Thomas Britten, an Associate at Wansbroughs Solicitors considers an alternative to Trivial Pursuits for this Christmas Day…a chat with your family about some very important matters…and you can even do it via Zoom or Skype if restrictions mean you cannot see your loved ones in person.
Do you have an up to date Will?
Making a Will is the best way to try to ensure that your assets will ultimately be dealt with as you would wish. However, this is not the end of the story; it is important to review your Will regularly, particularly in light of changes to your family circumstances, financial position or taxation.
Have you considered your inheritance tax position?
It is important to be aware of the inheritance tax allowances and exemptions that exist to ensure that your estate benefits as it should and your executors don’t pay more inheritance tax than they ought. You may wish to consider whether you could take any lifetime tax planning steps or include tax-saving devices in your Will to ensure that you pass on your assets in the most tax efficient manner.
Do you have a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?
Property and Financial Affairs LPAs offer the reassurance that if you were to lose mental capacity following an accident, due to illness or simply as you grow older, someone you trust would be able to step in and assist with your finances. It is also considerably cheaper, quicker and easier than the alternative, which is to apply for a Deputyship Order once mental capacity has been lost.
What about your future medical care?
If you want to make the decision to refuse various types of treatment in certain circumstances you can make a ‘Living Will’.
Alternatively you could make a Lasting Power of Attorney to give someone the legal authority to make health and care decisions for you if you were to become mentally unable to do so yourself.
If the answer to any of these questions is no, it’s time to work on your New Year’s Resolutions!
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