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Estate planning is the process of deciding how to leave your money and assets to your chosen beneficiaries. Good estate planning advice makes things easier for your loved ones when you pass away or lose the capacity to make decisions. It’s not just for high net worth individuals, as you will see.
What is estate planning and why is it important?
Estate planning is designed to protect your wealth for future generations. The aim is to set out your wishes about what happens in the future and reduce the Inheritance Tax your family pays. It ensures that everyone understands your intentions and you look after those you leave behind.
What should an estate plan include?
An estate plan typically has three main parts:
- A Will – The best-known part of estate planning is your will, the legal document that sets out what you want to happen after your death.
- Trusts – Estate planning also involves creating pragmatic ways to pass your money on. If you are leaving money or assets to children or vulnerable adults you may choose to set up a trust.
- Powers of Attorney – These legal documents let you appoint people to help you make decisions or act on your behalf in the future.
Do I need a Will?
A will makes the process much simpler and less stressful for the people left behind when you die. It sets out what you want to happen to your money, your property and personal belongings. You can also state who you would like to look after your children or your pets, and your funeral wishes.
When you have no will in place, dealing with your estate can be complicated. It can take a long time, months or even years in some very complex cases.
Do I need a Power of Attorney?
Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows someone to make decisions for you or act on your behalf if you’re no longer able to.
It could just be a temporary situation, or you may need to make longer-term plans. An example is if you receive a diagnosis of dementia, where you may lose the mental capacity to make your own decisions in the future.
By giving one or more people Power of Attorney you gain peace of mind that someone you trust will look after your affairs.
What is Inheritance Tax?
Inheritance Tax is a tax on the estate of someone who has died, including property, possessions and money.
The rate of Inheritance Tax is 40% and is payable on any parts of your estate that exceed the Inheritance Tax limit, subject to available exemptions and reliefs. There’s normally no Inheritance Tax bill if:
- The value of your estate is under £325,000
- You leave everything above the £325,000 threshold to your spouse, civil partner or a charity
Can estate planning specialists ensure I don’t pay too much inheritance tax?
An important part of estate planning is finding tax efficient ways to pass your assets on to your family. This is an area where we can give you personalised advice.
There are various options including gifting assets tax free and putting your wealth in trust to reduce the tax exposure.
How can CT Wealth Management help me?
Estate planning is very important but it can be very complex. Inheritance Tax regulations can change and the rules around tax, cash gifts, property gifts and trust funds are detailed. You should always consult a qualified professional to make these decisions.
CT Wealth Management’s financial advisors will walk you through the full range of estate planning services, to help you with will writing, power of attorney, life insurance and avoid Inheritance Tax where possible. We make it straightforward and simple to plan for the future.
The products and services promoted here are not part of the Openwork offering and are offered in our own right. Openwork Limited accept no responsibility for this aspect of our business. These products are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
HM Revenue and Customs practice and the law relating to taxation are complex and subject to individual circumstances and changes which cannot be foreseen.