What does it mean when private client lawyers talk about estate planning? Is estate planning the preserve of those families with high net worth, or is it relevant to the average family? At Solomons Solicitors, our team can answer your questions on estate planning and help you protect your family and loved ones.
Contact our team today to find out how we can help you.
What is estate planning?
When private client solicitors mention estate planning, many think that they are not in that ‘league’. However, estate planning is relevant to anyone who wants to make sure:
- That their estate is passed on to their chosen recipients – that could be your family, friends, or a specific charity.
- That their estate is managed tax efficiently.
- There is reduced potential exposure to claims against the estate by family or partners who do not think that the Will makes reasonable financial provisions for them.
Estate planning options
Estate planning is a lot more than just writing a Will, although if you do not have a Will then it is a good place to start. By doing this, you make sure your estate is passed down to your chosen beneficiaries.
Estate planning also involves:
This could involve making lifetime gifts to your children or other family or friends. If you survive 7 years, then the gift is tax-free. If you die within 7 years of the gift, then a sliding scale of inheritance tax (IHT) is payable.
If you are in a committed cohabiting relationship, you may see no reason to get married, but marriage enables you to pass your estate to your spouse inheritance tax-free using the spouse exception. If you are concerned about relationship breakdown and divorce claims, then family law solicitors can advise you about signing a prenuptial agreement.
You can create a trust during your lifetime or in your Will to provide flexibility in case the circumstances of your beneficiaries change. For example, a beneficiary may be going through divorce proceedings or be at risk of bankruptcy.
Allows you to release equity from a property to spend or to give away during your lifetime. For example, you may want to release equity so your grandchild has a deposit to buy their first home or to fund a world cruise for yourself.
Are part of the estate planning process. For example, you may feel comfortable making substantial lifetime gifts to your children or grandchildren if they have prenuptial, postnuptial, or cohabitation agreements in place.
Lasting Powers of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a document used by your chosen attorneys if you lose the capacity to make your own financial or health and welfare decisions. A Lasting Power of Attorney can help with your estate planning by ensuring that your loved ones can help and support you if there comes a time when you do not have physical (or mental) capacity to act for yourself.
Starting estate planning
Starting estate planning normally starts with a discussion with a Will solicitor so you understand your options and choices so you can begin to plan ahead to protect yourself and your family.
Estate planning isn’t as complicated as it sounds as your Will solicitor will explain what may work for you after discussing your financial and your family circumstances and learning about your goals and priorities.
Speak to our Bournemouth-based Will Solicitors today
Solomons Solicitors can help you with all your estate planning, Will, and relationship agreement needs so that you understand your options and you have the legal paperwork you need to provide peace of mind.