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A Little Lifetime Planning Advice Can Go A Long Way

If you’ve paid off your mortgage and built up your savings pot what plans do you have in place to protect them? Can you be sure that you have protected your future and that your family have peace of mind and certainty
Around 300,000 pensioners in the UK live in a residential or nursing home and over £40,000 bereaved families paid inheritance tax in 2016/17 (a 35 year high). Vicki Pearce Head of Court of Protection team and Private Client Partner of Wilson Browne talks about protecting family wealth.
“Countless times I have heard how my clients have spent a lifetime building up their assets and how they do not want these all to go to the “tax man” or the government to pay for their care. A sentiment I understand and empathise with.
A little lifetime planning can ensure available tax exemptions are utilised; assets are safeguarded against the twists and turns of family life and access to funds is gained by the right people at the right time. It is not complicated you just need to give it some thought whilst you are still fit and healthy.
If you have got assets you will be expected to use them. As a homeowner simple steps can be taken to ensure your children benefit from your property (when you finish using it) while still ensuring your partner is provided for.  I regularly look at solutions that safeguard assets from the uncertainties of modern day family life such as divorce; re-marriage; illness; care costs; irresponsible spending and changing or difficult relationships.
I am not talking about giving away your family home I am talking about creating a bespoke family trust either during your lifetime or under the terms of your Will. A trust that will suit your personal circumstances and one that will adapt to changes in your future.
Have you ever experienced an elderly friend or relative who has gone into care and all of their savings and proceeds of sale of their house have dwindled down to the minimum threshold of £14,250 and that is all that is left to pass on to their children? Do not let that be you.
By simply setting up a Property Trust in your Will, should the survivor of you and your spouse/partner need care in the future, some money can be used to meet their care needs but some can be protected and guaranteed to pass to your children regardless of the survivor’s change in circumstances. Changes like:
Re-marriage – risking your children getting nothing
Care costs – risking your children getting nothing
Bankruptcy or irresponsible spending – risking your children getting nothing
Vulnerability to financial abuse – risking your children getting nothing.
More advanced trusts can also be created to start protecting more of your assets now, at a time when you are fit and healthy. It is never too early to explore options but it can all too easily be too late.
The best advice I can give anyone would be to take advice early (or now) everyone is different. If you seek advice you will be given options; options to protect your future and give you and your family peace of mind and certainty.
With recent changes to Inheritance Tax legislation, it is important to ensure your Will is drafted in a way to benefit from the additional tax free sum. Simply by postponing the age your grandchildren benefit to anything other than 18 could lose you a tax free allowance and is therefore essential that your Will is drafted correctly.
Simply putting in place a Power of Attorney will take away the burden from your children of how to look after you and manage your financial affairs should you experience any illness or difficulties in your later life.”

The extensive Private Client and Court of Protection team here at Wilson Browne can offer advice with affordable, transparent, and where possible fixed fee costs.

It’s never to early to protect your wealth, give us a call on 0800 088 6004.