…is the advice from our network partner, Seven Investment Management.
“You know the ads about never actually owning a watch, merely looking after it for the next generation? There’s a long-running debate about whether they’re advertising genius or just saccharine, but they do tap into a rich cultural seam: the desire to pass on wealth.
Having worked hard to build wealth, most of us want to protect it (or at least some of it) for our loved ones. And because the unexpected does happen, it’s never too early to start estate planning.
In addition, because modern life and families can be fluid, estate planning never really finishes. Common worries or issues include how to balance the needs of spouses and children from different marriages; or how to protect a child’s inheritance from a partner if they split up.
Another common issue in estate planning is that people have assets in different countries, with different laws. Even England and Scotland have different rules on Wills and inheritance, so this issue certainly isn’t left-field.
The essential rules
Whatever your age, marital status or level of assets, the first rule of estate planning is to make a Will. Almost two-thirds of adults in the UK don’t have one, an all-time high. Not having a Will means the law decides who gets what, and its decisions may not suit you or your loved ones.
The second rule of estate planning is to keep at it. Getting married, for instance, voids a Will. Other changes to family relationships, your assets or tax rules may not void, it but still point towards an update.
And this leads into rule three: keep things simple. The trouble with ingenious and complex estate planning solutions is they can be difficult to change or unravel.
Tax is a thorny issue in estate planning. On one hand, you want to save on inheritance tax (IHT); on the other, tax savings shouldn’t be the driving factor. In fact, tax-focused estate planning can sometimes prove problematic if a marriage or relationship breaks down. Good advice that looks at the bigger picture, not just IHT, is essential.
Other thorny issues are emotions and family relationships. There may be difficult decisions about who is best suited to be left what, and professional help is useful in defusing the discussions.
Lastly, estate planning isn’t just about what happens after death. Think about putting a Power of Attorney in place – designating someone else to act on your behalf to manage your finances or make decisions if you become incapacitated. Arranging this after someone becomes incapacitated can be difficult, slow (often taking several months) and expensive.
Like so much in financial planning, everyone’s individual circumstances are unique, and nothing in this article offers a complete prescription. To discuss your own estate planning solutions, get professional help sooner rather than later.”
Give the friendly team at Seven Investment Management a call on 020 3823 8678 to find out how they can help you.
Seven Investment Management will be hosting ‘Wills, wealth and inheritance tax’ – an evening discussing all of the things you
should be aware of when planning your finances:
Wednesday 13 February 2019 18:30 – 20:30 // Richmond
Wednesday 6 March 2019 18:30 – 20:30 // London
Thursday 4 April 2019 18:30 – 20:30 // Edinburgh
Click here for more info or to register.
If you can’t make it to one of the events above, be sure to register for our webinar: ‘Where there’s a
Will, there’s a way’ – helping co-habiting couples protect their wealth. On Thursday 14 February 2019
12:00 – 13:00.
Visit www.7im.co.uk/events or call 020 3823 8678 to register today.