Wills, trusts & powers of attorney

Wills, trusts and lasting powers of attorney (LPAs) are the foundation of all inheritance and estate planning as they allow you to effectively plan your financial legacy.

In addition to ensuring that your estate is passed to your chosen beneficiaries in accordance with your wishes, advanced planning can ensure that the people you nominate are able to act in your best interests, both financially and medically, should it ever be required.

Planning your will

If you die without leaving a will, your estate will be shared out according to the rules of intestacy. This means the law will decide how your assets are distributed. A properly drafted will ensures that your assets go where you want them to.

Planning your will can also help you to take advantage of available tax reliefs, enabling you to leave more to your loved ones. Fairstone’s specialist financial advisers can work with you to draft or review your existing will and ensure it aligns with your financial goals.

Powers of attorney

There may come a time when you are not physically or mentally able to make decisions regarding your finances or welfare. To protect you in this situation, you can entrust someone to manage your affairs for you if the need arises. This is called a lasting power of attorney.

If you lose the mental capacity to make your own decisions without a power of attorney in place, an application would need to be made to court for someone to be designated to act on your behalf. This can be time consuming and expensive, but most importantly, you would have no control over who was making decisions for you.

Fairstone’s estate planning experts can help you to appoint your power of attorney.

Trusts

The principle of trusts has been around for centuries when people would assign their assets and valued items to a trusted person — a trustee — before going to war. Today, trusts can still be a useful way of controlling and protecting family assets, especially as they can also work towards reducing the impact of inheritance tax.

There are many different types of trusts available although they are commonly used to secure funds for children until they come of age and to protect your home and those that live in it after you’ve gone.

Trusts are flexible and can be used to protect any of your assets. What makes them attractive is the control they offer you in managing what happens to your assets after your death.

The law and tax implications surrounding trusts is constantly changing and independent financial advice can help you understand the best trust option for you and your family.