spreading peace of mind...

What is an Estate Plan?

An estate plan consists of instructions, legal documents and financial products that will ensure your wishes are carried out in relation to:

  • How your loved ones are provided for when you die
  • How your wealth is shared when your die
  • How your end of life care is managed
  • How your funeral is arranged and paid for

An estate plan can protect your family from a number of legal, financial and emotional problems when you die, by making it totally clear:

  • How much money you have and where is it kept
  • If you have any debts (such as a mortgage or a car loan) that need paying off
  • What you want to happen to your property
  • What you want to happen to other possessions of financial or emotional value
  • Who you want to inherit what
  • Who you want to look after your children
  • That you have already taken care of Inheritance Tax
  • What you want to happen at your funeral

To understand the contents of an estate plan, it is useful to consider what is meant by the term 'estate'. Your 'estate' is all the property you owned at the time of your death, including:

  • Houses
  • Bank accounts
  • Stocks, shares and savings
  • Pensions and life insurance policies
  • Personal property such as vehicles, jewellery, antiques and artwork

HOW CAN AN ESTATE PLAN HELP?

An estate plan protects your family, your wealth and your wishes by:

  • Naming loved ones that you wish to receive your property after your death (and, if necessary, those you do not want to receive it)
  • Ensuring that your property is transferred to those you have named as quickly as possible
  • Minimising the amount of tax that will need to be paid so that your property can pass to others after your death
  • Minimising the time and costs associated with probate (the legal process that is automatically triggered when you die) by using financial products such as Family Asset Trusts and Property Protection Trusts
  • Defining the kinds of life-prolonging medical care you wish to receive (and not to receive) should you be unable to make your wishes known when the time comes (so that your wishes are honoured and your next of kin do not suffer needlessly in making decisions for which they are neither prepared nor qualified)
  • Ensuring your desired funeral arrangements are followed, and that related expenses are paid (saving your family members from unnecessary extra financial and emotional stress during a time of grief)

Planning your estate can be complicated, particularly if you are:

  • In a committed relationship but not married
  • Have children with a partner to whom you are not (or are no longer) married
  • Have grandchildren who may be disinherited (if left to the courts), because of new relationships that their parents are in

Did you know?
An estate plan will protect your loved ones from unnecessary financial and emotional stress when your die.