The inheritance holiday checklist; make sure you pack the following items before your trip
As the children get ready to break for school, it’s time to start thinking about what you’ll be taking on holiday with you this year. But as you mentally pack your suitcase with books, bikinis and board games make sure you take a moment to consider if everything is fully up-to-date where it matters most. Not your passport and plane tickets - your Will
Every autumn client’s tell us how they had a sudden rush of guilt as they boarded the plane for their summer holiday. So much so in fact that post summer holiday season can be one of our busiest times.
It seems that stopping work to take time-off with the family focusses the mind on where you have been letting the ones you love down slightly.
The truth is that not having your affairs in order is as common as a fortnight in Fuengirola. Far more people in the UK die intestate (without a Will) each year than do not. But that’s scant conciliation to the 1000s of bereaved partners, spouses and children left behind to clean up the mess.
Estate and inheritance planning is not something you do once you reach a certain age, and it is not something you can put off until the last minute.It is the single most important legal document you own and it can determine the future wealth and happiness of everyone you love most in life.
So what do you need to become a member of this exclusive all-affairs-in order-club?
1: Get an up-to-date professionally written Will
Basic Wills are available everywhere. You can Google ‘free wills’ and make your own or buy it from a high street news agent. But remember that a Will can be challenged in court and if you get it wrong it will be deemed void.
If you own property, have a business, have been divorced or have children either from previous relationship or under 18 years of age then a professionally written Will is a must.
Without it your family could become trapped in probate for years, unable to access funds at a critical and stressful time. A Will can also be used to insert Trusts
Trusts can be placed in your Will to ensure that your estate is administered according to your wishes.
They are used for the following purposes:
To dictate at what age your children inherit – otherwise they’ll get the lot at 18 regardless of how ready they are for it.
To ring-fence some of your assets for your children in the event of your widow remarrying
To protect a vulnerable person and ensure that their money is managed correctly
2: Get a legally binding Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
This is a document that allows you to nominate a person or persons to act on your behalf if you become incapacitated.
If you suffer a serious accident, illness or any kind of physical or mental breakdown your nominee can do all of the things in life for you that would otherwise involve a lengthy and stressful application through the courts.
These include the following:
Accessing bank accounts
Selling or buying property
Selecting medical treatment and care
Selling or managing a business
An LPA is the difference between a family suffering huge financial stress at the same time as they worry about your health and one that doesn’t.
It’s a simple document and very quick to produce. Why wouldn’t you?