In last month’s article I reviewed the benefits of making a Will to ensure that your wishes are followed once you have, as Shakespeare so eloquently put it, “shuffled off this mortal coil”. But making a Will alone may not be sufficient to protect your assets from the future impact of divorce, bankruptcy & inheritance tax, whereas a trust will.
It is therefore worth considering setting up one or more trusts now to receive your assets on death to ensure that they are not passed “absolutely” to your beneficiaries. Placing the assets in trust for your beneficiaries means that they will not form part of their estate and therefore will be protected from any future divorce or bankruptcy settlements.
You can protect a wide range of assets in trust including:
• your home
• your money
• your pensions
• your life assurance
• your business assets
What’s more, trusts can significantly reduce the impact of tax on future generations, often removing tax completely.
Excellent, you have now ring fenced your assets for the protection of future generations but what happens if you are unable to manage your financial affairs or make decisions about your health or care?
There may be a time in your life when you’re unable to manage your financial affairs or personal welfare, owing to some form of incapacity. If this happens, you will want someone you trust ready to act immediately on your behalf rather than the alternative of having to rely on a lengthy and complex court process to be completed.
Even when we’re young, we can find ourselves incapacitated through illness or injury and it can be invaluable having a reliable person you trust to manage your affairs and remove the anxiety of having unpaid bills, at a time when you most need peace of mind.
Creating an Attorney in advance ensures that if the worst were to happen, you can rest assured that both your financial affairs and personal welfare are in safe hands.
You can appoint a relative or close friend as your Attorney, which will allow them to act on your behalf when the time comes.
And finally, most of us work very hard over the years to buy our own homes and build up savings for our retirement. We would though like to be able to leave as much as possible for our children and grandchildren after we’ve gone.
Unfortunately, the costs involved in moving into a care home can wipe out your savings and without the right planning, certain assets will be assessed in determining whether the Local Authority will provide care at their cost, or make a contribution towards any private care arrangements.
Our legal experts will suggest ways in which your assets can be held and invested to ensure they are not assessed for care costs as part of a bespoke strategy.
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