What we do
Estate planning isn’t just about considering what happens to you and your assets after you’ve died, it is also about ensuring you have enough money to live on now so you can enjoy your life to the fullest.
Often when thinking about estate planning, people think that it is only important for wealthy people, who have large properties that they want to hand down to the next generation. However, estate planning applies to anyone who wants to make it clear to their family what they’d like to happen after their death.
Estate planning can also help to make sure your loved ones don’t end up paying too much Inheritance Tax (IHT) once you’re gone.
At Oakworth we have the tools and knowledge to offer you valuable estate planning advice. We will help you to work out how much money you will need and help you pass your assets down effectively, in the best possible way for you and your loved ones.
What is estate planning?
When it comes to planning for your finances later in life, it is important to think carefully about inheritance tax. The impact of inheritance tax can be detrimental to a family’s finances.
The Inheritance Tax thresholds are constantly changing with the latest addition being the Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB). These thresholds change each year and can also be amended by the Government, so keeping a handle on your Inheritance Tax liability is very important.
Estate planning provides you with a viable way to prepare your finances, ensure your assets are protected as well as helping you avoid or reduce the amount of inheritance tax you will pay.
As well as finances, estate planning also allows you to set out your wishes regarding your funeral and create a clear outline of how you want your estate and assets to be managed following your death.
Planning in good time will make it much easier for your loved ones to arrange your affairs accordingly, as well as adding a layer of protection against any unexpected impacts of inheritance tax.
What should you consider when estate planning?
Where do you want your money to go?
Many people come to us with a clear idea of where and who they want their money and assets to go to after they die. But, it is also okay if you’re not sure. We can help you weigh up all your options and ensure your money goes to the people you want to, and is used for the right reasons. Reasons could include for future property investments, university fees, or child support.
How do you want to give your money away?
There are different ways to give away money, and each way has its own advantages. You could decide to give your money away as gifts while you are still alive. Giving money away as gifts could help you reduce your inheritance tax but there are different limits on how much you can give away as a cash gift each year, depending on who you give it to and how much.
An alternative way to give your money away would be to set up a Trust. Trusts can be set up for someone to use at any time in their life, and are commonly used for people who are too young to be financially independent.
We’ll talk you through all the options you have to give your money away, which will benefit you and your family the most.
What do you want to happen to your property/properties?
Planning who your property will be passed onto is an important part of estate planning and requires careful consideration. It is vital to consider if there is an outstanding mortgage to pay on your property, as this could greatly affect who your property should be passed on to.
Any properties, land or buildings that are located in the UK can be assigned to a beneficiary in your will. If you choose to pass a property to a spouse or partner when you die there is no inheritance tax on this. Whereas if you leave a property to another person in your will, the property counts towards the value of your estate.
The Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB)
The residence nil rate band is an allowance which was introduced in 2017. The allowance is for passing on a family home without paying inheritance tax. The rules can be complex, with limits on how you can pass on your family home meaning it is best to speak to a financial advisor as you may need to review your will to benefit from this.
Any other assets
Asides from property and money, it is important to put together an in depth list of all your assets and where you want them to go so that they are protected. This includes:
Your possession such as cars, technology, jewellery
Your pension fund
Any savings or building societies
Why get estate planning advice at Oakworth?
As can be seen from our brief overview, there is a lot to consider when estate planning. Making these smart and well thought out decisions early, about how you want to leave your estate, can ultimately ensure less of a financial burden on your loved ones in the future and long term.
We can look at the options for you and help your family get the most from your legacy.
Please contact us should you wish to explore our estate planning service.