Will Writing Service
Station Financial Wales are Estate Planning specialists; providing expert professional advice and guidance to our clients and help them to protect their assets and businesses for their family through our Wills and other services. By drafting tailored documents suitable for our client's circumstances and needs we give them peace of mind and confidence in this all too often neglected task.
Almost 70% of adults don't have a Will. There are numerous reasons for this including unable to make decisions on beneficiaries or guardians, not finding someone they can trust with sufficient knowledge or empathy to understand their concerns or even by that making one it will somehow hasten their own demise.
Without a valid Will in place then you have no way of guaranteeing the answers to the following questions:
- Who will look after my children? My parents? My sibling? Social Services?
- Who will administer my estate once I've gone? Someone I don't know or trust?
- Who will inherit my wealth? How much will the State take?
Ensuring that your children are looked after by people you chose and that your spouse/partner and children and other rightful beneficiaries will inherit the wealth you have created, regardless of what the future may hold, is important. So is making sure that the value of the family home is protected from hostile creditors or unnecessary Inheritance Tax.
Without professional guidance, much of your hard-earned money might end up in the wrong hands or be lost completely.
Taking professional advice on the drafting of your Will and updating it regularly as your circumstances change is the only way to be sure that your wishes will be known and your family fully safeguarded.
Station financial Wales will take the time to understand your circumstances, your concerns and your requirements. We will listen to you and guide you through the process of creating a valid Will that meets your needs - whether something simple or a more comprehensive solution. Our Will drafters are qualified members of the Society of Will Writers so you know that you're in safe hands.
Asset Protection and Estate Planning
Will Trusts and Life Planning Solutions
All of us would hope that all our wealth would be available to be enjoyed for many years by our family and loved ones and for the generations beyond.
Our wealth should not just be thought of as solely our free estate which we own and can pass via our Will but also other funds that might be available to others and paid out on our death. We might consider our estate to consist of (amongst other things):
- The family home;
- Other properties;
- Stocks and shares;
- Bank/savings accounts, bonds and investments;
- Business and agricultural assets; and
- Jewellery, cars, art and other personal effects.
Other funds that might be paid out on our death and not pass via our Will include:
- death in service benefits;
- life assurances; and
- other trust funds.
However, once you've died, factors outside of your control might mean that within one or two generations your wealth has been lost, claimed or wasted - to people such as:
- the tax man;
- a new partner/spouse and then his/her children;
- claims against your beneficiaries, e.g. creditors.
Without any estate planning, whether you have a Will or not, any of the following could happen:
- Your estate is taxed once on your death, again when your children die, again when your grandchildren die. Over just a few generations the tax man has become a major beneficiary of your estate.
- Your death in service benefits will pass to your partner/spouse tax-free but when they die your children will share it with the tax man.
- After you die, your partner/spouse finds someone else. You wealth might be lost to that new partner or his/her children - people you've never met.
Station Financial Wales has several options to protecting your assets and which solution or solutions work(s) best for you will depend on factors such as:
- Your age, marital status, health, lifestyle and plans for the future;
- The value of your home and whether it is mortgaged;
- What other funds are available and any income generated;
- How much of your estate you need yourself whilst you are still alive;
- How much of your estate your partner/spouse needs whilst they are alive and what funds they have themselves;
- How much of your estate you also wish to protect for future generations.
One or more of the following options might be best for your requirements.
- The Property Preservation Trust - a Will trust protecting your share of the family home;
- The Nil Rate Band Trust - a Will trust protecting your inheritance tax free allowance £325,000 (2015/16);
- The Flexible Life Interest Trust - A Will trust giving access to the home and the capital and income from other assets;
- The Business Property Relief Trust - A Will trust to preserve any tax relief you might get on business assets;
- The Special Needs Trust - to preserve the State benefits received by the disabled or special needs person but to make available income and, if necessary, capital to supplement those benefits; and
- The Protective Trust - to protect your assets from being lost or wasted by a beneficiary, e.g. through bankruptcy.
Lifetime Planning Solutions
- The Home Protection Plan - a lifetime trust protecting the home;
- The Family Trust - a lifetime trust protecting lump sum pay outs from pensions, life policies and death in service benefits; and
Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
How to appoint a Lasting Power of Attorney and what they can do for you
Dealing with money and paperwork can be difficult if you become unable to manage your own affairs for any reason, and in ill health it may be impossible.
Before that happens it might be easier to appoint a trusted representative - known as an Attorney - who can look after your finances and welfare for you should the situation arise. The Lasting Power of Attorney or LPA is a legal document which allows you to do this.
What types of LPAs are there?
A Property and Financial Affairs LPA allows your Attorney to make decisions about your personal affairs including: collecting your income and benefits, paying your bills and selling your home if necessary.
A Health and Welfare LPA allows your Attorney to give or refuse consent to medical treatment and to decide where you live. These decisions can only be taken on your behalf when you are unable to make them for yourself, for example, if you are ill, unconscious or suffering from a condition like dementia.
What happens if I don't have an LPA?
If you become incapable of making decisions for yourself and have not appointed another person as an attorney, your personal affairs would become the responsibility of the Office of the Public Guardian and it may be necessary for the Court of Protection to become involved. The Court will appoint a person, (called a Deputy) to make decisions on your behalf. The major disadvantages of not having a Lasting Power of Attorney in place are firstly the possible delay in dealing with your affairs and secondly the cost of making a Deputyship application, which is likely to be much more expensive than making a Lasting Power of Attorney and registering it and there are on-going yearly costs payable to the Court of Protection.
Who might need an LPA?
Most of us will be fortunate enough to live long lives, but we may not always be able to manage our own affairs. If you were to suffer physical or mental incapacity, an LPA could make your life much easier and less stressful for your loved ones, as well as protecting your interests.
What can my Attorney do?
You can give the Attorney general authority to manage all your finances, including paying your bills, signing cheques, dealing with your bank and buying or selling property and making decisions on medical treatment. However, you are free to restrict the Attorney's powers if you wish. For example, a business owner might wish for different attorneys for their personal affairs and business affairs.
When do my Attorney's powers become effective?
An LPA must be certified and then registered with the Court of Protection before you can receive help from the Attorney. You can continue to handle your own financial affairs if you wish, even after a Property and Affairs LPA has been signed. With a Personal Welfare LPA decisions can only be made on your behalf when you are unable to do so yourself.
The Court process to register an LPA can take several months so a General Power of Attorney might be useful to appoint someone to manage your affairs until the Court completes this process.