On 28th March, members of the local community were welcomed to a free seminar hosted by The Financial Options Group, which provided insight into how individuals can plan their legacy most effectively.
The seminar, which took place at The Village Hotel, Bury, was led by Estate Planning professional Barrister Intermediary Caroline Sandiford and renowned specialist in Estate Planning Law Nigel Walker-Jennings LLB (Hons) LLM Barrister.
In her introduction, Caroline cited a recent examination of hundreds of Wills, which under scrutiny were revealed to be disconcertingly similar. Nearly all (98 percent) of the randomly chosen Wills showed little differentiation from one another, and were based on just three questions: Who are you?; What wealth do you possess?; and, Who would you like to leave it to?
Families, she stated, are far more complicated than the Wills would have suggested, and while perhaps in generations past a given family tree may not have had so many new growths and offshoots, today’s family structures are more often subject to life events such as divorce and remarriage, making the transference of wealth increasingly complex.
Most people, no matter how young or old they may be, want to ensure their beneficiaries do not face later disinheritance due to fluctuations in family structure or the aforementioned life events. Also, most people do not want their estate to be subject to a prodigious Inheritance Tax (IHT) bill.
During their presentation, Caroline and Nigel discussed:
Wills and the Laws of Intestacy, ie the standard sharing out of assets, which occurs when an individual passes without a Will in place. If the Laws of Intestacy are applied, it can often be the case that more of the estate will be subject to IHT. If no Will is in place, another consequence is that the care of any young children and vulnerable adults will be decided by the state, potentially resulting in an arrangement at odds with what the individual would have wished.
Trusts, which serve to reduce bureaucracy after we have passed on while ensuring that our loved one’s inheritance is not at risk. This flexible yet robust form of protection prevents sideways disinheritance, so that the inheritance remains solely with an individual’s heirs for generations to come, as well as helping to avoid the costs and delays of Probate and reduce the burden of IHT.
Lasting powers of attorney (LPAs), which help to reduce the burden placed on loved ones if an individual suffers a loss of capacity. Without LPAs in place, decisions about important issues such as medical treatment and welfare may not be left up to those closest to us. When it comes to financial matters, a lack of LPA may also result in family members having difficulties gaining access to accounts, taking action or making decisions – even in the case of shared accounts.
An engaging Q&A session followed the experts’ presentation. Finally, the attendees were welcomed to a coffee and tea reception during which they could ask questions of the presenters. All attendees present were offered a free Will review.
Susan, who attended the seminar with her husband, said:
“Talking about what will happen after you die is never the cheeriest subject, so it was a relief that Nigel and Caroline’s presentation on Legacy Planning was sprinkled with humour. The pair set out clearly the pitfalls of poor planning, and there were a few eye-openers about how your hard-earned savings could end up in the hands of an ex-son or daughter-in-law or what could happen if you or your partner lose capacity without a Lasting Powers of Attorney in place.
“An excellent Q&A session ended the presentation, with a chance for further one-to-one discussions over coffee to complete the session. A generous, unconditional investment of time by The Financial Options Group.”
Caroline Sandiford said:
“I’m so lucky that my profession places me face to face with individuals and families, and I very much enjoyed speaking with all of the attendees on the day of the seminar. The people I met, who came from Bury as well as further afield, were all very motivated to learn more about Estate Planning, and in addition to finding the seminar informative, I also hope it will help them to feel confident as they move forward in their planning journey.
“Estate planning can be extremely complex as there are now so many varied family structures. Without doubt, there is no longer a “one size fits all” solution which can be relied upon. Putting the clients at ease as I work with them to find the right plan – which not only achieves the client’s inheritance wishes but also where necessary preserves and protects hard-earned wealth – is extremely important to me.”
As a Barrister Intermediary, Caroline has successfully completed Legacy Planning examinations and a programme of accreditation. Registered also for continual professional development, she specialises in Estate Planning and Business Continuity. Caroline is supported by a team of Solicitors and a Barrister with a wealth of knowledge and experience in Estate and Legacy Planning, and as a Barrister Intermediary she follows a highly prescribed process to ensure that her clients achieve the protection and certainty they require, helping them to achieve priceless peace of mind.
For more information about Inheritance as well as other financial news, discussion and trends, follow The Financial Options Group on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. To arrange a no-obligation meeting with one of our advisers, call 0161 764 9944 or email email@example.com.
The above review was provided for general information purposes only and is not designed to provide complete and exhaustive Estate Planning advice.