Life can be unpredictable, which is why it is important to plan for the future, so that those you love are looked after.

In the event of your death or incapacitation, it’s vital that you have all the necessary paperwork and legal arrangements in place so that you can make sure your family and loved ones will be cared for. That’s why planning your estate is so important, so that you are aware of the total value of your assets and how you will divide it amongst those you wish to inherit it. By starting early you can work out how to most effectively pass on your assets, so as to reduce the amount of inheritance tax that will be calculated, as well as account for any debts and bills that will have to be paid.

At Moore Barlow, our skilled estate planning solicitors have successfully helped many clients to plan for their future confidently, so that you feel as though you have control over your assets and who they’ll be passed onto. We can also help you to set up trusts so that you know what your money will be used for and attempt to minimise the amount of inheritance tax with the right strategy in place.

What is estate planning?

To put it simply it is deciding how your total assets, including finances and property, will be divided amongst those that you wish to inherit it in the event of your death or incapacitation. It involves the passing on of property, money, who will be made executor, and the setting up of trusts so that the way that any money is used can be controlled.

How can you pass on your assets in the most effective way?

There are ways to pass on your assets that will mean the amount of inheritance tax can be reduced and your loved ones can receive more long term. Seeking the help of an estate planning solicitor means that you can work out how to do this, as well as control how it will be used. Some clients want their money to be used for school fees or put into a savings account for the future of a grandchild, it is a very personal decision.

Making financial gifts to family and loved ones is an efficient way to gradually give away money with less inheritance tax applied to it. These can either be given informally or set up as part of trust funds that are controlled by a trustee, so that they can only be used at certain times and for specific purposes.

Can you pass on your pension?

In some cases, you may be able to afford to fund your retirement without having to access your pension. If this applies to you then you can make sure your loved ones are looked after by passing on your pension without it being taxed.

This also helps the size of your estate that is taxed to be reduced, which can also be useful when it comes to inheritance tax.

Do you need a power of attorney?

In the event that you become incapacitated, you may want to think about appointing a power of attorney. This is someone who will look after your estate in the event that you are not able to confidently make decisions regarding your finances. It’s important to choose someone that you trust and who will make the best decisions for you and your estate.

What is an advance healthcare directive?

These are the plans put in place in case you become ill and require healthcare but are unable to make decisions about your own choice of care. In this section you will need to outline how and what medical care you wish to receive, as well as appointing a medical power of attorney who can make any decisions that haven’t been planned for in advance. It is important to make sure that you have the plans in place, in the case that you are unable to express them for yourself i.e. you are in a coma.

Do you need to make funeral arrangements?

Finally, it is also important that you make sure you outline in your estate planning, what funeral arrangements you would prefer and how these will be financed. This means that your loved ones are aware of your specific wishes and requests regarding your funeral, so that you get the send-off that you want after you have passed on.

Why choose Moore Barlow?

We can provide you with all the knowledge and expertise you might need when writing your will and deciding how you will divide your estate. Whether you need help understanding what your options are, or want to know how types of inheritance will be taxed, our team of solicitors have successfully helped many clients so that they keep coming back time and time again.

Being a trusted firm working throughout many areas and specialisms of law, we will approach any cases with sensitivity and care, understanding that this can be a delicate and emotional time in your life. If you require our help, simply contact us today and we can see how our team can provide you with assistance you need.

We have offices based in LondonSouthamptonRichmondLymingtonWoking and Guildford. We’re ideally placed to offer specialist advice and support on a local and national level.