Planning for the future is not always easy, but it is important. Many people turn to professionals such as independent financial advisors to help them navigate things such as stock portfolios, ISAs, pension plans and life insurance.
When it comes to the future, retirement isn’t the only thing to prepare for. We believe it’s also really important for clients to consider what will happen to their estate after their death. Many people just don’t make the time to think about this, which can have serious implications for their loved ones later on. Though it’s understandable to not want to think too carefully about this kind of future planning, ensuring it’s been taken care of can provide valuable peace of mind.
As a financial advisor, it might be helpful to encourage your client to think about what they would want to happen to their estate after they’re gone. This could include making a Will, taking steps to plan for inheritance tax or even setting up a trust.
Do you know what to do when someone dies?
Download our handy guide which explains all the legal responsibilities you will encounter when someone close to you dies.
Making or updating a Will
Wills are absolutely vital legal documents, but a surprisingly low proportion of adults have one that’s up to date. If your clients haven’t updated their Will for some time, or if they’ve never made one, you may wish to encourage them to rectify this.
Not only does a Will ensure that an individual’s wishes about their estate are known in the event of their death, it also means they can make sure their assets will pass to those they wish to support.
Wills are even more important for individuals who have more complex financial set ups than average. This includes business owners, individuals with stock portfolios and those who are supporting a blended family. A specialist Will writing solicitor will be able to ensure that the process of handling their estate would be as straightforward as possible if and when that become a necessity.
Inheritance Tax Planning
Inheritance tax bills can often come as a shock to those who are managing the estate of someone who has died. Luckily, there is a way to avoid this. By taking the time to understand what kind of taxes their estate is likely to be subject to, an individual can reduce uncertainty and ensure there are plans in place to manage any tax bills that will be payable.
An experienced private client solicitor will be able to work with an individual to consider their financial assets and ensure they will benefit from any tax allowances they are eligible for. A solicitor will also be able to advise on how a Will can be written with this in mind, and whether there might be any tax advantages to choosing to leave a sum of money to charity.
Setting Up Trusts
There are many reasons why an individual might want to consider setting up a trust as part of their Will. This might be because they want to leave a charitable legacy, or it might just be because they want to ensure certain family members or other loved ones will be well cared for after their death.
A trust can be a good option for individuals who want to leave money or assets to a person – or group of people – who may not be able to manage those assets themselves. This could be because the beneficiaries in question are still children, or it might be because the beneficiaries are likely to find it difficult to manage money themselves for another reason. For example, individuals sometimes choose to leave money in trust for family members who struggle with addiction, severe mental illness or developmental disabilities.
Though trusts can be an extremely useful tool for managing finances in a range of circumstances, it’s crucial to ensure they’ve been carefully set up. The best way to do this is to work with a trusted solicitor who will be able to confirm that all legal requirements have been met.
Next steps for supporting a client
We always welcome conversations with other professionals about how we can help them to support their clients.
If you’re supporting a client with future financial planning and think they would benefit from supplementary legal support, please do get in touch. We’d be happy to discuss how we could help you to help them.
How Roche Legal can help
We are reassuring experts who can help you with a wide range of legal matters. Please get in touch if you need legal support with:
- Trusts and Estate Planning
- Probate and Estate Administration
- Contested Probate and Will Disputes
- Powers of Attorney
- Court of Protection matters
- Presumption of Death Applications
- Missing Persons Guardianship Applications
Need further help?
If you would like to discuss these issues further, please contact us.