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  • Estate planning explained

    Estate planning revolves around how you’ll pass on your wealth before and after you die. It involves creating a Will and mapping out who gets what and when.

    Last Updated: 14 August 2023

    What is estate planning?

    Estate planning isn't just sensible for your finances, but also for your peace of mind. It will help you feel at ease knowing that your financial affairs are taken care of in the event of your death. Plus, with a solid plan in place before you die, you can start passing on your wealth and reducing your inheritance tax (IHT) bill.

    Who can help me with estate planning?

    There's a certain amount of estate planning you can do by yourself but to make sure you've covered all your bases, it's best to get help from the experts.

    Estate planning advice

    A financial adviser can help you create a plan to pass on your wealth before you pass away. They can also help you use things like trusts and IHT rules to help you pass on your wealth tax-efficiently.

    Tax rules can and do change, and sometimes it can be hard to understand how they apply to you. An adviser can help you unravel everything and make sure you're using the rules to your advantage without stepping over the line.

    Inheritance tax advice

    Accountants - if you require complex tax calculations or further advice about trusts, an accountant can help you. When you get in touch with us about financial advice, your adviser will let you know if an accountant could help you further.

    Wills and estate planning

    The legal aspect of passing on your money is crucial. And there are two things in particular to tick off.

    1. Registering your Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) - the person(s) you name as attorney(s) will manage your affairs if you should become incapacitated or pass away. There are two types of LPA, one for health and welfare and one for property and financial affairs. You can choose to make one type or both.
    2. Writing up a Will - a Will is essential in making sure your money is passed on to the people or organisations you decide.

    There are resources online for you to write up your own Will but it's best to get it done by professionals. This is to make sure everything is worded correctly and there can be no doubt as to where your money should go. Think of it like writing an important contract. You wouldn't do that without some legal help.

    If you die without a Will, it can mean your estate will be divided up in a way which is significantly different from what you'd want.

    What happens if you die without a will?

    Tax and estate planning

    There are a lot of complex rules surrounding IHT. It can be difficult to understand how the thresholds work and how much tax your estate would be liable to pay.

    And even if you've got your head around the rules, it can be tricky to work out how they might apply to you.

    But with careful planning and the help of an expert, you can start passing on your wealth before you die and arranging your finances in such a way that they can be passed on tax-efficiently.

    Read more in our essential guide to inheritance tax

    Could our advisers help you with estate planning?

    The first step to finding out whether financial advice could help reduce your inheritance tax liability is to speak to our advisory helpdesk. They are not advisers, but can help you work out if advice could help you and will discuss the charges involved.

    If it looks like we could help, we'll book your free initial consultation with an adviser.

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