What is Estate Planning?
Estate Planning very broadly involves maximising your wealth through the use of Trusts. A Trust is a legal arrangement whereby assets, investments, money and property are managed by a group of people, the Trustees, for the benefit of one or more persons known as beneficiaries. Trusts are put in place as a way of protecting your assets and are more commonly used to protect against:-
- Long term care fees
- Loss of your children’s inheritance from a previous relationship/re-marriage
- Loss of assets by immature/troubled dependents
- The amount of Inheritance Tax (IHT) payable.
A Trustee will manage the “assets” of the Trust for as long as is necessary and they have a legal duty to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries. For example, Trustees can be appointed to look after money belonging to a person who is unable to look after it for himself – through old age, injury or infancy. Alternatively, Trust can be created to protect your assets and property.
There are various types of Trusts and we have briefly set out the more common used ones:-
Protective Property Trusts - this type of Trust is commonly used to protect your home from the potential effects of long term care but can also be used to protect your children’s inheritance as a result of re-marriage.
Disabled Beneficiary Trusts – this type of Trust can be set up for the benefit of a disabled person/child so you can be sure that they will be well looked after, protected and is a way of providing long term financial security without reducing their entitlement to DSS benefits or local authority funding.
Right to Occupy Trust – if you have an elderly relative or child living at home with you, by setting up this type of Trust, you can give this person protection to remain in the property after your death. In addition, this Trust can be used for your children’s guardians, by giving them the right to live in your home while caring for your children BUT knowing that when your child attains a certain age (set by you) then the Trust will end and the property will pass to them.
Nil Rate Band Discretionary Trusts - Many people are now subject to Inheritance Tax (“IHT”) simply because of the rising cost of the matrimonial home, you may have very little by way of other assets, but in order to pay any IHT due on first death the family home could have to be sold! By setting up a Nil Rate Band Discretionary Trust, a surviving spouse/civil partner will have access to additional funds. In addition, it can also provide for children by providing funds for their education and welfare.
Without careful estate planning, it is so much harder for your loved ones to deal with your affairs following your death which can ultimately make the process very costly, stressful and time consuming.
Protect your loved ones and take the important step of making a Will today!
Please telephone us on 01246 433787/07985 287245 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.