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Planning For Later Life

We all want to enjoy our later years with as much comfort and freedom as possible. But that can involve some difficult decisions for you and your family. Our legal and financial experts can help you plan ahead so you have the peace of mind to focus on what matters most to you.

It’s important to decide what will happen to your estate and to choose someone to make decisions for you if you lose mental capacity. Prepare for your future now and you can ensure that your needs are met, your wishes are respected, and your legacy is protected.

Our dedicated team of later life planning specialists can help you make sure that your estate is legally and financially secure. We’ll advise on managing your assets as efficiently as possible, both now and when you pass it on to the next generation.

We have the largest team of later life legal experts in the country, with more experience than you’ll find at any other law firm. And with offices all over the country, we’re here for you wherever you need us.

Our later life team can advise you and your family on:

We also offer fixed-fee advice on a range of specific elements of later life planning to help you start– see our Later Life Packages page for more information.

The best time to start planning for the future is today. Call us today on 0370 1500 100 or contact us online to find out more about how we can help.

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UK's largest team of later life planning experts
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Planning For Later Life - More Information
    • What Is A Trust?
    • A trust is a legal arrangement that manages money or assets for the benefit of specific people. When you set up a trust, you decide who will be in charge of the trust (the trustees) and who will benefit from it (the beneficiaries).

      Assets can still generate income once they have been placed in a trust. Properties can still charge rent, shares still collect dividends, and money can still generate interest. This income can either stay in the trust or be paid to beneficiaries.

      Assets may increase or decrease in value while in a trust – it is the trustees’ responsibility to manage this in the beneficiaries’ best interest.

      As such, trusts do sometimes have to pay tax. However, it can be more tax-efficient to put assets in a trust and receive income as a beneficiary than it is to receive the income directly.

    • What Is Inheritance Tax (IHT)?
    • Inheritance Tax (IHT) is a tax on the value of the assets that you own – your estate - when you die.

      If you have a life interest or right to income in certain types of trusts, IHT can sometimes apply to these trusts’ assets as well. It can also be charged on any gifts to a trust that you’ve made in your lifetime.

      IHT is taken from your estate before any assets are distributed between your successors. In some cases, certain assets might have to be sold to pay the tax.

      There are a number of reliefs and allowances that reduce the amount of IHT that your estate must pay. For example, assets that you leave to a spouse or partner are exempt from IHT.

      We can help you make the most of these reliefs and allowances and ensure that your successors can benefit from as much of your estate as possible. Contact us online to find out more.

    • What Happens If I Don’t Plan For Care Home Fees?
    • Unless you become very ill, it’s likely you’ll have to pay for most or even all of your care home costs. If you don’t plan for possible fees you can’t be sure how your estate will be affected in the future.

      Some of the consequences might be:

      • You have to sell your home to pay for fees
      • Your loved ones won’t get the inheritance you wanted to give them
      • You can’t take advantage of state support you should be eligible for.

      We can help you plan now so that both you and your loved ones are looked after for the future. Call today on 0370 1500 100, or use our online form and we’ll call you back.

    • What Should I Think About When Making My Will?
    • Everyone’s circumstances are different, but some of the things to consider when making a Will are:

      • The value of your estate – inheritance tax (IHT) is generally due on anything over the £325,000 threshold (£650,000 for married couples and civil partners) once mortgage and other debts are deducted
      • A new IHT allowance of £125,000 may apply if you own a property and leave some of your estate to relatives like children and grandchildren.
      • How you own your assets – if you co-own property with your spouse, the type of tenancy you have will affect whether or not they can continue to live there after your death
      • Who you want to leave your assets to (i.e. your beneficiaries)
      • Who you would like to be the executors of your estate
      • Whether some assets would be best placed in a trust for asset protection purposes.

      These are important decisions to make and you should seek legal advice to make sure your estate is structured in the best way for you and your beneficiaries.

      Read through our Wills Checklist to see if you’ve got everything covered.

    • Why Should I Make A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?
    • If you don’t have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place it may be hard for your loved ones to know what to do if something happens to you, or you lose capacity.

      Without knowing your wishes, they may find it difficult to manage your affairs and property, and they might not know what medical treatment you do or don’t want.

      They might have to apply to the Court of Protection for a deputyship order so that they can take charge of your finances and make decisions on your behalf about the care you receive.

      This can be expensive and time-consuming, and everyone might not agree about who should have control and what decisions should be made.

      By making an LPA now, you can prepare for the future and make sure your wishes are respected.

Irwin Mitchell are a very professional, trustworthy and straightforward company to deal with. I would recommend them to anyone."

Frank Clayton, client

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Estate Planning?

Estate planning is essential to make sure your wealth is structured as efficiently as possible.

We can help you:

  • Avoid paying unnecessary amounts of tax on your collective assets, or leaving your loved ones with a large tax bill after your death
  • Protect assets from divorce or financial difficulties
  • Make sure you have enough money once you stop working
  • Choose the right person to administer your estate
  • Appoint trustees to manage a trust you’ve set up for your children or other dependants – we can also act as trustees

Our solicitors and tax specialists will work with you to make sure your estate is structured in the best way to provide for your loved ones and give you peace of mind for the future.

Find out more on our Estate Planning page.

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When Do You Need To Review Your Will?

Having an up-to-date Will is essential to make sure your plans for your estate reflect your current situation and include everyone you want to include.

Its good practice to recheck your Will every five years, especially to make sure it takes into account any changes in tax regulations that might affect you.

You should also review your Will following major life changes, for example if:

  • You get married or divorced
  • Any of your beneficiaries get married or die
  • New children or grandchildren are born who you want to inherit
  • There’s a significant change in your financial circumstances
  • You come into any inheritance – this could change the value of your estate and the Inheritance Tax payable

With our Wills Assured service, standard updates are free – so you don’t have to worry about paying extra fees to keep your Will fit for purpose. Find out more.

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What Powers Does An Attorney Have?

An attorney only has the powers they are specifically granted in the terms of the LPA. It’s very important to word an LPA so that the attorney doesn’t have free reign, but so they are also able to make the decisions necessary to protect your best interests.

Depending on the terms of the LPA, an attorney might be able to:

  • Make investments
  • Make small gifts
  • Specify medical treatment.

For anything outside the terms of the LPA, they’ll need to apply to the Court of Protection, which looks after the affairs of vulnerable people who don’t have capacity to do it themselves.

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