest pots of cash but don’t provide ongoing support and advice. A short-term solution is identified.
This doesn’t help where estates are concerned. No longer-term plan is established.
As with all aspects of investment planning and wealth, fully understanding someone’s overall situation is very important.
That’s where speaking to an independent financial adviser can help. We’re not only independent, we work with a range of trusted partners to offer help with accounts, wills, funeral planning and more.
Sometimes, it’s a huge relief having someone who can help sort out those details. We can assist with all aspects of this planning and meet for regular reviews so you are comfortable with your arrangements as the years progress.
Avoid the pitfalls
It could be something very simple but very personal that causes an issue. How about that beautiful watch that your grandfather left you? It has given you many years of pleasure, but who should inherit this family heirloom in the future?
Just thinking that you’d “like” to pass it on to a nephew can be problematic. Has it been valued, could your decision cause family conflict and how should you properly document your decisions.
Developing a clear plan, knowing that investments are in place, and with a properly worded will can protect your estate. Those precious assets will be passed on to the family members nominated by you.
Setting out how you want your estate managed in later life could include investments, your pension and other items of value. Making those decisions early will help to provide for you during retirement and ensure that everything is properly documented for your relatives.
Please be aware the value of investments or income from them can fall as well as rise. We’re here to help you make informed decisions.
Call us on 0808 1234 321 or firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a no-obligation chat about how you can start to put a structured plan in place to handle your estate when you die.
If you’d like to know about a specific example, read one of our client stories HERE
* Logic Wealth Planning provides independent financial advice in Manchester, Bury, Rochdale, Cheshire and the surrounding area, but not limited to the region.