Estate Planning is a way in which someone gets their finances and personal affairs in order before they die so as to make sure the way they leave things is as easy and clear as possible for their personal representative (executor or administrator) to sort out after their death. This can often include requiring help with probate.
The financial planning aspects (sometimes referred to as Inheritance Tax (IHT) planning) may include:
- Advice on making efficient use of any suitable exemptions and reliefs for tax purposes to minimise the impact of IHT and other taxes on death as well as.
- Possibly restructuring the way assets are owned between individuals.
- It may also include exploring restructuring ownership of assets or releasing capital from your home (Equity Release).
The personal aspects are likely to include:
- Checking you have an up-to-date Will that reflects your wishes and circumstances (see Links to Wills),
- Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) for Health and Welfare as well as Property and Finances.
- It may even include making a Living Will or Advance Directive to explain and record your wishes should you suffer from a certain condition or find yourself in a situation whereby your wishes need to be known regarding treatment or withholding of treatment.
- It may involve recording your wishes concerning organ donation.
- It can also involve making funeral arrangements and details of the sort of service or memorial you wish, including any music and readings you may want, who you might wish to be involved in the ceremony and where you want this to happen.