15 October 2012

Should I ... Plan Where my Assets go on my Death?

It's easy enough to focus on what to spend your money on here and now, but not so easy to invest it for your future spending. And it's even less easy to make plans for what will happen when you die.
That's what Estate Planning is about. And it's an important area since the numbers involved can be pretty big. Saving a five-figure sum in Inheritance Tax (and passing it to family instead!) is not unusual.
So what do you need to do? A starting point could be a quick audit of the likely value of your estate. Your house is normally the largest asset. After that you need to be clear what you want to happen with your assets. Who would you like to benefit? A Will is the first step there. Of course, if you are married, then the considerations will be different.
Beyond that, an assessment of your likely Inheritance Tax liability is essential. There are approaches you can take which will help make sure that you pay as little as possible. But that does require some idea of your plans and expectations for the rest of your life - are you expecting to need residential care, for example? (OK, that may require guesswork rather than planning).
All in all, it's worth not leaving it too late in life. Some Inheritance Tax strategies take 7 years to work. Apart from that, it's good to know that if the worst should happen, you have done everything you need to.

More info and an Inheritance Tax video at Prime Time Financial's website

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