Tag Archives: estate planning

Save for retirement? Ah, I can do that later!

Investment Myth 1 : Saving for retirement? Ah, I can do that later!

In early stages of our career, retirement planning  like writing a will is probably the furthest thing from our thoughts. We try to channel our earnings to acquire latest gadgets, buy a smart car, get the largest mortgage our income would support, go on exotic holidays more than once a year. Saving for retirement is something that is rather low priority for most. While acquiring lifestyle items are important, it is also important for us to take necessary action to preserve our lifestyle post retirement.

It’s never too early to plan for retirement. On the contrary, the earlier you begin, the easier the task will be. Here is a mathematical fact, for every 5 years you up off starting to save your retirement, you reduce the income you could get by fifty percent in fancy terms known as the time value of money.

When you start early, the amount of investment required to build a substantial retirement savings pot is smaller than the amount required to make the same kitty if you delay retirement planning. Our earlier article, Retirement Planning – Start now, Save more, Retire rich, explains why starting early with your retirement planning is advantageous for you.  Although such opportunites get rarer by the day, if there is an employer provided scheme available to you, join it.  I came across a painful example just over a year ago, this lady who had worked for the same employer since she left school, but never joined the pension scheme because like young folk she was always of the feeling Ill not be here for very long, and in any event, theres no need to start thinking of retirement just now. If this lovely lady had joined the pension scheme at the earliest possible time, the could have got a retirement income of £6,000 a year, index linked, for the rest of her life she was only 50 years old.  All that free money wasted.

How do I secure our family heirlooms?

Heirloom & Last Will and Testament

Subject: Family Heirloom

Question: My father passed away in Sept2010.  He was remarried to his 3rd wife.  I have checked with the county court house where he lived at the time of his death to obtain a copy of his last will and testament.  I was informed that he had a joint will that was filed with Lancaster county but that I can not obtain a copy of it since his current wife does not have to probate a joint will.  Prior to his death he had promised certain family heirlooms to be returned to myself and my brother (his only biological children).

Advice to the living where possible, give with warm hands

My step-mother refuses to release these items to myself or my brother.  Can I contest his will since it is a joint will.  I do not want anything other than the items that were promised to me.  These are items that have been in our family for many years and are of no value to my step-mother or her children.  I am afraid that they will be sold at a flea market or yard sale 7/or given away to some else.  How can I protect my familys heirloom & make sure what my Dads wishes were in his will?

Subject: Family Heirloom

From my understanding, the best you can hope for is to appeal to your stepmothers sense of decency by asking her to give them to you or her sense of greed by offering to buy them from her. To put it bluntly, the promise the deceased made does not count for anything it is the wishes expressed in his last will and testament that count. It is very likely that he left everything to my wife.

There little merit in contesting the will in th light of what you wish to acheive in the event your action was successful, the cost [of legal advice] would have been considerable perhaps you could speak to a local lawyer regarding an estimate of costs with a view to assessing your willingness to shell out that much cash.

My advice always is, where possible, to give with warm hands reducing the chance of dispute on death of the gift giver.  Or at least write a will that makes the specific gifts and make all interested parties aware of th provisions of the will.

Im sorry I do not see a great deal of light at the end of this tunnel.
Good luck.

Lasting Power of Attorney, Last Will Testaments Poor Cousin

The idea of a Last Will and Testament is one with which most people are familiar, and they

Who can tell the future, Inheritance Planning helps cope with unpredictabilty

plan to get round to it eventually. The Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) how ever is something of which most folk are unaware, at least a bit less than they do the will.

The lasting power of attorney is a powerfull, suite of documents,  one of the 5 stands of the estate planning process that when needed is often worth its weight in gold.  Just as the last will and test will and testment is a road map to the courts expressing your testamentary wishes in clear and simple terms the key point here is that it refers to the distribution of your property after your death.

The lasting power of attorney refers to the management of your affairs, health, money, welfare in the event that you are unable or unwilling to manage those aspects of your life this would be especially relevant if you succumbed to such illnesses of old age such as senile dementia or Alzheimers Disease.

Some people baulk at the cost of the lasting power of attorney, at Maximum Inheritance, we tend to offer it to our clients during the will writing consultantion, as much of the work has already been done, the additional charge we make for producing and certifying the paperwork is minimal.  Our main function would be to act as certificate providers, and thus ensure that when the documents are submitted to the Office of the Public Guardian, they are certain to be admitted. We are justifiably proud of our 100% acceptance record by the office of the public guardian. We advice on the selection of suitable attorneys and the conditions  and limits of their powers and rarely their compensation.

There is additionally a fee to be paid upon regisration the general advice to our clients [of course depending on their circumstances] would be to hold off registration till the powers were required.

Discretionary Trusts Trustees

A: In most cases Executors to the will are also appointed as Trustees. Even if separate Trustees are appointed, the same considerations for the appointment of Executors apply to the appointment of Trustees.

Trustees Duties Require Training & Experience.

The Discretionary trust is a rare breed, the name is descriptive the trustees have a primary duty to act in the best interest of the beneficiary, but they have discretion over how the trust is administered. This discretionary element confers a serious responsibilty on the testator to be care full in the appointments. Like with wills, a good proportion of trust questions to us on these pages and disputes that end up in the law courts because the wrong persons were appointed as trustees.  Like executors to a will most people appoint trustee on the basis of making them feel valued or important there are several vehicles for demonstrating the high esttem in which you hold your friends and family, but unfortunatley, this is not one of them.

There must be at least 2 Trustees where any beneficiary is an infant or land is involved.

Ideal Trustees (if you are married) would be your spouse,and a third party. It would also be wise to appoint an Independent Professional Trustee. As well as helping administer the Trust, professional trustees can advise on the best ways of minimising further taxes and preserving wealth for future generations. They can also advise beneficiaries on additional tax planning opportunities and give impartial advice to the other trustees.

A decent inheritance planner would be able to give a free initial consultation on the establishment and setting and management of trusts, and as they only kick on some specified event some distance in the future the costs are often marginal compared to the inherent risks of not having one.

Last Will and Testament Unsigned

Last Will and Testament Not signed

My uncle has left a will with his wishes that he had made through a will writing service but when the sent the last will and testament papers to him he was supposed to sign and return them  to hold until his death unfortunately he never signed ithem how do we follow his wishes now as i now it will just be divided between his brothers and sisters as he was never married but this is not what he wanted it is supposed to go to nieces and nephew as well as bothers and sisters

Answer: Dear Vicky,

I am sorry to hear of the circumstances in which you find yourself.

For Want of a Signature, the Will is Invalid

I would answer this on the assumption that you live within England and Wales. You appear to understand that your uncle died without leaving a valid last will and testament, he died intestate as an unsigned will is not valid. You say he never married but not if he had no children [I shall work on the basis that he had no children].

The age at which your uncle died [as well as those of his brothers and sisters] on the one hand, and the value of your late uncles estate are important points in the resolution of this issue.  Also important would be the extent to which your surviving uncles and aunts were supportive in caring out your late uncles wishes as outlined in the unsigned will.

If there was agreement in the family then it would be a relatively simple matter to resolve this notwithstanding, it might be in their interests to take advice on giving up what at first glance appears to be their share of their brothers wealth.

If you wanted legal assistance in how to go about the resolution please contact me.

My condolences on the death of your uncle.

Wills to Avoid Care Home Fees

One of the several beauties of the internet is its use as an invaluable source of information, its inherent speed means there is almost a real time dialouge between estate planning service providers and their masters their customers and potential customers.

The information provided by search queries provides

Wills & The Home Protection Plan keep your assets in the family for generations.

a nimbleness to those entities that are fortunate to possess it to react to their customers sentiments and fashion their offerings accordingly afterall the customer is boss.

A qualitative interogation of enquiries reavels the there are many folk who are interested in  wills to avoid care home fees.  Indeed, Alice our office manager recalls speaking to a couple of people seeking to avoid wasting their familys inheritance by paying care home fees.

While the concept of making a will is closley related to that of preventing hangers on such as the local council in league with the state from stealing our familys inheritance, by undertaking care home fees planning, the 2 are distinct phases of the estate planning process.

We, like our clients who are always right, believe the current care home fees regime is at best unfair, and in fact was the work of the devil as it penalises hard work and thrift.  Home owners say, with every justification, there is no incentive for anyone to not to be a spend thrift, afterall, the fruit of one blood; toil; sweat and tears would only be stolen  in the autumn ones life.  One a more topical point, Ive just spoken this morning to a lady who is particularly vexed that her teenage grandchildren of whom there are four are expected to start their working lives with debts of about £50,000 by paying the full value of their tuition fees.

In brief, care home fees planning ensures there are assets to be distributed by a will, both 2 of the pillars of the estate planning process designed to keep wealth in your family for generations.