As your children grow up, fly the nest and start families of their own, it’s natural you’ll want to help them in every way you can, and you’ll want to keep helping them after you’re gone. The money that you’ve accrued over your lifetime could make an enormous difference to someone’s life, but it’s easy to lose sight of just how much your money would be worth to your children.
As head of probate at Duncan & Toplis, I regularly help people make plans for their legacy and when I sit down with a client for our first meeting, a surprising number of people express their desire to save the absolute maximum that they can for their descendants. There’s nothing wrong with this; in many ways it’s a wonderful gesture of love and generosity, but sometimes these clients put their desire to leave a large legacy over their own happiness and wellbeing, and that’s something I try to discourage. After all, locking too much of your money away will only upset you and your children who’ll want you to live life to the full.
While it’s normal for a person to spend less as they get older, you don’t have to scrimp and save in order to leave a generous legacy. A few thousand pounds can be transformative; it can be enough to help a young family buy their first home or it can put a grandchild through university, and that’s easy to forget. Not to mention that giving gifts away during your lifetime means you can watch your children enjoy some of their inheritance.
Inheritance and tax regulations are complex and constantly changing, and if you’re attempting to plan this yourself, it can seem like a minefield in which you’ll inevitably lose most of your savings. With the help of a professional accountant however, you’ll find that it’s actually very easy to plan and protect a life-changing legacy.
It’s true that the likes of inheritance tax, care home fees and funeral costs will reduce the sum that you can leave behind, but there are several simple, ethical steps you can take to protect your money. With our probate team and in-house solicitor, we can find the right solution for you. Whether it’s by planning gifts and donations to reduce your taxable assets, or setting up trusts or a family investment company, we can do the hard work so that you can enjoy life.
Not every client is alike, and sometimes family relationships can be damaged by inheritance planning that doesn’t meet a person’s needs. This is why inheritance plans have to be right for you, and you alone. There’s no need for making unnecessary sacrifices, there’s no need to stress about taxes, planning for an inheritance is easy if you have the right help.
If you would like to talk to the team about any probate issues, you can email Graeme Hills at [email protected]