Estate planning (part two of two)
12 June 2015
The second part in the pair of articles on Estate Planning we are looking at what you are trying to achieve and the use of Trusts.
Where you want to get to?
This part of estate planning is less about the numbers, and more about identifying the obstacles. Everyone has different goals in life, and sometimes there are different goals within the same family.
In our experience, some of the goals which can cause difficulty include the following:
- becoming financially independent
- helping offspring to get on the property ladder
- whether to downsize the family home
- giving away assets
- paying for care home fees
- paying off debts for other family members.
As many clients have discovered, making decisions about these types of problems is much easier when a third-party, non-family member is involved. Particularly when that third-party is a professional and experienced accountant who can provide tax-efficient advice.
How you would like to do so?
In parts of the UK a property purchased for £8,000 in 1970 could easily be worth well over £500,000 today: a significant sum for anyone lucky enough to be in line to inherit all or part of it. The massive rise in house prices is just one of the reasons that estate planning is a must for even those of modest means. However, as the list of assets above shows, property is only part of the equation.
An essential part of the estate planning service is the time we spend with clients, discussing the various options to help clients achieve these goals. On paper, it could be that the most logical solution could be X, but how many of us are logical when it comes to our own family and finances? This is where a professional with experience can make a real difference.
Whether you are hoping for an inheritance, want a mediator for a difference of opinion for a family matter or would like to simply hang on to what you have, a little planning goes a long way.
A trust is a way of managing assets (money, investments, land or buildings) for people. There are different types of trusts and they are taxed differently.
- the ‘settlor’ – the person who puts assets into a trust
- the ‘trustee’ – the person who manages the trust
- the ‘beneficiary’ – the person who benefits from the trust.
What trusts are for
Trusts are set up for a number of reasons, including:
- to control and protect family assets
- when someone’s too young to handle their affairs
- when someone can’t handle their affairs because they’re incapacitated
- to pass on assets while you’re still alive
- to pass on assets when you die (a ‘will trust’)
- under the rules of inheritance if someone dies without a will (in England and Wales)
If you would like to find out more about how we can assist in Estate Planning please call us on 01206 512476 or email by clicking here.
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