WILLS, PROBATE & TRUSTS
Spending a lifetime working hard and accumulating assets or reaching the milestone of becoming a parent for the first time, and then leaving everything to chance as to what happens when you are no longer here is sadly still a common occurrence.
Most people are aware of the importance of making a will and planning properly, and Morgan Reach now make it easy for you to do this. Our service brings together technical expertise, tax knowledge and convenience to ensure that you receive the best bespoke advice and guidance related to your circumstances.
Morgan Reach are experts in tax, estate planning, trusts and probate. We help to make the complex simple.
We make estate planning accessible to all without the inconvenience of having to book an appointment and visit our offices during the working day.
What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is more than just writing a will to ensure that your assets pass quickly and easily to the people you choose. Estate planning is about wealth preservation – helping you to manage your assets to minimise tax, local authority fees and other costs. Estate planning also plans around incapacity and what happens if you are unable to act for yourself due to ill health.
A General Power of Attorney (GPA) is ideally suited for situations where you need to give certain rights to another person(s) to deal with your property for a limited time, such as when you are going on holiday or moving out of the country for a few years.
A Business Lasting Power of Attorney (BLPA) enables someone you trust – someone who understands your business – to take over the day-to-day affairs as soon as they are needed. Your attorney might be given the power to pay suppliers and staff, access and manage bank accounts, invest assets, handle tax matters and enter into contracts. You can limit the powers, but you should ensure that the company can continue to operate with these limits in place.
The Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) enables you to authorise trusted family members or friends to act and make decisions on their behalf in the event they lose capacity to act for themselves – typically due to ill health. There are two types of LPA. Health and welfare and property and financial affairs. The health and welfare LPA gives an attorney the power to make decisions like:
- Your daily routine, for example washing, dressing, eating
- Medical care
- Moving into a care home
- Life-sustaining treatment
The property and financial affairs LPA gives an attorney the power to make decisions about money and property, for example:
- Managing a bank or building society account
- Paying bills
- Collecting benefits or a pension
- Selling your home
The experiences and story of TV presenter Kate Garraway and her husband Derek Draper as told in the documentary “Kate Garraway: Finding Derek” during Derek’s year-long battle with Coronavirus illustrates the importance of getting legal protection in place.
Inheritance tax falls under the remit of estate planning. Estate planning is about passing on your assets effectively. Your Will itself is quite limited for inheritance tax planning although vital to ensure your estate ends up with the people you choose. A large part of effective estate planning is undertaken throughout your lifetime. This could include the use of trusts, gifts, annual allowances, life insurance and tax-efficient investments. Our guidance when planning for inheritance tax is very much bespoke to the individual following a detailed calculation of your estate value, type of assets owned, potential liability, age and goals.
We often get asked the question what happens to my estate if my spouse/partner gets remarried or ends up in long term care? Essentially, if you leave your estate to your spouse/partner and you are the first to die,all of your assets pass directly to your spouse/partner. If that subsequent spouse/partner gets remarried, or change their Will, or require long term care your children could lose out. A high number of our clients decide to protect against this by leaving their share of their main asset (the family home) in trust for their children and provide lifetime residential rights for their spouse/partner. This ensures that your children do benefit from your estate whilst allowing your spouse/partner to continue benefiting from the property.
Planning for the future of a disabled child can seem daunting. If you leave your money outright to an adult with learning or developmental disabilities it can give rise to a range of problems, including their entitlement to means tested benefits. In these circumstances creating a trust is often the best option. So, rather than leaving the money outright to your dependent, it is left into a trust, from which they can benefit.
In the event that anything happens to both parents with children under the age of 18 it is important to appoint your chosen guardians. Points to consider and discuss include:
- The age and health of your proposed guardians
- The relationship your children have with your proposed guardians
- Do your proposed guardians have children themselves, and would they be willing to raise your children?
- The geographic location of your proposed guardians. In the tragic circumstances of a young child losing both parents would you also wish that child to be pulled away from their school, friends and familiar surroundings?
A clause is built into your Will enabling the trustees to apply income or capital from your estate to go towards your children’s maintenance, education or benefit.
Choosing guardians is a difficult task and it is often a balance.
Fortunately, the cases where young children lose both parents is relatively rare, however protecting against this eventuality is extremely important.
The original Will together with a death certificate, probate application form (and fee) and estate valuation form is submitted to your local probate office. They check that the Will is valid and then issue a document called the Grant of Probate. It is the Grant of Probate that gives your appointed executors the ability to open an executors account and start collecting your assets.
If you have got married or entered into a civil partnership since you wrote a Will, you need to review it. Marriage is one of the things that automatically revokes your Will meaning it is no longer valid. If you are engaged, you can make a Will in contemplation of marriage. We insert a clause to reflect this and as a result it does not become revoked after your marriage.
It is always advisable to review your Will regularly to ensure it is up to date with both your wishes and legislation. Why not bring it in to us or scan a copy to email@example.com and for a small fee we will give you some recommendations on its continued suitability.
A Trustee manages money or assets that are protected by a Trust. You may create a trust in your Will to protect certain assets or for beneficiaries who are not yet 18 years old. A Trustee keeps detailed records, accounts and receipts of everything they do and much act fairly and responsibly towards any beneficiaries and in their best interests. Often an executor and a trustee appointed in your Will is the same person.
They do not. It is a personal document and they do not need to be involved in the drafting or know the contents of your Will. We do, however, recommend that you ask the person if they are willing to be an executor before appointing them in your Will.
So you can avoid passing the responsibility and personal liability to a family member, it ensures impartiality and expertise.
They essential administer your estate. Firstly, they prove the Will by going through a process called probate. They are the person(s) appointed in your Will who are legally responsible for valuing and collecting in all property, monies and other assets (called your ‘estate’), paying any taxes and debts before distributing in accordance with your wishes.
A single Will is a Will for an individual, whereas Joint or Mirror Wills are often created for couples. Whilst they are separate individual documents, your wishes and appointments in the documents mirror each other. You will have the same set of executors and guardians and your distribution may typically be everything to each other and then everything to the children.
Service We Offer
|Single Will||Joint/Mirror Wills|
|Lasting Power of Attorney Health and Welfare||Lasting Power of Attorney Property and Finance|
|IHT Strategy Bespoke Report||Severance of Tenancy|
|Discretionary Trust||Life Interest Trust|
|Interest In Possession Trust||In anticipation of marriage clause|
|Will Review & Will Storage||Conveyance Service|
|Lifetime Trusts Power of Attorney||Family Investment Company|
How Does It Work?
- We ask you to complete a questionnaire with some basic information about you, your loved one’s and your estate (property, investments, chattels). The questionnaire provides help to indicate the roles of executors and guardians and to explain why it is important to set up Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA’s).
- If you have indicated you would like inheritance tax advice, we will organise a telephone interview in the first instance. This will be followed by a bespoke report outlining some planning you could undertake to reduce your potential inheritance tax liability.
- Upon submission of the questionnaire, our legal and tax experts will review and draft the documents and then send them to you for signing and witnessing or you can make an appointment to visit our office and we will oversee this.