At Watson Buckle, we are used to helping clients to make the most of their money during their lifetime, but many people will have concerns about what happens to their finances when they are no longer able to look after their own affairs, perhaps due to incapacity or death.
To help our clients with this difficult subject, we can offer a ‘one stop’ wealth management advice and estate legacy service, to help ensure your affairs can be looked after as quickly and painlessly as possible, at what can be a very difficult time for your loved ones.
We can also offer help with such delicate issues as long-term care planning, children’s trusts and pre-nuptial agreements.
Since such matters will often include legal as well as financial considerations, we would be happy to recommend a law firm who can advise you further on the legal aspects.
We can offer help and support in the following areas:
- Will writing (UK and abroad)
- Planning for long-term care
- Inheritance tax planning and mitigation
- Lasting powers of attorney
- Conveyancing (UK and abroad)
- Personal and corporate insolvency
- Professional executor and trustee services
- Personal injury trust
- Children’s trust
- Applications to the Court of Protection
- Will disputes
- Claims under the Inheritance Act
- Pre-nuptial Agreements
- Shareholder and LLP Agreements
- Director’s Service Agreements and Contracts of Employment
All adults should have a will in order to ensure that the desired people benefit upon their death. A will can also determine who deals with the administration of the deceased’s estate, provide for funeral arrangements and ensure the well-being of any children by appointing a guardian. Those living abroad need two wills – one for any assets in Britain and one covering their property where they live – again we can advise on a legal provider for this.
Long-term care is the provision of personal and nursing care for people who are unable to look after themselves without assistance, either in their own home or in residential accommodation. Costs can be high, and anyone with assets above £23,000 will not receive state financial assistance towards care home fees. However, we can advise on a number of insurance and investment plans which are designed to pay out if the holder finds themselves needing care.
Careful will drafting and use of lifetime gifts can deliver significant Inheritance Tax (IHT) savings, although other tax traps do exist, so any changes to a will or gifts should be made with care. We can offer expert advice on the IHT implications of an individual’s financial arrangements, and help limit the amount of tax that will become payable.
We are able to commend a legal firm to advise on the need for and preparation of lasting powers of attorney for both financial and welfare reasons. They can also advise on the attorney’s powers and responsibilities under Enduring Powers of Attorney created before October 2007 and, where necessary, the registration of these at the Court of Protection.
We are happy to recommend a legal provider who offers a full conveyancing service for buyers and sellers of property, including house and flat sales, re-mortgages, buy-to-let investments, transfers of equity, deeds of trust and matrimonial transfers.
The term probate refers to the legal process where a deceased’s assets are collected together and distributed to the beneficiaries of their estate, subject to any legal and fiscal restrictions. We can advocate a legal firm to advise on the terms of the will (or entitlement where there is no will), obtain asset and liability details, deal with Inland Revenue forms and queries, and arrange for payment of Inheritance Tax.
We can advise on taking or defending insolvency proceedings for businesses and individual clients, including pre-action collection, interim relief applications, court proceedings, enforcements steps and bankruptcy.
We can act as executors in an individual’s will, providing peace of mind that the execution will be handled in a professional and sympathetic manner. Where a trust is required, Watson Buckle can advise on the various options available and act as trustees while the legal firm can prepare the necessary deed.
Anyone in receipt of means-tested benefits who is expecting to receive compensation for a personal injury should give serious consideration to a Personal Injury Trust, so as not to lose access to their benefits. Where a Trust fund is set up out of damages paid, the value of the trust is ignored for the assessment of eligibility for most means-tested benefits and local authority support. We can assist with the setting up and administration of a trust, as well as acting as trustees.
The most common reason for the establishment of a trust is to plan for Inheritance Tax. Trusts can also place conditions on the transfer of property to another party – for example, a child may only be allowed to inherit once they complete their education, or there could be limits placed on how much can be spent at any one time. We can assist in the setting up of trusts for children, as well as acting as trustees if required.
If someone has lost the ability to deal with his or her financial affairs, and it is too late to sign a Power of Attorney, we can recommend a legal provider who will advise on the merits of and, if appropriate, the subsequent application for, an appointment order from the Court of Protection. Where required, they can act as receiver or deputy, and assist with the management of the incapacitated person’s affairs.
As the law stands, a will can be varied or the intestacy provisions altered for up to two years from the date of death. We can advocate a legal firm to advise and represent executors and beneficiaries in claims arising out of lack of capacity, lack of knowledge or approval, undue influence or forgery and fraud.
We are happy commend a legal provider who will be able to help bring a claim against a deceased person’s estate if inadequate provision has been made for spouses, former spouses, current and former civil partners, children and cohabitees. Together we can advise on the merits of a claim and, if appropriate, bring a claim in the period immediately following a person’s death.
Although courts in England and Wales are not obliged to uphold ‘prenups’, in practice many judges will take them into account. We can advise on a legal provider to help in the drafting of an agreement when one of the partners entering a marriage or civil partnership has significant assets which they would like to shelter in the event of a divorce.
In order to avoid disputes between partners in the future, it is vital to ensure a properly drafted shareholder or partnership agreement is used. With your legal provider, we can also review and update existing agreements. We aim to ensure all parties are aware of the necessary provisions and any liability arising as a result.
We are able to advocate a legal firm to help draw up a business’s contracts with its directors and staff, ensuring they are aware of their rights and responsibilities, and that contracts are drawn up in line with current legislation.
For further details on how we can assist you, please contact us.
Very good relationship
Mike Garbutt, M J Roadshow