Take 4: Top tips for estate planning

Planning for the future can seem like a daunting task. However, by spending a few moments investing in estate planning today, you can help protect yourself and your loved ones tomorrow.

Below our experts outline their top 4 estate planning tips and outline some of the common estate planning mistakes.

If you’d prefer to discuss your circumstances with one of our dedicated solicitors, call 01282 695400 for a free initial consultation.

  1. Make a Will

No one likes to think about their own demise but a Will is an incredibly important document. A Will sets out:

  • Who can legally wind up your estate, known as executors
  • Distribution of assets
  • Mitigates tax
  • Provides for minor children

Without a valid, up-to-date Will in place, any assets you own on death would pass under the rules of intestacy. This means that you who you want to inherit from your estate may not be able to do so and your estate could even end up the property of the Crown.

You can read more about what happens if you die without a Will by clicking here.

  1. Make Lasting Powers of Attorney

Whilst a Will deals with your assets upon death, a Lasting Power of Attorney legally appoints someone of your choosing to make important decisions if you are unable to do so yourself such as through age, accident or illness.

There are 2 types of Lasting Power of Attorney: Health and Welfare LPA and Property and Finance LPA. The first type of power of attorney sets out who can make decisions such as your daily routine, what care you will receive and where you will live. The latter type of power of attorney, a Property and Finance LPA specifies who can make decisions such as selling property, collecting pensions or benefits on your behalf.

Without a Lasting Power of Attorney being put in place in the unfortunate event of you not having capacity to deal with your affairs your family would have to apply to the Court of Protection to be able to manage your affairs. This is a very time consuming and expensive exercise.

  1. Update plans regularly

Once you have made a Will and LPA it is tempting to lock the documents away and forget about them.

However, at Future Planning Solutions, we would always advise that you regularly review and update your estate planning documents. Failure to keep your Will up-to-date could mean that you miss out on the latest tax perks or, more crucially, that someone you want to inherit from your estate doesn’t.

  1. Instruct a professional

Whilst you can complete the documents yourself, our experts would always recommend that you seek professional help when writing a Will or Lasting Power of Attorney.

The law surrounding estate planning can be complex and there is the danger that mistakes could be made if you were to take a DIY approach. You can read more about the common pitfalls of writing your own Will here.

By instructing a professional to draft your Will and LPA you have peace of mind that your wishes will be accurately reflected.

How Future Planning Solutions can help you

Future Planning Solutions are a regulated and trusted firm of solicitors. Our specialist estate planning team have helped hundreds of people prepare for the future and we would be delighted to help you too.

Call 01282 695400 to book your free initial consultation.

Or, complete a few details online and a member of our expert estate planning team will be in touch shortly.