Estate planning is the process of deciding what should happen to your assets after your death or if you become incapacitated, and taking the steps necessary to ensure your decisions will be carried out.
There are 6 key steps:
Identify all the assets and liabilities.
It is surprisingly easy to overlook items like BPS entitlements, farm workers cottages or even outlying fields.
Identify ownership of the assets.
Exactly who are the owners – individuals, the partnership, a limited company or a trust? Does this agree with the information at the Land Registry?
How much are the assets worth?
Is it best to get a formal valuation or will estimates be sufficient?
What is the level of Inheritance Tax and Care Home fee risk?
This should be documented and used as part of the planning process.
What do you want the ownership structure to be after your days?
This is usually established through a discussion process based on all the information gathered.
What is the best way to organise your Estate to achieve the objectives and minimise tax risk?
Good Estate planning will minimise tax risk but, more importantly, it will mean that your assets end up in the right ownership, minimising the possibility of future family disagreements.
At Green & Co we have developed an Inheritance Tax and Estate Planning review in order to advise clients and their family fully with regard to these issues. If you would like to speak to one of our team, please feel free to contact us.
Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.