Our Guides On WILLS
People do not like thinking about death and the effects it has on those they leave behind, but it is something that has to be faced eventually. It is natural that you should wish your property and assets to pass on your death to whomever you choose. By making a will you can ensure that your assets go to those you wish should have them.
During your lifetime, you work hard to build up assets. By using the Asset Protection Strategy we can help you protect your wealth so it can be enjoyed by your children and grandchildren after you’ve gone. Our strategy covers 5 key areas, including marriage after death, bloodline protection, inheritance tax, long term care and life assurance / death in service benefits.
Remember, if you die without a will, the law says who gets what.
The Asset Protection Strategy protects you, your partner and your family by including:
- Your Wills - to make sure those you care most about will inherit your hard earned assets
- Family Trusts to hold & protect your property and assets when you pass away
- Trusts to receive & protect your life assurance, pension & death-in-service benefits when you pass away
- Powers of Attorney to ensure you have appointed who you would which to make decisions on your behalf when you are no longer able to
- Secure professional storage of all relevant documentation
Making your Will is one of the most important actions you will ever take. When we die it is easy to assume that our property and possessions will automatically go to our loved ones when we are gone. However, this is unfortunately not always the case. Without a Will the strict inheritance laws called the Rules of Intestacy apply.
If someone dies without an effective Will, they have died ‘Intestate’. The Rules of Intestacy are very specific regarding who can administer your estate, who will inherit from it and how much they will receive. It cannot be assumed that everything will automatically go to the surviving partner or immediate next of kin.
By making a Will you can ensure:
- exactly who inherits your assets
- a legal Guardian is appointed for your children
- your spouse or civil partner receives what you intended
- that you avoid delays and disputes when sorting out your Estat
Setting up Trusts now to receive your assets on death will ensure that they are passed “absolutely” to your beneficiaries.
Placing the assets in Trust for your beneficiaries means that they will not form part of their estate and therefore will be protected from any future divorce or bankruptcy settlements.
You can protect a wide range of assets in Trusts including:
- your home
- your money
- your pensions
- your life assurance
- your business assets
What’s more, Trusts can significantly reduce the impact of tax on future generations, often removing tax completely.
Our specialist team combines Wills and Trusts to give maximum protection for your assets, not just for you now, but for the generations ahead. Our legal experts will create a bespoke solution for you and you’ll be guided through all the important decisions you need to make in plain, straightforward language, quickly and easily.
Long term care
Most of us work very hard over the years to buy our own homes and build up savings for our retirement. We would though like to be able to leave as much as possible for our children and grandchildren after we’ve gone.
Unfortunately, the costs involved in moving into a care home can wipe out your savings and without the right planning, certain assets will be assessed in determining whether the Local Authority will provide care at their cost, or make a contribution towards any private care arrangements. This is likely to mean that your home will be included in any assessment and you may have to pay all care costs yourself, or give up control and some or all of the value of your home.
The good news is that our legal experts can design a bespoke strategy, through which your assets can be protected to ensure they are not assessed for care costs.
Our legal experts will suggest ways in which your assets can be held and invested to ensure they are not assessed for care costs as part of a bespoke strategy.
Power of attorney
There may be a time in your life when you’re unable to manage your financial affairs or personal welfare, owing to some form of incapacity. If this happens, you will want someone you trust ready to act immediately on your behalf rather than the alternative of having to rely on a lengthy and complex court process to be completed.
Even when we’re young, we can find ourselves incapacitated through illness or injury and it can be invaluable having a reliable person to trust to manage our affairs and remove the anxiety of having unpaid bills, at a time when you most need peace of mind.
Creating an Attorney in advance ensures that if the worst were to happen, you can rest assured that both your financial affairs and personal welfare are in safe hands. You can appoint a relative or close friend as your Attorney, which will allow them to act on your behalf when the time comes.
When someone dies it can be a very difficult and confusing time and you cannot be expected to do everything right away. However, in the first five days, it is important that you do the following:
- notify the deceased’s family Doctor
- contact a Funeral Director to commence funeral arrangements (you will need to check any Will for any special requests or Pre-Paid Funeral arrangements which may have already been made)
- register the death at The Registry Office
- advise any departments who may have been making payments to the deceased, such as Tax Credits, benefits, pensions etc.
As soon as possible thereafter
- contact the Executors of any Will to enable them to start the process of obtaining Probate
- if there is no Will the you should decide who will apply to sort out the deceased’s affairs and apply for Letters of Administration.
Many people choose relatives or close friends as their Executors but being an Executor can be a difficult and time consuming job and has to be carried out at a time when they may not feel up to the task.
Will writing and services noted in this section are not part of the Openwork offering. Openwork Limited accepts no responsibility for this aspect of business of which is also not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority