Why you may be looking into estate planning
Estate planning is the process of preparing (whilst you are living) how your assets will be managed following your death. Many presume that estate planning is just about recording who will inherit your assets, but it does more than that. Estate planning helps you to protect the wealth you have created and minimise the tax burden for those who benefit from inheritance.
The following information is guidance on our approach and some areas you may need to consider. For advice on your specific circumstances, please get in touch.
Why estate planning is important
Estate planning is important because if you do not take any measures to reduce your inheritance tax (IHT) liability your estate will potentially be left with a hefty tax bill after your death. As a result, your loved ones may well receive far less than what you intended with the rest going straight to the taxman.
Some common methods used to reduce IHT liability include Gifts and Inheritance Tax and Trusts. Whichever measures you plan to use, planning sooner rather than later is the key. For example, if you gift some of your wealth or assets to family or friends, there is specific criteria to be met. Typically, seven years is the period of time where the value of your gift is considered to be out of your estate.
It’s also important to utilise Wills and Powers of Attorney as part of your estate planning tools.
Most people are surprised to learn that in the absence of any real estate planning they are agreeing to the intestacy rules which are laid down by the Government to determine who gets what in the event someone dies without a will (intestate). Which to be honest, is not always what you want to happen.
Indeed, Labour Chancellor Roy Jenkins famously described Inheritance Tax as ‘a voluntary levy paid by those who distrust their heirs more than they dislike the Inland Revenue!’.
The benefits of estate planning with an Independent Financial Advisor
In most cases estate planning is straightforward – but understanding the different options available to you and deciding which ones to choose can be a daunting and difficult task. Having a professional independent adviser on board can be incredibly useful for this reason.
An independent advisor can ensure that all aspects of your estate and wealth will be covered. Your estate can change over time therefore it is important not to view this as a one-off task. An independent advisor will be able to advise you on any future changes in legislation which could impact your IHT liabilities.
Taking the time to ensure you have the right plans in place can help simplify things in the future.
Why choose HJS Financial Planning for your estate planning?
At HJS Financial Planning we take a holistic view of your finances. We believe that your financial goals and aspirations should be looked at as a whole. Our team have significant experience in helping clients with their estate planning and it’s one of the reasons why they choose us time and time again for their financial planning advice.
We will conduct a thorough review of your assets and situation, taking into account any investments, property, pensions, businesses, life insurance and savings.
This enables us to acquire an accurate picture of your financial status and determine the impact inheritance tax may have on your estate. We will also take into account your future needs and personal preferences. We will work with you to discover the most effective way to protect your assets in order for you to pass them on to those you love.
It’s important to remember that our process is a continuous circle, and we will revisit stages as your needs change and to make sure your plans are on track to meet your aspirations.
Talk to us today on 02380 920128 or email [email protected].
The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate Tax Planning and Wills.
HJS Financial Planning do not provide Tax Advice
The value of your investment can go down as well as up and your estate could get back less than invested.