March 2, 2020

What is Estate Planning?

What is the objective of Estate Planning?

Estate Planning is the term given to the process in which we can protect, preserve and pass on our wealth.

When we refer to 'wealth' we are often talking about relatively modest sums, but it's money and assets we've worked hard to build during our lifetime. It's often an inheritance we have received too.

 

When we decide to write our Will, we can be daunted by the prospect and because it's not an everyday event, we often don't know what to expect.

This article is designed to explain parts of the estate planning process simply, and so that you know what happens when meeting with a Will Writer or Solicitor.

When meeting with a Fortis Consultant (also known as an adviser) they have a duty of care to listen to you. They will ask questions about your estate, the assets you have and what you'd like to do with them. Having listened to you, they will be in a position to advise you on a course of action that will enable you to put plans into place.

What they are ultimately doing is providing you with peace of mind in knowing that should something happen to you (touch wood it doesn't) that your assets, money, or effects will pass to the people that you care about.

Loosely, the discussions will be centred around how it is best to transfer assets to the people you love and care about. This might involve discussions about trusts (a way of ring-fencing and protecting assets). It might also mean discussions about when you would like them to inherit. Often people are concerned that if someone were to gain an inheritance whilst still young, they might not have the emotional or financial maturity to be able to manage these assets and are worried that they might be squandered. The planning we undertake is part of a carefully considered plan to help you preserve, protect and pass on your assets in a logical and practical way. This often can't be done with a simple or basic Will, but we don't rule it out.

Here at Fortis Law, we have never heard anyone say that they would like to pay more tax and many of us feel that we have paid enough tax during our lifetime (on average £840,000 with an average household income of £40,000). Estate planning often centres around tax mitigation. This means understanding what tax our estate might be liable for and to create an effective solution to mitigate this. Often this would be done using legal strategies and reliefs. Again, our consultants can support with this sort of planning.

Not all of the planning we do at Fortis Law is about what happens after we've gone. We do a lot of life-time planning using trusts and with documents like the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). This is an affordable and effective way of ensuring that we don't cause additional heartache or stress for our loved ones. With an LPA, we like to consider it like an insurance policy. We hope we never need it, but it's nice to know it is there should it be needed.

A lot of the work that Fortis undertakes is about supporting the family after someone has passed away and helping them to navigate the probate process, to ensure they receive as much of their inheritance as possible and in a timely fashion.

At Fortis, we work to 5 core principles all centred around the customer. We have a duty of care to provide the best advice for our clients and we're certainly not a 'Will Factory'. Additionally, we will never 'sell' you something we don't believe you need and rely on feedback about your experience with us.

The team at Fortis Law regularly undertake training and we employ someone specifically to keep the knowledge of our team members up to date. Every single member of our team is on a development plan and is constantly being upskilled so you can be sure you're dealing with the right organisation.

If you would like affordable tailored estate planning and would like to ensure your wealth (no matter how small) is protected, preserved and passed onto your family and loved ones the Fortis Law is here to help.

It starts with a simple conversation. We offer a transparent no-obligation service and explain things carefully and clearly ensuring you have answers to your questions.

Call us today to book an appointment - 03335 775 393.

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