Did you know that over 70% of people do not have a simple Will and Trust provision in place, which for some can have devastating effects on their families, after they are gone.
Here at Valued we had the enormous pleasure of hosting Brenda Beveridge, an Estate Planner, in our Facebook Community recently. We wanted to share her insights with you, because in the sobering thought of what comes after, we want you and your family to be taken care of.
Why you need to have a Will and Trust in place
Like most of us, you probably already have the basics in place; a mortgage protection plan, contents cover, maybe even a policy that covers your home tech. When it comes to your business you may already have the stock cover and the essential liabilities… but just like that 70% you may have been putting off creating a Will and Trust.
What’s the worst that can happen?
None of us know what is around the corner, illnesses and accidents don’t just happen in older age. If Covid-19 has taught us anything it is that unforeseen things are a very real possibility. Did you know that even if you are legally married, if you were to become incapacitated by an illness like Covid, or an accident and do not have a registered power of attorney in place, your bank accounts and assets can be frozen? This would leave your family without any access to the money they may need during your convalescence.
“You might think that a second name on your accounts will suffice, but it can still cause issues without a registered Power of Attorney in place, that covers what you allow for in cases of capacity, or incapacity.” Says Brenda.
Likewise if you were to die suddenly, without a Will and Trust, your spouse may not get the full entitlements you presumed they would. Instead your estate may be held in testate for the Crown to rule upon.
This may also be the case where children from a previous marriage were presumed to be provided for, but not directly referred to in a Will and Trust. It might be that they receive nothing at all!
A Will with Trust is a great way to legally safeguard who your beneficiaries are and what they receive – not just in monetary terms, but property too.
It is also important to plan for your business
Whether you are a sole proprietor, employ staff, or own shareholding stakes, a Will with Trust can legally set out your preferred provisions for your business in the event of your incapacity, or death.
It may be wise to have a separate Will and Trust for your business needs, especially if you have business partners, and your spouse or family has little interest in continuing your business. This will safeguard your employees and fellow stakeholders in the result of your departure.
If you are in the agricultural, or manufacturing sectors, Brenda also tells us that your business property may also require a reference in relation to inheritance tax rulings.
Why it is important to seek professional advice
Will and Trust law can be complicated. What we have covered here in scenarios is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what might cause your family problems in the aftermath of your death. Add to that the complexities of inheritance tax and it can be very easy for individuals writing their own wills to miss things, or leave gaps. Professionals trained specifically in Will with Trust solutions can put together packages that plug all of the gaps and get those important documents in place for you.
They can also include Power of Attorney which lays out exactly when and where someone (nominated by you) can step into dealing with your affairs. This can cover bouts, or full incapacity, or times where capacity might not be the full issue, but you may find yourself needing someone else to manage an aspect of your affairs for a given period (for example if you were shielding under Covid restrictions).
How much does a Will cost?
It is likely that an individual’s Will can be created for around £200, Trusts and Power of Attorney provisions would be extra. A couple’s Will would start from around £300. Not as much as you would think to have good peace of mind.
Brenda also advises that a Will and Trust should be updated at key points in your life, whether that is as a result of marriage, birth of children, or even divorce and remarriage. This would allow for your earlier provisions to be adapted in accordance with your new situation.