January is often a time when people make New Year Resolutions. It’s usually something about health, or taking up a new hobby or maybe going somewhere you’ve always wanted to go.
But what about getting your legal life sorted? It may not be the first thing on your mind. Usually it takes something to happen before you speak to a solicitor. However, planning for the future can be a good way to save money, help you have peace of mind and help your family.
Let’s look at some of the basic things you should have in place.
A will is the basic document that ensures your assets go to the people you want to receive your assets. With blended families of stepchildren, second marriages and extended families, it’s very important to make sure you have a will in place. Intestacy, dying without a will, is really just a way of making everyone unsure of what you wanted to happen to your estate.
Power of Attorney
So your will is in place. But what happens if you are incapacitated. Who will make the decisions about your health and welfare? Your finances will need dealing with if you can’t do them, either temporarily or permanently.
Children and Protection
Do you have guardians for them? Have they been provided for in your will? Are you insurances/pensions/assets protected so that they go to the right people, especially children under 18?
Are you likely to pay large sums of inheritance tax? Can this be reduced ethically and legally. What happens if the Government stops Potentially Exempt Transfers this year? Should you be gifting to your heirs now, rather than next year?
If you run a business, what happens to it if something happens to you? Are you planning on selling your shares or your business in the next 12 months? Have you got a solicitor in place if you fall out with other directors?
To cut a long story short it pays to talk to a solicitor before things happen. Whilst reacting to legal problems is something we do everyday, many of the problems faced by clients can be avoided by careful planning.
We have lost count of the number of times we can save people money, hassle and time by preparing a complete family wealth and welfare plan. And January is a great time to do this.
When we get your plan in place, we can communicate on a regular basis about any life changes which may affect your plan. Whether divorce, births, deaths or marriages.
Call us to book yourself in and we’ll go through what your current state of affairs is like and highlight the gaps in your legal cover. That’s really our mission for 2021. To make this year the one where you finally get your legal life in tip top condition.
Published on 17/12/2020