If you want to have a say in what happens to your property and assets after you die, you should consider making a will. Without one, the state directs who inherits, so your relatives, friends or favourite charities may get nothing. There are numerous circumstances which mean making a will is particularly important. They can include:
- If you are not married or are not in a registered civil partnership;
- If you have children, or dependants who may not be able to care for themselves;
- People who are financially dependent on you;
- To minimise taxation;
- If you own all or part of a business;
- Your permanent home is overseas or you have a property overseas;
- You are not a British citizen;
- You already have a will but your circumstances have changed since, e.g. marriage, divorce, separation, remarried, civil partnership dissolved, etc.
Solicitors are regulated and have the necessary qualifications and training to address the often complex issues associated with drafting a will and can help ensure your estate is left to those you wish to inherit after your death.
It is very important to have a succession plan in place that makes the transition easy not only for yourself but also for your family or employees and minimises the chances of the business or farm having to be sold up when you leave.
Estate planning goes beyond drafting a will – it includes:
- The assessment of assets
- The assessment of likely taxation
- Advice regarding the possibility of claims against the estate by third parties
- The protection of assets
Estate planning is an active process of re-evaluating the estate when circumstances in life change, such as:
- Newly married couples or those divorcing
- A change to the family’s asset pool
- A change in working conditions such as the buying or selling of a business
- Changes to superannuation, insurance policies or taxation levels
- The establishment of discretionary trusts
A successful plan is made involving all family members as it will take into account not only provisions for your retirement income but also the plans, aptitudes and existing assets of younger generations.
Contact us to discuss your situation with one of our solicitors.