When you die, if the value of your assets — your ‘estate’ — exceeds £325,000 (for some individuals that figure will be increased by a further £175k in 2021) every £ over that amount could be subject to 40% Inheritance Tax. (Your assets include your home, savings, investments (not your pensions) insurances and your possessions, i.e. everything you own.) It’s hardly surprising therefore that many people think that estate planning is all about saving tax: it isn’t — there’s much more to it than that. In fact there are circumstances, where estate planning merits the same degree of care and attention as is given to organising your day-to-day financial affairs.
Expert estate planning provides many benefits, it can, for example:
- Ensure that assets are bequeathed exactly as you would wish
- Encourage you to calculate your real financial worth
- Help beneficiaries make best use of an inheritance
- Influence your investment choices while you are living
- Enable your family to cope with the financial impact of your death
- Allow you to make judicious use of your assets and to establish current and future financial priorities
- Eliminate disputes, uncertainties and potential probate problems
Make a start, make a will
Given that one of your assets — your home — could easily be worth more than £325,000, it’s not difficult to see the benefits of estate planning. Or indeed, the problems it can create if the issue is not addressed. In that respect, the first simple but vital step you should take, is to make a will. No ifs, no buts. You must make a will.
It doesn’t have to be complicated, but it might be essential
Estate Planning can be as simple or as complex as your needs dictate. But it is an aspect of personal financial planning that should not be ignored.
Estate planning is part and parcel of our all-encompassing Lifestyle Wealth Process.