Have you given thought to estate planning? If not, you may not have considered:
- What might happen if your surviving spouse were to remarry
- How would this affect your children if your surviving spouse later changed their will in favour of a new spouse and any subsequent children
- If you already have children from a previous marriage, how you would ensure that they get their fair share
- What might happen in the event of bankruptcy
- The consequences of you or your beneficiaries entering into long term care
- How any legacy you may leave could cause an Inheritance Tax problem for the estates of your beneficiaries
Do you really want to leave this all to chance? If you haven’t even got as far as making a will then the law decides who inherits your estate.
By implementing some simple strategies you can ensure that your children and grandchildren are able to benefit completely from the inheritance you want them to receive and at the same time you can protect the family home and other assets from being lost to Long Term Care costs.
All of the following strategies are dependent on the severing of any joint tenancy of the family home so that it can be held by the former joint tenants as “tenants in common”, each with a 50% share of the property.
Marriage after death – MAD
Placing your half of the family home and other assets into a Trust on first death ensures that, should the surviving spouse/partner marry in the future, those assets cannot be taken into the marriage and removes the threat of your own children being disinherited. The survivor is still able to use the assets in the trust.
Placing the assets into Trust ensure that, if your children/chosen beneficiaries are subject to divorce proceedings then what you intended them to receive is protected from any divorce settlements.
Your own Care Costs
Placing your 50% share of the family home in a suitable trust should lead to the property’s value being deemed as being NIL for the purposed of assessment for care.
Beneficiaries Care Costs
Holding assets in a suitable trust ensures that they do not add to the value of a beneficiary’s own estate and so cannot be assessed for their care costs.
Creditors or Bankruptcy
If any beneficiaries are subject to creditor claims/bankruptcy their inheritance would not be exposed to these claims if held in a trust.
Further or Generational IHT
Holding the assets in a suitable trust ensures that they do not add to the value of your beneficiaries’ own estates, impacting on their inheritance tax liabilities.
For most people, building substantial assets is hard work. It seems only logical, therefore, to protect your wealth for yourself, your children and future generations.
2nd August 2013