In Part #1 of our blog, we looked at the first steps to take to get your estate planning affairs in order. We focussed on getting all of the information together that you will need to get started properly:
2. Get a Notepad. No really!
3. Record your assets
4. Make a note of who you might want to leave things to
5. Consider your children
In part #2 we look at some of the detail that you will need to work through, and the first step is to take professional advice on how to record your estate planning documents in good order.
Estate Planning To-Do List Part #2
Here are the next steps to take to get your estate planning affairs in order
6. Take professional advice
Estate planning has many complex facets that include protection of your assets for your beneficiaries for such challenges as sideways disinheritance and managing any tax liabilities. Taking professional advice means that your estate will be protected from outside threats and the taxman.
7. Record your wishes for guardianship
In your notes, you will have recorded who you would like to raise your children if you die. Ensure that this, and any financial provision is recorded very clearly in your will. This will ensure that your wishes are followed, and protect against any intervention from social services or other local authorities.
8. Take advice on tax-efficient structures like trusts
Did you know that the taxman can claim inheritance tax against your estate as it passes through generations? Trusts can mitigate this risk and provide stability for assets in the future. But they are complex and can be challenged if they aren’t set up properly.
9. Consider and include your business assets
This could include shares, your own business, any rental property you own, and other assets. There is likely to be a tax liability, and you need to consider how your business might continue after you. There are a number of options, so discuss with your estate planner.
10. Think about the here and now
Estate planning isn’t just about what happens after you die, but should include arrangements should you become incapacitated through injury or illness- at any age. Ask your estate planner about Lasting Powers of Attorney and how they work. They cover health and welfare, finance and property, and business, and can be put in place to protect your wishes for your care, who and how your finances are managed if you can’t, and arrangements for your business interests. Without them, you are at risk of intervention from local authority intervention, and your assets could be used to pay for care. Read our guide here
So there’s plenty to think about and a long list to work through, but once you’ve gone through the process it’s a simple matter of keeping your affairs up to date.
For information on LPAs and other aspects of estate planning take a look at our blogs