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Reviewing your affairs is it time for spring clean?
Spring has sprung and although it appears that we are periodically being plunged into Siberian Winter, this is the traditional time when people turn out their cupboards, rifle through their collections and generally look to find space for items which may fall victim to the next year’s bout of cleaning.
With this in mind, what better time to review own personal affairs to see whether they are up to date? If your Will is more than five years old, or if you do not have a Will, or your circumstances have changed since you last signed your Will then it is appropriate to review its terms to see whether they still accurately reflect both changes in your personal circumstances and in legislation, such as the introduction of the Residence Nil-Rate Band. I have drafted new Wills for clients who have come to me with Wills that are twenty or sometimes thirty years out of date, often containing reference to guardianship of minor their children who have long since grown up and often had children of their own.
Whilst your Will deals with your assets after your death, has proper consideration being given to what would happen should you be unable to deal with your affairs during your lifetime? Do you have a Lasting Power of Attorney for either your Property and Financial Affairs or your Health and Welfare? If you made an Enduring Power of Attorney, this would still be valid but you may wish to consider a Lasting Power of Attorney for your Health and Welfare to ensure that both your finances and your social and medical care decisions are catered for in the unfortunate event of your losing capacity. Similarly, if you have made an Enduring Power of Attorney you may wish to now review this to make a fresh Lasting Power of Attorney for your Property and Financial Affairs to replace it if the Attorneys you appointed are no longer suitable.
It is never too early (or late) to consider Inheritance Tax planning either. On the general principal that it takes 7 years for gifts from your assets to wash out of your estate for Inheritance Tax purposes, whether to an individual or into a trust, the maxim is always “the sooner the better” and a review of your Inheritance Tax position with a view to mitigation as should be something at the forefront of your mind when also reviewing your Will and other affairs. Many opportunities exists to mitigate against Inheritance Tax involving both income and capital assets and obtaining good advice will help to ensure that any planned course of action is successful.
For further information on Wills please contact Alastair Liddiard.
Please note the contents of this blog are given for information only and must not be relied upon. Legal advice should always be sought in relation to specific circumstances. Longmores Solicitors LLP are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and are not authorized to provide any form of financial advice.