Here are some of the questions we get asked on a regular basis so we’ve compiled them into a handy article about Estate Planning.
Philip Anthony Associates are an estate planning firm based in the North West of England and services our clients throughout England and Wales. We offer face to face, video and telephone appointments to suit your needs and will always be clear on our costs. Our initial discussion is always FREE.
What is a Trust?
The easiest way to think about a trust is to consider a safety deposit box that we put things into to keep them safe. They can then be passed onto our loved ones. There are lots of types of trusts with different names. Some have tax advantages but we always consider these on a case by case basis.
Trusts can be used to make provision for loved ones with a disability, for minor children, for our animals, or to protect assets or a share in our assets, like our house.
I don’t have anything to leave, do I still need a Will?
This is a common misconception. Our Will deals with so much more than just our financial wealth (no matter how small). It also lets us revoke previous Wills, appoint executors and trustees, to make provision for the guardianship of our minor children, and to state our funeral wishes.
There are also other considerations relating to life insurance, pensions and death in service benefits. Whilst you may have no money now, if you don’t have a nominated beneficiary for these policies, then they will fall back into your estate and may then pass under the laws of intestacy to someone you would not have wished.
You wrote a Will for my parents. They’ve passed away, what do I do?
When someone near and dear to us passes away, it can be a very challenging time and emotional time. If we are storing the Will, and you’re an executor, contact us and we can explain how to retrieve it.
As an executor you have responsibilities to carry out the estate administration process in accordance with the terms of the Will. This means applying for the grant of probate, completing the necessary tax forms and submitting them to HMRC, drawing in assets, paying off any liabilities and then, once this is all done, distributing the estate in accordance with the Will. We understand that this can be complicated so we’re here to help.
If you need us to step in and take over, we can do that. Alternatively, we can offer a ‘hand-holding service’.
What is a General Power of Attorney?
A General Power of Attorney, also known as a GPA, is a document that gives their attorney the authority to act on their behalf and also to make decisions regarding their financial affairs. These documents are made as a short term, interim measure for example if the donor is going out of the country. We would advise speaking to us about the merit of this document but also to consider Lasting Powers of Attorney.
I wrote my Will 10 years ago, do I need to update it?
It’s likely that there is no straightforward answer to this question. If there have been major life events during that 10 year period, like the birth of a child or grandchild, the purchase of a house, a significant increase in the value of your assets or if you’ve received an inheritance, we would certainly suggest looking at your Will and we can offer a free review.
We won’t suggest a new Will if it’s not needed but you need to understand the implications of having an out of date Will. We advise reviewing your Will every 2 to 3 years.
How do I refer friends and family?
Referrals are extremely important to our business. Over 80% of our business comes from the kind words of our clients. A referral, like a google review, lets us know that we are doing a good job and that we have met and exceeded the needs of our clients.
If you would like to refer your friends and family then please leave a google review, and then share this on your social media. Alternatively, please leave us a Facebook review.
We really appreciate your custom.
I am confused by some of the jargon I’ve read about Wills, can you explain?
If you are ever in doubt and have questions about estate planning, feel free to pick up the phone, send us an email or visit our website.
Here are some of the terms you might be unsure of:
Testator – The person making the Will
Executor – The person, people or professionals appointed in the Will to administer the estate when the testator dies.
Trustee – The person, people or professionals appointed in the Will or trust deed to manage any trusts arising from the Will or set up in lifetime.
Chattels – This is typically personal (moveable) possessions like furniture, jewellery, or personal items.
Codicil – This is an amendment to a Will (often only minor).
Intestacy – The term given when someone passes away without a Will.
Probate – Being granted probate is being given the right, by the court, to wind up the estate of the testator.
What happens during an appointment, and what preparation do I need to do?
We send confirmation of any appointment and ask you to think about what your wishes are for your estate and we’ll ask you to have I.D ready.
Most of our discussion will take place during the appointment. Firstly, we will ask questions to understand your wishes and motivations and together we can put a plan in place to protect, preserve and pass on your wealth.
Can I change my Will?
At any point you are able to change your Will. It can either be done via a codicil or by writing a new Will. Simply contact us for assistance.