Thursday, 9 October 2008

The Difference Between Making A Will And Estate Planning

Pete Savage, MIPW, is an Estate Planning Consultant with DeedSafe Wills and Legal Services. In this brief feature, he gives us an insight into the importance of 'getting it right' before you go.

As Pete himself often reminds us, it's all about thinking outside the box before ending up inside one!

When people consider making a Will, experience has shown us that they will invariably think about leaving everything to their surviving spouse/partner on first death, then on second death to their children. This typical route has a host of hidden dangers which could mean your children are partially or totally disinherited. For example:

a) If after your death, your spouse/partner re-marries; their new spouse could inherit everything, not your children.
b) If you have children from a previous relationship; after your death your partner could change their Will to disinherit those children.
c) If you end up in a care home, your assets can be seized by the local authority to pay for your care.

Estate Planning is too important an area to risk making a do-it-yourself Will or to put in the hands of unqualified and unregulated so-called ‘will writers’.

A properly prepared Will can protect your family from all of the above scenarios.

You may also have specific wishes or situations which may need to be taken into consideration e.g. a disabled child or a beneficiary with acute behavioural problems or addictions. It would be potentially harmful for these people to benefit directly from your Will but you may not want to disinherit them completely.

Also you may wish somebody such as a partner or elderly relative to be granted the right to live in your property after your death but to not necessarily inherit it. These situations can be dealt with within a correctly drafted Will.

Of course within your Will you can name the people you want to do the important jobs such as who should take over parental responsibility for your children if you should die while they are still minors. You will appoint people to look after your cash and other assets also.

Furthermore, if you have an accident or worse still, become mentally or physically incapable, who’s going to arrange your finances and pay your bills? What if it becomes desirable to sell your home? Even if your husband/wife is still alive and well, they cannot give your consent to do any of these things.

A Lasting Power of Attorney document ensures all these matters are dealt with and stops the wrong people gaining control of your finances.

For further advice on any of the above topics please contact:

Peter Savage on 0800 781 9371


james said...

Estate planning is the process of accumulating and disposing of an estate to maximize the goals of the estate owner. The various goals of estate planning include making sure the greatest amount of the estate passes to the estate owner's intended beneficiaries, often including paying the least amount of taxes and avoiding or minimizing probate court involvement. Additional goals typically include providing for and designating guardians for minor children and planning for incapacity.
james wilkins

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Good estate planibg is important.