Whilst some people are under the impression that preparing a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is simply a case of completing a form and ticking a few boxes, it is about far more than this.
It's never too soon to get your legal affairs in order but, when you're busy with day-to-day life and work, it can be hard to come home and make sure that you look after yourself and your future. Nobody knows what the future holds, but taking a bit of time to ensure that you're prepared for the maybes can have a double benefit; not only will you have peace of mind for your future, but your loved ones will be more secure too.
Nobody likes to think about 'what could happen', but when it comes to your estate you need to be prepared for every eventuality. What would happen if you were to be in the unfortunate circumstance of losing capacity in a catastrophic injury or from a devastating illness? What if you had a stroke and nobody could access your bank account? How would the bills be paid? Who would deal with the mortgage?
From a financial perspective, you may be insured – critical illness, sickness payments or even statutory sickness benefits might just keep the ship afloat - but what about practical access? Who will sign the cheques or set up direct debits? Thinking about these matters and having a power of attorney in place could be the difference between maintaining your standard of living after a difficult and life-changing event or struggling to prevent a catastrophic and devastating event. Careful planning allows your family to concentrate on caring for you and being with you, rather than spending time facing the stress of difficult personal and financial commitments.
What about insurance payments? Making sure that they are written in trust, where appropriate, so that they don't pay to your estate in the event of your death could be vital. Avoiding paying an unnecessary 40% in tax could make a huge difference for your beneficiaries, and who wouldn't want to leave 40% more in the way of provision for their family without any personal cost to them? Getting your insurance paperwork in order can be a pain-free way to maximise the benefits for your family.
Reviewing your will and making sure it's up-to-date with how you want your estate to be dealt with is essential and will provide you with peace of mind. Effective tax planning can also mean you leave more funds for those you care about; using your inheritance tax exemptions should be second nature for all of us, but often it's not.
Download our handy 'Guide to maximising your inheritance tax exemptions' by completing the form below.
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