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Wills and Estate Planning

Your will is one of the most important documents you will ever write.

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Not only does it ensure that after your death, your estate is dealt with according to your wishes and your family are protected and provided for, it also gives you the opportunity to pass on your wealth in the most tax-efficient manner possible.

Dying intestate will result in the law automatically determining who will inherit your estate and look after your children, and will also preclude you from benefitting friends or charity.

We can guide you through the entire process to give you peace of mind that your affairs will be managed properly and appropriately after your death.

We can advise on:

  • All available tax planning options
  • Choice of executors and guardians for your children
  • Dealing with assets in multiple jurisdictions
  • Distribution of your personal effects
  • Ongoing trust structures

It is likely that your personal circumstances will change over time, whether materially, or through marriage, divorce or the death of a family member. We therefore recommend a will review at regular intervals and in the wake of any significant events. This also enables you to make any necessary alterations in the light of changes to the law, and to ensure your will is kept up to date with your wishes.

  • 1 Tax
    A key objective when estate planning is to minimise tax and maximise the assets left to those you intend to.

    A death in the family often requires quick work to protect and identify opportunities to safeguard assets. Our experienced team will work with you to avoid future unexpected tax liabilities by reviewing your finances and family wealth in advance.

    With current tax charges at 40% on estates worth more than £325,000, even the most modest of homes fall within the Inheritance Tax threshold. It is therefore important to plan ahead. We can ensure all the necessary reliefs and exemptions are in place whilst leaving flexibility to review the most appropriate and effective structure for you.

    We can advise on:

    • Avoiding the ‘gifts with reservation of benefit’ inheritance tax trap and the pre-owned assets tax (POAT) charge
    • Exemptions and reliefs including gifts to charity, business, agricultural and heritage assets
    • Giving gifts through a will
    • Legacy 10 – the reduced rate of inheritance tax for those who leave at least 10% of their estate to charities
    • Life assurance
    • Lifetime giving to individuals and through trusts
    • Reviewing and establishing trusts with tax advantages
    • Transferring unused nil-rate allowances from the deceased to the surviving civil partner or spouse