At the end of 2018 we asked Sarah Higgs, an expert in private client law and a solicitor based in our Guildford office to consider what tips she would give to families wanting to protect their assets for future generation. Her advice included some practical tips as well as legal advice. This was no surprise, at DMH Stallard all our solicitors not only provide legal expertise and a practical approach but work with you to understand what your are trying to achieve. Together we can guide you - inheritance tax planning, estate planning, wills, trusts and the full spectrum of private client matters.
Make a Will
Making a Will is often one of those things that gets pushed to the bottom of the ‘to do’ list; here at DMH Stallard ensuring that you have Wills that are best suited to your circumstances is our passion and priority. We will discuss the appointment of your executors, guardians of any young children and whom you wish to benefit. As we specialise in inheritance tax planning, we will ensure that your Will is as efficient as possible in this regard.
Review your will
If you already have a Will it is worth reviewing in light of the recent legislative changes, particularly the Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB) which could help reduce any inheritance tax bill. We strive to ensure that your Will stands the test of time and will require little or no further revision.
If you own a business, develop a business continuity plan
If you were hit by the proverbial bus tomorrow how would your business continue to run without you? Creating Property and Financial Lasting Powers of Attorney may be one way of ensuring that the person or persons of your choosing can act on your shareholding should you become incapacitated.
The usefulness of these documents is not limited to business owners but anyone relied upon by others for property and financial affairs eg family members.
Lasting Powers of Attorney
These documents empower the person or persons of your choosing to act on your behalf in relation to property and financial affairs, medical decisions and your general wellbeing should you be unable to make those decisions yourself. They can also record your views on how you would approach particular decisions so they can guide your appointed attorneys as to how they should make decisions that you would have made yourself.
Write your travel bucket list
The best form of inheritance tax planning is… spending your money and enjoying it!
If you have surplus assets and/or surplus income and would like to benefit your oved ones we can help you plan to make the most of the reliefs available to you now and to plan efficient future gifting.
Take out life insurance
For you and your family’s peace of mind, life insurance will assure that your family will be financially secure if you were to die suddenly. It may be worth considering writing the policy into a trust so that it does not form part of your estate for inheritance tax and be potentially reduced in value by up to 40%!
Review your pension arrangements
We advise all our clients to check their pension nominations and help you to consider whether these are effective for inheritance tax. We can help point you in the direction of trusted financial planners who can review these arrangements with you and identify opportunities to maximise the wealth you can pass to your loved ones.
An advance decision “Living Will”
An advance decision (sometimes known as an advance decision to refuse treatment, an ADRT, or a living will) is a decision you can make now to refuse a specific type of treatment at some time in the future. If you have strong views regarding how you would or would not like to be treated we can help to record these wishes in a binding document. This can also be included in a Health and Welfare LPA.
Spend more time with your loved ones
We help bereaved families with the administration of the estate of their loved ones all the time, and it’s inevitably a very sad time. This serves to remind us how important our own families and loved ones are, and that spending time and making memories with them is what life is all about.