It’s not uncommon for people to focus their working life on accumulating savings, paying off the mortgage on their home or securing a good pension to support them through their later years. However, not everyone will have considered what they actually want to do with their hard earned wealth once they reach retirement.
Here are key things that you’ll want to consider to ensure that your loved ones’ future inheritance is protected.
1. Make a Will
If you hope to leave something to pass on after you’ve gone, then it’s important to think about making a Will. A properly drafted Will clearly states how you want your money, property and other assets to be passed on after your death. If you don’t have a valid Will in place, then strict inheritance laws called the Rules of Intestacy will decide who gets what.
When you make a Will, you can name who should inherit from you and what you would like them to receive. This could be a specific sum of money, a share of your Estate or a specific item. You can also allow for different circumstances (such as if one of your Beneficiaries dies before or at the same time as you) and you can state who should be in charge of administering your Estate.
2. Property Trust Wills
If you own a property jointly with another person and you want to protect your share of the property to pass on, you might want to consider including a Property Trust in your Will.
It may be that you want to pass your share of the property on to your children, but you want the other owner to be able to carry on living in the property for the rest of their life before this happens. A Property Trust Will allows for this, making sure that the value of your share in the property is protected for the next generation.
A Property Trust Will can also help to reduce the risk of the property value being used to cover care costs if the surviving owner needs to go into care in the future.
3. Make a Lasting Power of Attorney
Many people believe that if they suffered an accident or illness which meant they could no longer look after their health or finances, their family could automatically step in and help. Sadly this is not the case.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document in which you can appoint someone you trust to make these decisions for you. Without an LPA no one can step in and manage things for you, not even your immediate family.
There are two types of LPA which cover different things:
- Property and Financial Affairs LPA (for decisions about money, property, assets and other financial matters)
- Health and Welfare LPA (for decisions about your medical treatment and care)
You can put one or both types of LPA in place, depending on what type cover you want.
Without an LPA, if something happened to you then someone would need to apply to the Court of Protection for a ‘Deputyship Order’. This is likely to cause a significant amount of stress for your family members and can take months to process. Your loved ones would not have access to your finances during this time, possibly having to use their own money to cover your living expenses.
The Deputyship Order process is also very expensive and costs can run into thousands of pounds, which is the last thing most people want when they’re hoping to provide their loved ones with a financial step-up.
4. Save Money and Support Cancer Research UK
Co-op Legal Services have designed a series of discounted Will and Lasting Powers of Attorney Estate Planning packages, in support of Cancer Research UK. We have a range of packages available to suit your needs and help safeguard your family’s future.
You’ll benefit from a discount on your Will and LPA’s and we’ll pay 10% of our fee (excluding VAT) to Cancer Research UK.
5. Arrange a Funeral Plan
It’s important to acknowledge the financial benefits of putting a pre-paid funeral plan in place. Without one, the cost of your funeral will be covered using money from your Estate after you die. The average cost of a funeral is rising year-on-year and this could end up being a significant cost, reducing the amount that is left in your Estate to pass on to your loved ones. With a Co-op pre-paid funeral plan, you can prevent your loved ones from having to deal with unexpected costs in the future.
If you’re looking to purchase a Pre-paid Funeral Plan with Co-op Funeralcare, you can use our special-price discount code to save £150± off the final price of your chosen plan and we will give £100 inclusive of VAT from your purchase to Cancer Research UK. More information and the full terms and conditions can be found on this page.
For initial advice and guidance call Co-op Legal Services on 03306069591 or contact us online and we will help you.