enter site Planning your finances in advance should help you ensure that when you die, everything you own goes where you want it to. Making a Will is the first step in ensuring that your estate is shared out exactly as you want it to be.

If there’s no valid Will

When you die, your estate has to be distributed one way or another. If you have a Will, your executors have to gain a Grant of Probate in England and Wales or Northern Ireland (a Grant of Confirmation in Scotland). If there’s no valid Will, or the named executors in the Will are unwilling or unable to carry out their duties, a Grant of Letters of Administration is needed. This is known as ‘dying intestate’.

Helping you control and protect your assets

One of the most effective ways you can manage your estate planning is through setting up a trust. The structures into which you can transfer your assets can have lasting consequences for you and your family, so it is important that you obtain professional advice, as the right structures can protect assets and give your family lasting benefits.

Different trust solutions to managing your wealth

We can advise you on a range of different trust solutions, each designed with a particular purpose in mind. Some types of trust are treated differently for Inheritance Tax purposes.

Funding a potential Inheritance Tax liability

After taking the appropriate steps to put in place an Inheritance Tax planning strategy, if there is still the potential likelihood of a liability on your estate, or if you have made gifts which have created a potential liability for the recipients if you die within seven years, we can help you review how you could fund this liability in the most efficient way.

Your questions answered

Most people now have more options when it comes to their retirement choices. But generally they’ll still want their pension income to last their lifetime – so careful planning is a must.

Three quarters of UK adults struggle to picture themselves in retirement

UK adults have an average eight-year blind spot when it comes to financial planning – and can only see themselves in the future as far ahead as 2023, new research from long-term savings and investment specialist Standard Life reveals.

Savers positive about pension reforms but concerned about scams

The new pensions freedom rules giving far greater flexibility over what you can do with your pension pot came into force on 6 April 2015.

Why people are applying a rule of thumb when it comes to their retirement

According to new research conducted by YouGov and Old Mutual Wealth, nearly half (48%) of those approaching retirement (aged 55-64) do not know how long their pension income will last. With pension providers reporting demand for flexible withdrawals, there is a significant danger that pension funds could run dry if people do not plan carefully or take professional financial advice.

On 6 April this year, ‘pensions freedom day’, the pension landscape changed forever. From this date for the first time ever, individuals were given complete control over all the money in their ‘defined contribution’ retirement savings plans, whether large or small.

Small gifts that don’t create an Inheritance Tax liability

HM Revenue & Customs allows you to make a number of small gifts each year without creating an Inheritance Tax liability. Remember, each person has their own allowance, so the amount can be doubled if each spouse or registered civil partner uses their allowances. You can also make larger gifts, but these are known as ‘Potentially Exempt Transfers’ (PETs), and you could have to pay IHT on their value if you die within seven years of making them.

Assets that pass on free of Inheritance Tax

Inheritance Tax reliefs allow some assets to be passed on free of IHT or with a reduced bill.

Reducing an Inheritance Tax – it’s good to give

A n estate can pay Inheritance Tax at a reduced rate of 36% on some assets (instead of 40%) if 10% or more of the ‘net value’ of their estate is left to charity.

What happens when someone dies?

When someone living abroad dies, the rules for paying Inheritance Tax usually depend on:

Keeping track of your retirement savings

Over the course of your working life, the chances are you’ll change jobs a few times, picking up different pension pots along the way.