What Is An Estate?
Your estate is a broad term that simply means everything you own. While the word “estate” is often understood to refer to property, your estate is comprised not just of your house and other large items like cars, but also any financial assets including shares, savings and investments, bank accounts, and your life insurance policy. Your estate also includes any items you possess that may have low financial value but are still important to you.
Why Is Estate Planning Important?
It is important to consider what will happen to your estate after you die, or if you become unwell or are otherwise unable to continue making decisions independently. By proactively planning, you can take control of your estate and ensure that the people you care about are provided for when you are gone and that the assets you hold dear end up where you intend them to go.
The aspect of estate planning that will probably be most familiar to you already is the preparation of a will. By drafting a will, you can record specific instructions to be followed by your family after you die. Your will can include directions for how to divide up your estate, including who receives specific parts of the estate, as well as any special instructions for your funeral.
Estate planning can also allow you to plan for inheritance tax. By structuring your assets in a way that is tax-efficient, you can save considerable amounts and ensure that the majority of your assets go where you intend. This can also mean planning to take advantage of the tax exemptions that are on offer to you while you are still alive.
Estate planning can be complex, especially when dealing with large estates with international elements. Tax planning requires specialist knowledge of trust laws, taxation rules, and how to meet the required compliance regulations. It is equally important to make sure your will is clear and robust, particularly if your personal circumstances are complicated. For these reasons, it is important to work alongside experienced legal experts you trust when drafting your will and planning your estate.
What We Can Offer You
Our experienced Private Client team have helped countless individuals plan their estates. Regardless of the size or complexity of your estate, we will work with colleagues from across our firm, leveraging our expertise in commercial and residential property law, probate and estates administration, and family law to ensure that your estate is structured in a tax-efficient way and that your family and friends are provided for when you are gone.
Our Past Cases
Below are some examples of Estate Planning our Private Client team has undertaken in the past:
- Worked with a married couple, one of whom had been widowed previously and had children, and their financial advisor to ensure that all available inheritance tax nil rate allowances were utilised and that each were sufficiently provided for in all eventualities.
- Worked with a married couple in consultation with their family and their financial advisor and accountant to ensure affairs were organised appropriately before the demise of the wife who was terminally ill.