What is your New Year’s Resolution?
- By Danny Hughes
With the dynamics of family life being more complex these days, having an up-to-date Will ensures that your estate goes to those you wish to benefit.
A trust can be set up for young beneficiaries to protect their assets. You can appoint guardians too.
Wills can deal with second marriages by providing for your spouse during his or her lifetime but ensuring your children ultimately benefit.
Without a Will, or even with a poorly drafted or dated Will, you may inadvertently cause distress and expense to your already stressed loved ones. At Ferguson & Company, we have the expertise to draft an effective and efficient Will to reflect your wishes.
In this world, nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
Inheritance Tax combines both certainties: it is a tax on an individual’s estate when they die.
Your estate is made up of all the property, money, and possessions that you own.
If the value of your estate is less than £325,000, or if your leave everything above that threshold to your spouse, civil partner, a charity, or a community amateur sports club, then usually there will be no Inheritance Tax to be paid.
If the value of your estate is more than £325,000, then Inheritance Tax can kick in at a rate of 40%.
In last November’s Autumn Statement, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, announced that Inheritance Tax thresholds were to be fixed until at least 2028. That doesn’t seem too controversial.
However, the average home in Northern Ireland is now worth £176,131 (Northern Ireland House Price Index: Q3 2022). Add in your car, jewellery, furniture, furnishings, personal belongings, investments and savings, and inflation running at over 10%. That £325,000 threshold might not seem so far away.
Making your Will
Get in touch with us today to give you peace of mind for tomorrow.
Before we meet, give some thought to the following:
- Who inherits your estate: your beneficiaries
- Who will act as guardians of your children
- Who will carry out your wishes: your executor
- Do you need to create a trust?
- Which charities will benefit from your estate
Don’t worry; we’ll discuss this with you at our first meeting.
We will then draft your Will, reflecting your wishes.
Next, we’ll have a second meeting to execute your Will. It is that simple.
Keeping your Will
You need to keep your Will somewhere safe and let your loved ones know where that is. At Ferguson & Company, we have a secure, fire-proof safe where we can keep your Will out of harm’s way for you.
Reviewing your Will
People can change their minds, you know! We’d suggest you review your Will regularly, perhaps every three years, to ensure it still reflects your wishes. You should also review your Will when things change. This might be moving a house, winning the lottery, or the Chancellor tweaking the rules with the stroke of a pen!
Enduring Power of Attorney
What happens if you aren’t fit to deal with your affairs anymore?
Again, this is not something you’ll want to dwell on. Still, if you find yourself in this situation through ill health or disability, a bit of forward planning can be a godsend.
With an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA), you appoint someone to look after things for you if, and only if, you can’t manage down the line. Without an EPA, getting someone else to look after things for you can be much more complicated.
Let’s book an appointment at a time and place (Belfast or Portaferry) that suits you and give you peace of mind for tomorrow.