Forbes Solicitors’ advice on later life planning
- Credit: Archant
Jane Burbidge of Forbes Solicitors explains the importance of planning for later life.
Retirement is a significant life event and often coincides with a change in your financial circumstances. Whilst sorting your legal affairs might not be at the top of your to do list, dealing with matters sooner rather than later will give you peace of mind that you are protected.
The most important consideration is to make a Will. We spend our lives working to provide for ourselves and our loved ones and a Will is the surest way of providing for others after your death, ensuring your estate passes to who you want it to. If you do not make a Will your estate may not automatically pass to a surviving spouse/civil partner and unmarried partners will not automatically inherit.
If you already have a Will it is also important to consider reviewing it. Changes in family, financial circumstances or the law may mean your Will no longer reflects your current wishes or includes unnecessary complications. You should also think about whether your estate is likely to be liable to inheritance tax (IHT) and consider how you could reduce any tax payable, either in your Will or during your lifetime with gifts or the use of trusts.
If the value of your estate is less than the IHT threshold currently £325,000 (Nil Rate Band -NRB) then there will be no IHT payable. Anything which passes to a surviving spouse/civil partner is free of IHT. An additional allowance is available in certain circumstances if your home is left to your children or grandchildren. Unused allowances can be transferred to surviving spouses/civil partners, which could double the allowances available.
Lasting Powers of Attorney
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Have you considered what would happen if you were unable to manage your financial affairs or make decisions over your healthcare or medical treatments due to an accident, old age or illness? Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) allow you to appoint the person or people (your attorneys) you would like to take those key decisions for you.
Without it, a family member or friend would have to make an expensive and time consuming application to the Court of Protection and suffer annual administrative requirements. You can give authority to your attorneys to assist you with your financial affairs, including property, and/or your health and welfare. An LPA can only be drawn up whilst you have mental capacity, the key is to deal with it sooner rather than later whilst your health is not an issue. Think of LPAs like an insurance policy to protect you should you need it in the future, giving you and your family piece of mind.
For more information visit forbessolicitors.co.uk or contact Jane Burbidge by email: email@example.com or call 01772 220 022
Offices in Accrington, Blackburn, Central Lancashire, Chorley, Leeds, Manchester and Preston