If you die Intestate, i.e. with no valid Will. Almost certainly, your property and assets will not pass to the people you would wish to benefit. All your estate will pass to beneficiaries laid down by the Law of Intestacy.
If you are a parent, you should consider who would look after your children in the event of your death. This is especially important in the case of ‘one parent’ families and unmarried partners living together. A valid Will nominating guardians is invaluable in such cases. If no one knows what you wanted, the Court of Protection will decide on the future of your childen, which may not have been your choice.
Lasting Power of Attorney
If you become mentaly or physically unable to manage your own affairs in the way that you would wish – appoint a person or persons to look after: a) your finances and/or b) your health and welfare, by setting up Lasting Powers of Attorney you can address these issues.
If you Own Overseas Property
Your foreign estate might be liable for UK Inheritance Tax and possibly local Taxes. Even if you do not live in the UK but still retain assets or have family here then potentially you have a UK Tax liability. A local Will together with a UK Will and specialist Estate Planning can greatly assist in easing Estate Administration.
Inheritance Tax Planning
Up to date Tax planning within your Will by way of Trusts and specialist Bonds is important when your Estate is over the current Nil Rate Tax Band, especially in the case of unmarried couples and second marriages. Currently legislation is under review. We recommend reviewing the situation on a regular basis.
Long Term Care Fees
If you are concerned about ‘long term care fees’ and your estate is worth over £21,500 you will have to contribute towards the cost. A Local Authority under the Care in the Community Act 1990 is able to force a sale of your property to recover the care costs. So reducing your family’s inheritance. By implementing a Property Protective Trust, you can safeguard some of the equity in your home.
A specialist disabled trust set up in someone’s Will for the benefit of a disabled child or adult. Any assets placed into a disabled trust are not assessable by the DSS. So protecting assets for use in addition to any State benefits received.
Safe storage of your Will and associated documents is of paramount importance. If any of these documents are lost, damaged or defaced in any way, they may be declared invalid and the Law of Intestacy will be applied to your Estate. Safe independent recorded storage is invaluable.
A Grant of Probate is an official document which the Executors may need to administer the Estate. It is issued by a section of the Court know as the Probate Registry.