Wills and estate planning: The right time is right now

by | Jul 17, 2020 | Blog

In the current crisis, we find ourselves with more time, which in the most part means we can relax, but can also mean we have more time to worry and reflect over an uncertain future.

Is it therefore the right time to channel this uncertainty into something positive and start thinking about the future, writing a Will, and planning your estate?

While we should not need world events to remind us of the truth our own mortality and our responsibility, to ourselves and to our families, there is no doubt that this is a good time to make sure our Will and Estate are in good order.

Those of us who have been putting off making or revisiting a Will, it might actually be the ideal time to put something appropriate and effective in place. Checks should be made to ensure the names of our Lasting Powers of Attorneys (LPAs) are still appropriate, and that the letters of wishes accompanying any trust (existing or under our Will) are up to date. We should also look at our life insurance policies to make sure they are properly in trust and the nomination form for any death-in-service benefit is both in place and reflects current circumstances.

Given the current pandemic, the March budget presented by Rishi Sunak seems a long distant memory, but we should not lose site of the fact that he didn’t alter the existing inheritance tax (IHT) rules.

This means, that IHT relief remains as an opportunity to be seized. The current dip in share prices mean that there are greater long term increases in value which may escape IHT and any capital gains tax prompted by gifting.

We recommend you use your time wisely and consider what you can do to ensure your family are supported for years to come. By doing this, you will gain peace of mind knowing all your affairs are in order just in case something does happen.

Why not start by asking yourself the following questions?

  • Do you have a Will and is it up to date?
  • Do you need to appoint any guardians for your children aged under 18?
  • Have you written a letter of wishes to accompany your Will or Trust? Is it up to date in terms of your circumstances and thinking?
  • Can you make your Will work better from an inheritance tax standpoint? If so, how?
  • Is it time to consider taking sensible steps to limit your family’s exposure to inheritance tax on your death?
  • Have you created a Lasting Powers of Attorney for your property and finance?
  • Have you created a Lasting Powers of Attorney for your health and wellbeing in case you should lose the mental capacity to make decisions further down the line?
  • Are the people you have appointed as your executors and trustees still appropriate?

If you haven’t be able to answer the questions above confidently, we are here to help you alleviate some of the stress and concern this may cause. As specialists, we are here to provide you with the support and advice you need to plan your Estate and gain true peace of mind.

Our two specialists, Mike Dunkley and Natasha Miller would be delighted to talk with you to discuss your individual situation over the phone, over Zoom or in person (if you feel comfortable coming into the office). We promise to always provide the best expert and practice advice to give you a true understanding of your situation in the context of your family dynamic and the current climate of financial uncertainty.

To organise your initial meeting, call 01454 619900 or email advice@dunkleys.accountants. We look forward to helping you take the next steps to plan your estate.

What can we do for you?

If there’s anything you’d like to know about Dunkley’s, we’d love to hear from you.