Posted on 14.12.15 by Tasoula Addison
Britons are a generous bunch! Of course, we all knew that anyway, but this Christmas shoppers are expected to splash out between £300 and £500 on presents according to two separate studies. This amount is far greater than our European neighbours intend to spend and almost double the next most generous nation, France.
With much of the nation spending large amounts of money this Christmas, why not use it on an ultimate gift that treats all the family and will help your loved ones immensely in the future? It is also something that will be on almost every adult and parents’ to-do list, but often gets put back to do another day. This Christmas is the time to Act On It. Planning for your future and putting your affairs in order will give you peace of mind for years to come knowing you’ve done all you can to plan wisely…furthermore you’ll have plenty of spare change if you plan to splash out this Christmas!
Why do I need a Will?
This is a question you may ask yourself. You may think making a Will is a job left to the more elderly members of our population, but this really is a view that needs to be altered. A Will is an essential document for so many people, especially if:
- You have children or grandchildren
- You own a house or another property
- You are married or getting remarried
- You are divorced
- You have a complicated family situation, e.g. involving step-children, second marriages etc
Planning fully for the unexpected is an impossible task, but there are certain steps you can take to make your future and the future of those you care for most, much easier to manage and much cheaper should something unforeseen happen in the future. Although it’s a thought no-one likes to dwell on too much, it is highly relevant as accidents can happen to absolutely everyone and not just the elderly.
According to one of the surveys, Italians are the most likely to ‘self-gift’; perhaps the 65% of UK adults who haven’t got a Will should take a leaf out of their book and give themselves a true gift this Christmas.
Housekeeping and Financial Affairs
Using this Christmas as an impetus to get your affairs in good order is a very smart and wise move. An estate plan enables you to structure your financial affairs. Making an estate plan will give you a fresh start with your financial housekeeping and really will take a huge weight off your shoulders: once accomplished you will then be able to relax during the festive period and enjoy with full knowledge that you’ve taken a few necessary steps to help you become financially efficient.
Passing away without a Will, known as dying ‘intestate’, means your whole estate (meaning everything you own at the date of your death) is shared out according to the rules of intestacy, as set out by the law, and not by your wishes and desires.
When you come to plan a Will, it’s best to sit down and analyse all of your assets, such as your home, car, investments, savings, pensions and possessions. Doing this will help you greatly when it comes to assessing your inheritance tax exposure, potentially helping you to save a large amount in the future. It can also help to clarify what you want to leave to who.
You may have taken out a life insurance policy to help your family when you’re not around, but if this policy isn’t written into a trust in your Will, the lump sum will fall within your estate and therefore the inheritance tax rules – potentially creating a big bill for your family that could easily have been avoided.
With Christmas fast approaching now is the time to act. To have a chat with one of our highly trained and experienced solicitors, give us a call on 0343 507 5151. When you use a professional, the whole process is made easy, efficient and is completed to the highest standards.