So where do you start when thinking about estate planning? If you are feeling overwhelmed by the task, try this simple checklist below.
- Have you written a Will?
- If so, is it up-to-date?
- Is there a letter of wishes accompanying the Will to guide Executors in administrating your estate?
- Will your heirs be able to locate these documents?
- Do you have a Lasting Powers of Attorney for
- Health & Welfare: so someone can make decisions on your behalf about your health and medical care if you are no longer able to do so
- Property & Financial Assets: so someone can act on your behalf in relation to your bank accounts, property, benefits, pension and other financial matters if need be
- Are your heirs nominated to benefit on your pension policies and/or insurance policies?
- Review documentation
- Consider how your financial obligations and/or inheritance tax will be paid on your demise
- Review amount and level of life insurance cover (if applicable)
- Seek tax advice if necessary
- For shareholders in a private (family) business or partnership, is there a shareholders agreement or buyout option?
- Review agreements in place
- Do your heirs know where to find information relating to:
- Will (and Letter of Wishes, Trust Documents where applicable)
- Lasting Powers of Attorney
- Pension Policies
- Life Insurance Policies
- Deeds to real estate
- Share certificates, bonds, annuities if not held in nominee
- Bank accounts, investment portfolios, ISAs, and safe deposit boxes
- Debts: credit cards, mortgages and loans, unpaid taxes, etc
If you would like any help with your checklist, please get in touch.
The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific advice regarding your individual situation. Copyright 2015 Hudson Consulting Vision Ltd.