Later Life Planning and Wealth Management
Preparing a will is not high up on anyone’s list of things to do. We tend to think of ourselves as immortal, we would prefer to spend time and money on other things and some people even believe that if they do a will they are ‘tempting fate’. Others fully intend to have a will, but never quite get around to arranging it.
Whilst all these reasons are understandable, a will is the only way to ensure that you have control over who receives your money and possessions.
If you die without a will then the law sets out exactly who will inherit and in what proportions. Whilst these may be one and the same as your intended beneficiaries, it isn’t always so. For instance, if you are co-habiting, rather than married or in a civil partnership, and have not made a will, your partner does not have an automatic entitlement to any of your estate. Contrary to popular opinion, there is no such thing as a ‘common-law spouse’.
In such a case, the only alternative is for your disappointed partner to make a claim against your estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family Dependants) Act 1975. This is an unnecessary and expensive solution. This means that, to ensure that your grieving partner is not left with more upset and expense, the best course to peace of mind is a properly drafted will.
Even if your partner does not need to make a claim, they can be left as co-owners of assets (such as your property) with minor beneficiaries, which may severely curtail their ability to deal with that property and make plans for the future.
You may also agree it is important to make guardianship provisions for any children if there is no one left with parental responsibility. Having a will gives you the opportunity to have some say as to who will care for your children and how their inheritance will be managed.
Business owners should also carefully consider succession planning and the effect their death will have on their business. For more information on how to protect your business click here.
Many people are concerned about the impact of care home fees. Cognitive Law’s Richard Bates is a care fees and Later Life specialist and can assist in ensuring you have the right will to mitigate the cost of care. This is in contrast to numerous other will ‘providers’ who offer ‘property protection trusts’ or similar, which are high-risk, expensive, and mostly wholly inappropriate vehicles.
Our Later Life team in Brighton and Liverpool have many years’ experience in advising private and commercial clients on succession planning and their wills. Our practical and straightforward advice makes the process much quicker and straightforward than many people imagine.
Typically, we will advise on the best structure for your will, your executors and beneficiaries, inheritance tax and how to manage your wealth, suited to your personal circumstances.
If you would like to discuss wills further with either Richard Bates in Brighton or Michele Henderson in Liverpool please contact them on firstname.lastname@example.org or Michele.email@example.com . Alternatively, you can complete our enquiry form.