Wills and Estate Planning

Should you make a Will? Yes, absolutely. When it comes to making a Will you have three options:

1.     Make no Will and leave it to chance

2.     Make your own Will and hope that it is adequate

3.     Have a Professionally drafted Will

Making a Will

1.     Make no Will and leave it to chance

Clearly this is the worst scenario. If you die without having made a Will, you will be intestate and your estate will be administered according to the laws of intestacy. This means your assets may be inherited by someone you never intended or indeed wanted to receive them. To avoid this possibility, it is therefore essential to make a Will setting out exactly who you want to benefit from your estate on your death.

See also Intestacy

2.     Make your own Will and hope that it is adequate

While this is clearly a better option than not making a Will at all there can be a major downside. If the homemade Will fails to take account of legal formalities and is not drafted correctly or executed properly or does not address recent changes in the law it may result in an outcome similar to not making a Will at all, which is definitely not what you intended. The fact is there are many considerations and possible pitfalls when drafting a Will, tax implications being only one of them, which may not be readily apparent.

3.     Have a Professionally drafted Will

There are a number of organisations you can approach to make your Will. You need to ensure that whoever you instruct has the necessary expertise in all aspects of Will drafting and that they are qualified to advise you on the various elements of estate planning and adhere to a professional code of conduct.

At Universal Wealth Preservation, our team of professional experts are qualified to provide the advice you need. Our STEP members act in compliance with the STEP code of Professional Conduct and abide by the STEP code for Will preparation in England & Wales. This is a set of ethical principles that operate for the benefit of clients and demonstrate openly the commitment of STEP members to transparency and client service. For a copy of the code click here.

Do you have a professionally drafted Will? Have you updated it to take account of changing family circumstances? Does it still protect your family adequately? Do you need advice on how best to structure your Will?

Even if you have a Will it is crucial to review it at regular intervals; certainly every five years, and sooner if there has been a major life changing event such as divorce, remarriage or the death of a partner, for example.

Contact us for a Will review now. Our team of experts can provide you with all the specialist advice you need.

Estate Planning

It is important to bear in mind that although Wills are an essential part of estate planning, they are only one aspect of it. There are many other factors to take into consideration and which we can advise upon:

  • We provide practical and sensible estate planning solutions that are tailored and flexible. We are only too aware that part of life is change and estate planning arrangements that were suitable many years ago may no longer be appropriate.
  • Flexibility means being able to adapt to changing situations. Your circumstances may have changed by entering into a new relationship or relationship breakdown, for example. You may have children and grandchildren and wish to provide for their future financial needs as well as your own. And if you are contemplating retirement you may wish to make arrangements for your later life including if you were to lose mental or physical capacity and needed to go into care. Each life stage brings its own set of possible scenarios.
  • Changes in life stages mean that you should review your estate planning arrangements on a regular basis, thus ensuring you achieve the best possible outcomes enabling you to preserve your wealth and to pass it on to future generations.
  • To be truly effective any estate planning solution will require a number of elements built in to it such as tax advice which allows you to maximise the value of your estate but also only pay what’s necessary in income tax, capital gains tax and inheritance tax and by the use of Trusts. Trusts have an enormously important role when it comes to estate planning. As part of our estate planning approach we will advise you whether we believe a Trust is appropriate for your needs and the most suitable form to suit your immediate and future requirements. Trust creation, management and administration are all services we can provide for you.

See also Wealth Structuring & Asset Protection, Inheritance Tax Mitigation, Trust Creation & Management.

How Universal Wealth Preservation can assist you

If you would like any estate planning advice or to review your existing estate planning arrangements including your Will we have the expertise to assist you. Please contact us for more information on our estate planning and wealth preservation solutions and let us guide you through your available options. Contact us to arrange a FREE no-obligation home consultation with one of our experienced advisers. We would be happy to discuss your requirements.

Or to find out more about the estate planning solutions available to you click here to book your place on one of our forthcoming Keep it in the Family seminars.