How can I protect my assets?


The later years of our lives can be expensive and add to this the cost of dying, researched and reported yearly by Sunlife, (2015 9th annual report) currently shows the average cost was £8,427. Then there’s probate to consider and the proposed increases in the certificate charges! It all seems very unfair frankly.

Will Trusts

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Commonly used to protect property will trusts protect portions of property of those who die while granting lifetime occupancy to surviving partners. This will trust ring fences the assets held within it. For many, this is a sensible option used to protect at least half of the property later in life when the first partner passes on.

Asset Trusts

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Family Asset Trusts are designed to protect assets during your lifetime as well as after death, like the will trust they ring fence assets from a multitude of threats and can be used to mitigate IHT, protect from claims against a will, protect from business debts, negate probate and more. Property and savings are commonly protected by asset trusts.

Inheritance Tax

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The individuals inheritance tax nil rate is currently £325,000 meaning that anything over this invites a taxation at 40% However, increases are scheduled to come in between 2017 and 2021 to include main residence and will increase the nil rate to £500,000 by the end of 2021. We have a number of mitigation plans to help limit the impact of IHT.

Funeral Plans

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The Sunlife report on the cost of dying shows an average of £8,126 a slight drop over the previous year. However, while the overall cost may have fallen, the average cost of a basic funeral has risen for the 11th year in a row and now stands at £3,693, an increase of more than 90% since 2004. This takes a considerable lump from the estate but increases can be protected against.

Gifts & Spending

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In general terms gifts can be made to reduce inheritance tax liabilities however they remain taxable for a period of seven years from the date of the gift. One must be careful what is being gifted and when, for instance if you are about to be means tested the gift may be overturned. Spending under similar circumstances if reckless can be viewed badly by the authorities.

Gifting your home

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Recent press suggests  local councils take a very dim view of older people gifting their homes to family to lower their overall asset value to make it look as if they are poorer than they really are. Over and above councils trying to prove deprivation, there are inherent risks involved of giving up your home and relinquishing all control. There are legally sound routes to achieving the same.

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The Will Preparation Process

A consultation ensuring the right type of trust(s) is/are chosen. There are straight forward will trusts or more involved stand alone asset trusts.

Once the appropriate trust(s) has/have been selected a questionnaire is completed to collect the content and your instructions for your will or for the asset trust.

The preparation of your will(s) and or trusts which can be prepared in 2 or 3 weeks a little longer depending on complexity.
The delivery and guidance with the signing of your Will(s) and/or trust documents.
You may choose to keep your Wills and/or Trust Deeds at home or in a safe place heeding the message from the Ministry of Justice (gov.uk) warning you NOT to store your will at a bank in your safety deposit box. The box CANNOT be opened until probate is granted and probate can’t be granted without the original will.
We provide legal storage where you have access via an ID card with security code which maintains your will as a live document allowing you to amend/change it over time at no additional cost. Trust Deeds can also be held on your behalf but are not live documents. The annual fee for legal storage is £65 or £5 per month. Lifetime storage is also available at preferential rates

Our philosophy

We create robust legal documents for our clients including wills, lasting powers of attorney, asset trusts and more, working at your convenience to make it easy in this busy world!

Common questions

Do trusts protect against care fees?

You must not set up a trust to primarily avoid care fees as this could be viewed as depravation of assets. However, a will trust can protect half of your property and the contents of an asset trust would belong to the trust and not you, so yes, but talk to your consultant for clarity.

How long does a trust last?

A trust can last for 125 years, so the elements placed within your trust can continue to benefit your family and your families family long after you are gone.

Who controls the trust?

You would be named as the ‘Principle Beneficiary’ of the Asset Trust and would retain full control of the assets within the Trust while you are alive and have mental capacity. Then your trustees, who you select. read more

PROTECTING YOUR ESTATE WITH TRUSTSmade TROUBLE FREE with one call and a convenient appointment