Friday, 8 September 2017

The Rise of the Multi-Generational Estate.

The what? –

Twelve years ago, I almost never spoke to a client about a multi-generational estate, and today most people have no idea what one is. So, let me help:
Multiple Generations
Spread Family Wealth Across the Ages

Put simply, if a person lives until they are in their mid-eighties, it is entirely possible that their children will be in their sixties, they may have grandchildren in their late thirties. Even their great grandchildren could be teenagers when they die. This means that just passing their wealth to their children might not be the best course of action.

Passing your wealth to children who have already established themselves in life can cause tax issues, and can upset their own well laid plans.

Skipping a child, even a grandchild or maybe a whole generation can have significant inheritance tax benefits for the long-term wealth of you family.

Choosing who to skip, who to benefit and by how much is a difficult task. A task that’s made more difficult because you don’t know what you will leave behind, and the circumstances that your family will be in when you die.

But there is good news, you don’t have to decide now. You can leave it up to your children to decide who needs what at the time. All you need to do is decide to set up a family trust in your Will, this will list all the potential beneficiaries and give your children guidance as to how you want your assets to be distributed.

Does this sound like you, would you like to discuss your options? Give us a call today and book a meeting to find out if your estate plan needs to be multi-generational. 01778 382723.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Average funeral costs in the UK rise again to £3,897

According to Sun Life’s latest research the average cost of dying is now £8,802.

This represents a rise of more than 16 times the rate of inflation. The average cost of a funeral now stands at £3,897, up over 5% since the 2015 Cost of Dying survey.

So with the funeral making up almost half of the cost, how can you make sure that your family can afford to give you the send-off that you deserve?

One answer is to pay now. Pre-paid funeral plans are getting more and more popular. The Co-op reporting a growth of 25% in pre-paid funeral plan sales in 2015.

A pre-paid plan will secure your funeral at today’s price, no matter when you die in the future. Meaning that you can avoid the ever increasing costs of your final journey. You can pay in a lump sum or in monthly instalments with some providers offering the opportunity to pay over 10 years.

Pre paid plans are suitable for a huge range of people. They are very popular amongst the elderly, but increasingly people in their 50’s and 60’s are seeing them as a viable option. The range of providers is growing as is the range of costs. But, if you need some advice or want to put a plan in place, give us a call at Will and Probate Services and we will point you in the right direction. Call us 01778 382723.

You can also visit our new site where you can make a free funeral plan to give your own family peace of mind. Once you have made your plan you will be able to see a number of options that will enable you to pre pay for your own tailored funeral.

The rest of the costs fall into what some people have called the ‘Widows Admin’, dealing with the aftermath of the death. Some are direct costs, probate fees and statutory requirements. Some are optional, such as the costs of employing a solicitor to deal with the estate.

If you are unfortunate enough to suffer a bereavement and want to keep the Widows Admin costs down, call us at Will and Probate Services and we will advise you on your full range of options.  Our number is 01778 382723 please feel free to call.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Duties of a Dad

There’s nothing to make one feel responsible all of a sudden like the birth of a child

The birth of your child is one of the most amazing, wonderful things you’ll ever experience.

Dad and BabyYour partner has been carrying your baby inside her for months and you’ve tried to support her as much as possible. The labour, though – I remember feeling useless, seeing my wife go through so much pain and not being able to help. In fact, in my panic, I hindered – encouraging her to push when she was supposed to be panting.
And while you understood, as a concept, that at some point the bump would become a child, nothing can prepare you for that punch of love when you hold your baby in your arms for the first time. You’re suddenly responsible for this tiny person!

The maternity ward feels safe but driving home with a passenger in the baby seat is frightening. Back home, you and your partner are in charge – flying alone. It’s exhilarating but suddenly all the rules have changed and it’s bewildering too.

You’re a grown-up. And, as a grown-up, it’s time to ask yourself some grown-up questions and make some adult decisions – and to plan for your child’s future by writing a will. You and your partner are going to have to ask yourselves that most terrifying of questions: who will look after our child if something happens to us? 

It’s a horrible but, tragically, for the 24,000 children a year who experience the death of a parent (source: Winston’s Wish), very real situation. There’s a common assumption that your next of kin will automatically be granted guardianship of your children should you die but, if both parents pass away and there’s no valid will and therefore no legally appointed guardian, children will be a ward of court until the courts decide who they live with.

Thankfully, while the thought of your child being all alone makes your hearts lurch, reassurance is at hand.

Writing a will allows you to:-
* Decide who will look after your children should something happen to you
* Ensure your children will be educated in the way you want them to be
* Feel secure in the knowledge there won’t be any family disputes or court battles over who cares for your children
* And, be confident your children will receive their full inheritance
Then, will written and adult responsibilities undertaken, you can relax into being a father – it’s the most life affirming experience ever.

Making a will can cost as little as £125.00. For more information please contact us at 01778382723 or  

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Don’t Be Like Dave.

plan to dieDave didn’t plan to die, and he didn’t expect to go so soon. But he did and he left a mess behind him.

Like many of us Dave went through life acting as if he were immortal. Ill health and death happened to other people. He was too busy running his business to get sick. And what a business, fast growing profitable, and able to offer great job opportunities to his ever-growing team. Dave liked to be in control he was the only director and he owned the shares – it was truly his business. He was building something to make his family proud, working every hour to give them a great life. His proudest day was the day that Jon came to work with him.

Then came the stroke – so work took a back seat. There was no warning, the doctor said it was caused by overworking. The fact that he was the only signatory on the bank account meant nothing could be paid. He was the only one who could sign contracts so the big opportunity went to his competitor. Suppliers stopped supplying, the staff didn’t get paid. Eventually his creditors lost patience and petitioned for bankruptcy. His son Jon did everything that he could, but without access to the bank he had to rely on the few people who could pay him in cash. As the firm was liquidated the staff left, one or two found another job, but the four that were left lost their jobs and added their names to the list of creditors.

Dave didn’t plan to get sick, and he didn’t plan to die. He struggled through his last few months and saw his business suffer too. Maybe the extra stress was the thing that killed him.

It Could Have Been So Different … Don’t Be Like Dave ... Plan To Die with Will & Probate Services

Call us today on 01778 382723 and make a start. 

Friday, 13 January 2017

Trading on Fears – Protecting Your Assets

I am not often shocked. But, just before Christmas I was horrified when I was contacted by an elderly client. The reason – she had just been cold called by someone who told her that she was going to have her home taken off her by the local authority to pay for care. Understandably she was scared, fortunately she called us. This was not an unsolicited phone call, it was someone going door to door knocking.

It turns out that her area of Bourne had been targeted by canvassers as it had a high concentration of older people. This seems to be happening in other areas locally too. These people were touting a one size fits all solution to protect homes from being taken by local authorities to pay for care fees.

There are many ways of doing business and going from door to door is a good method of generating sales for some things. But when you are talking about your biggest asset – your home – you need to be wary of people who show up on your doorstep. Come to that unsolicited phone calls need to be treated with caution too.

The issue here is not protecting your assets. With the proper planning and in the right circumstances your home and your investments can be protected for your children and future generations of your family. The issue is professionalism and preying on the fears of elderly or vulnerable people. Asset protection is a complex issue and everyone’s circumstances are different.

If you want to understand the issues that face you and your children, or maybe you and your parents
then call us for a full and frank discussion about Asset protection and planning for a secure future.
The initial meeting is free and there is no obligation. At the end of the meeting you will have a fully costed plan and a clear view of what can be protected.

Call us 01778 382723 and book your meeting today. There is more at 

Monday, 19 December 2016

Inheritance Tax Changes – 2017 time to Review your Wills - Save £80,000.

In April 2017 two new inheritance tax allowances are being introduced. The good news is that the Residence Nil Rate Bands could mean that you can pass an extra £200,000 to your heirs without paying any Inheritance Tax. This equates to a cash saving of £80,000 for your family.
Residence Nil Rate Band
2017 Time to review your Wills.
There is a catch, rather than introducing a simple uplift to the Nil Rate Band. The government have made these new allowances rather complex. There are rules that you need to meet to qualify for this new relief.
This could be a problem for you if you have current wills that include discretionary trusts. If you are unsure call us and we can help. 
If you made your Wills before October 2007, it is likely that your inheritance tax planning will need updating.
From January to the 6th of April we are offering a free review of your Inheritance Tax Planning. This will ensure peace of mind for you and your family.
After your review we will make recommendations for any changes that you may need to make. Ensuring that you will qualify for the new allowances.
Call us today on 01778 382723 to book your Free Inheritance Tax Review.

P.S. - If you think inheritance tax doesn't apply to you call us for a free review in any case. You might get a shock. We are all worth more dead than alive! Call 01778 382723.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Have you got that Crystal Ball Yet?

Crystal BallBrexit, Leicester City, Trump. 

If 2016 teaches us anything it should surely be that we don’t know what the future holds.

If you are anything like me, you have probably had times in the last year where you have simply stopped and asked yourself how did that just happen. 

The received wisdom was that we would never vote to leave the EU, small clubs don’t win the premier league and Americans would never vote for Trump. But these things happened.

Life is unpredictable, the big stuff proves it. At a personal level life is unpredictable too but all too often we treat life like it is never going to happen to us. People around us get sick, need care, or die. These huge events have a negative effect for a while and then life goes on. Occasionally you will think what if that happened to me, but inevitably you will move on.

A client recently decided that she was going to get things in order. That she was going to take the uncertainty out of her life. She knew what we all know – you can’t predict the future. 

We had a meeting and a few conversations later she had a plan. She knew she was covered if she got sick or needed care. Her family was protected when she died and she had even planned and paid for her own funeral.

She decided it was time to plan for the unknown, the unpredictable. Call us today and start your plan 01778 382723.