Lifetime Estate Planning Experts
Planning for the future is very important for everyone – but often we leave things too late. In addition to advising on inheritance tax issues, we can help you with income tax and capital gains tax. Our expert estate planning lawyers can help complete your self assessment tax return and ensure that you claim all the appropriate exemptions and reliefs.
Are you thinking of getting advice on lifetime planning? Our private client team can help you with your estate and inheritance tax planning wherever you live – both locally throughout Wiltshire, Hampshire and Dorset and nationwide from our offices in Salisbury, Fordingbridge, Andover and Amesbury.
What’s more, as part of our specialist team, we have an in-house tax accountant – and we work closely alongside a number of other local professionals including independent financial advisers.
Do You Have an Up To Date Will?
If you’re not sure of whether or not you need to update your Will, then take advantage of Bonallack and Bishop’s free review offer
So just call us to book in your FREE Wills Review appointment – with no obligation or strings attached
Inheritance Tax Planning and Your Will – Can I Save Money?
On death, your estate is subject to Inheritance Tax. Despite recent tax changes, Inheritance Tax is still a real issue for many people and following changes introduced by the latest budget, there are still opportunities for significant savings to be made in planning for the future and protecting family assets later in life from what can prove to be considerable care costs.
However, it is remarkable how much tax people are paying unnecessarily in the absence of properly prepared Will and tax planning.
Currently (for the 2020/2021 tax year) the first £325,000 remains taxed at 0%; this is known as the nil band rate. In the March 2021 budget, the Chancellor indicated that inheritance tax thresholds would be frozen at 2020-2021 levels until 2025-26.
Changes introduced by the Autumn 2007 budget created the ability to increase the nil rate band on the survivors estate by the unused proportion of the nil rate band of the first deceased. If the first deceased left their entire estate to the survivor then this may lead to a nil rate band of £650,000 to apply to the survivors estate under current rules.
Carrying forward an unused exemption is not granted automatically; it must be claimed. Such claims can become complicated where the first to die passed away many years ago, when another tax regime applied such as estate duty. Our expert solicitors can provide specialist advice to ensure that the maximum amount available is claimed.
Click here to read more about making a will
Inheritance Tax and Estate planning – 3 important points you should consider.
With Inheritance Tax no longer just for the rich, our specialist Solicitors strongly advise you to consider taking legal advice, and to start your estate planning as early as possible – and keep it under review as the tax situation changes. In particular our team use a variety of strategies including
- Transferring assets to your spouse so your estates are about equal
- Transferring away surplus assets either by gift or transfer into trust
- Consider making the proceeds of any Life Assurance policies or pensions you may have payable directly to your spouse and children to keep the value of the policy from falling into your estate for tax purposes
Lasting Power of Attorney
The Lasting Power of Attorney, or LPA, is now the primary way to give a trusted person the authority to to deal with your affairs should you become incapacitated. It replaced the earlier Enduring Power of Attorney, or EPA, when it was introduced on 1st October 2007 – although EPAs made prior to that date remain valid. It’s simply that EPA’s can no longer be created.
The Finance LPA operates both before and after a person becomes incapable of managing their own affairs. It is also possible to make a LPA setting out of your wishes regarding your personal welfare. Our Solicitors recommend that everyone considers making an LPA.
Click here to find out more about a Lasting Power of Attorney and the Difference Between a Lasting and Enduring Power of Attorney
Appointing a guardian
If you have children under 18, you should consider appointing guardians to take care of their day to day care if you die while they remain young. Even if they have ‘godparents’, we all know that the choice of godparent is sometimes an emotional decision made at a specific time and you may not want them to bring up your children.
Appointment of Guardians is usually done whilst making your Will.
These are funds which contains assets that are controlled by you and/or a nominated third party for the benefit of a specific individual(s). They are governed by complex legal regulations and separate tax rules. A Trust can be created at any time during the lifetime of an individual to become operative immediately or not until your death.
If you want to know more about what a Trust can do for you contact our specialist Solicitors today- or click here to read more about how to create a Trust.
Living wills and Advance Directives
An Advance Directive can record your wishes with respect to certain medical procedures that would or would not be accepted to you. They can only be employed on loss of mental capacity (‘advanced directive’). Alternatively, a Living Will can record your beliefs on such procedures for the family to consider should a difficult decision with regard to your health have to be made (‘non-advanced directive’).
Click here to read more about making a living will
Long Term Care Planning
It is hard to imagine not being able to live in your own home and look after yourself. Planning at the right time to make sure any care you may need in the future is covered without having to sell your home is important for some people. We can help you find out more about the rules about paying for a permanent care home place and we work closely with independent financial advisors who can discuss with you your options concerning wealth protection and long term care funding. Click here for more information on Long Term Care Funding.