We all take the time to do those regular checks and tasks to ensure we protect, maintain, and improve ourselves and our personal property. It might be a trip to the dentist, a hair or nail salon, getting the car serviced, or maybe making sure we get the best value from our insurance or utilities providers.
When was the last time you reviewed Will and Estate Planning or discussed it with your loved ones?
Last week? Last month? Last year? Never? If you fall into the last category, you are not alone. According to research from Unbiased.co.uk, over 60% of UK adults don’t have a Will. We live in a time where more surplus wealth than ever before can be passed on to our beneficiaries when we die, yet an estimated 31 million UK adults run the risk of dying Intestate. Effectively, that means the Government will appoint someone to decide who gets what, in what priority, and the share of your wealth each will receive.
Over 60% of UK adults don’t have a Will.
Redwood Wills & Trusts have created the ultimate Estate Planning & Will checklist because we are passionate about helping people grow, protect and enjoy their wealth now and for future generations to come.
How can I get my FREE Redwood Estate Planning Health Check Report?
Understanding true Estate Planning is a critical part of your Estate Planning journey. So to work in conjunction with our Estate Planning checklist, we have developed a Free short and punchy Webinar designed to give you the knowledge you will need to make informed choices about your Estate Plan.
When you register to watch our FREE Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning Webinar, we’ll send you the link to access your FREE Redwood Estate Planning Health Check Report checklist.
To maximise the benefit to you we always recommend that you complete the checklist prior to attending the webinar or as soon as possible afterward.
Watch our Free Estate Planning Webinar to receive your Estate Planning Checklist.
Who is the Redwood Estate Planning Health Check Report for?
Our free Estate Planning checklist is a ‘must have’ for anyone who:
- Is passionate about providing for their loved ones when they have passed
- Has an outdated, invalid Will, or no Will at all!
- Has minor children under the age of 18 with no named Guardians
- Has unregistered or no Financial Power of Attorney or Health & Welfare Power of Attorney
- Has a ‘Secret Will’: privately drafted and never shared with your family and beneficiaries
- Is named as a beneficiary or Executor of someone’s Will
- Has no idea if their adult children or even their own parents have a Will, Estate Plan, or a Power of Attorney in place
- Is providing later-life care for their parents or a loved one, or is concerned about funding their own potential future care needs
- Wants to know how to have great open and honest conversations about their Last Will and Testament and end-of-life wealth distribution with their family members
- Is interested in improving family relationships today
- Recognises that the emotional stress and anguish for your loved ones caused upon your death can be significantly reduced by helping them to understand in life what your wishes are in death
- Is committed to teaching their children how to manage their wealth and live a purposeful life
What should be included in Estate Planning?
1. Last Will and Testament
At the very basic level, having a Last Will and Testament drafted, witnessed, and signed is the cornerstone of your Estate Plan and one of the most important documents you will ever own. It ensures that your wishes around your wealth and assets are legally documented to be followed upon your death. It can also dictate who should be the guardian of any minor children should both parents pass.
2. Lasting Power of Attorney
Appointing someone to be your Health & Wellbeing Power of Attorney and your Financial Power of Attorney ensures that someone you trust, such as family members, can act on your behalf to make decisions when you are unable to make them yourself. For example, you may appoint a family member to look after your finances, allowing them to sell assets or property, access your bank accounts, and pay your credit cards and household bills. Maybe they can make decisions on your behalf about medical treatment, long-term health care, or medical care.
3. Protect Will & Trusts
A larger and more complex Estate Plan will benefit significantly from a Protective Will. A Basic Will cannot do much more than detail your wishes. It will not protect you against factors that can erode the value of your Estate, like Inheritance Tax, Long-Term-Care Fees, Divorce, and Relationship Breakdowns.
The solution is Protective Wills which carve the right types of Trusts through them, bespoke to achieving your Estate Planning goals. Trusts can be used to legitimately mitigate an estate tax known as Inheritance Tax and to protect against unpredictable erosion of your wealth and assets.
You can appoint trusted family members or friends to act as the Trustees of your Trust upon your death. You can also create a Living Trust that is active when you are still alive.
Click here to learn more about the many and varied Trusts available that can be included in your Estate Plan.
4. Inheritance Tax Planning
Having worked and paid taxes their whole life, many people understandably struggle with the idea of seeing 40% of their wealth go to the taxman when they die.
Many believe their estate value won’t take them over the Inheritance Tax threshold. However, with allowances frozen at the levels set in 2009 until at least the next general election, it is becoming increasingly likely that more and more people will tip into this banding.
With effective Estate Planning, Inheritance Tax can be mitigated altogether or minimised to a fair and reasonable amount.
5. Care Fee Planning
Care Fee Planning is not just about making sure you have a clear plan of how you could fund your care later in life, but it is also about taking proactive steps to protect some of your assets before care is foreseeable or on the horizon. This is so the local authority pays a fair share in your care costs, allowing your wealth to last longer and hopefully still enabling you to provide some inheritance for your loved ones.
A great Estate Plan uses Trusts to ensure that excessive contributions to your long-term care do not erode your hard-earned wealth.
6. Secure Storage
Having invested your time and money into creating the very best Estate Plan, keeping your valuable Estate Planning documents stored in a safe and secure place is very important. However, the costs involved in replacing them if they get damaged or lost could be considerable!
At Redwood, we offer a Secure Document Storage Service to keep all your Estate Planning documents together in one secure location giving you peace of mind.
7. Ongoing Review
A well-drafted Will and Estate Plan should ensure that the vast majority of future life changes have been predicted and allowed for through crafting the Will. However, it is always a good idea to review your Will periodically to ensure it still does what you originally intended it to do.
The key triggers to start a Will Review are:
- You remarry. Marriage revokes a Will in England and Wales (excludes Scotland)
- You get divorced. A divorce will not revoke a Will in England and Wales (excludes Scotland), although it excludes a spouse or civil partner from any clauses related to them
- A Beneficiary or Executor named in the Will has died or needs changing
- You want to change who receives what or add an additional legacy
- Additional children, grandchildren, or stepchildren have come into the family
- Your Will has already been amended with a Codicil. This can mean that your wishes have become unclear or could be misinterpreted by the volume and complexity of the changes made
At Redwood, we will always remind our Clients each year to talk to us if there have been any significant changes in their’s or their immediate family’s circumstances that could affect the Estate Planning they have in place.
How do I prepare an Estate Planning document?
Arm yourself with knowledge! Estate Planning can be a complex topic, and we would always recommend educating yourselves about the risks and opportunities before you embark on your Estate Plan journey.
- Understand your current Estate Plan preparedness. Until you know where you are, you won’t know where to need to get to! Our Estate Planning checklist is free when you register to watch our Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning Webinar or Business Owner Estate Planning Webinar.
- Decide what you want your Estate Planning goals to be: why are you putting a plan in place?
- Create a list of the property, wealth, and assets to be covered in your Estate Plan. Make sure you include any Pensions or Life Insurance Policies you may have in place
- Decide who you want to be your beneficiaries and what you want them to receive
- If you have minor children, decide who should look after them if either parent can’t.
- If you want to provide for any family members or loved ones who need medical treatment, health care, or medical care now or in the future, write them down
- List any pets you may want to provide for: who should have them if you are not here?
- Decide if you have any charities you would like to be named as beneficiaries in your Will
- Identify people you would like to appoint as Power of Attorney should you become incapacitated
- Find any existing Wills, Trusts, or Estate Planning documentation you already have in place. It Should be reviewed as part of any new Estate Plan
- Talk to an expert! Professional Estate Planning Service providers like Redwood will help and guide you through creating your Estate Plan, the most tax-efficient way to set up your plan, and how best to protect your Estate from Long-Term-Care Fees, Divorce, and Relationship Breakdowns. We can also help you put the right Lasting Power of Attorney and Life Insurance Policy in place.
We are delighted to offer a Complimentary Will Review Meeting that provides an opportunity for you to have your Will and any other existing Estate Planning documents comprehensively reviewed by one of our expert Advisers.
How much should basic Estate Planning cost?
Treating our Clients fairly is at the heart of everything we do, and our Fee Structure is no different.
We always charge fixed fees for our services, as we believe it is the only fair and unbiased way to deliver the best advice and service.
We do not like to work on a commission basis or charge hourly rates, as we believe you should always know the full and final costs before you decide to proceed with any planning.
Giving you the knowledge
We don’t believe you should pay for something until you feel fully informed about it. That’s why we offer a broad range of free educational tools to help you understand more about the options available to you and the risks and consequences of not putting effective Estate Planning in place. These tools include:
- Free Public Information Webinars
- Complimentary Will Review Meetings
- Information Videos
- Regular Blog Articles
- Comprehensive Website Content
Our Fee Structure
The fees we charge are based on the complexity of your specific requirements and are not variable by the value of the Estate we are helping you with.
An Initial Meeting with us is a fixed fee of £90 inc. VAT. This Meeting is all about you and your personal needs. We will also review any existing planning for you to ensure that what you have still meets your current and future needs.
From this Meeting, you can choose to continue with your planning with us or not. Our fee structure will be explained at your Initial Meeting so you can make an informed decision about progressing.