Why is estate planning important?
Why have an estate plan? Considering it’s a sensitive topic on numerous grounds, it’s a fair question. But while thinking about the future and discussing your plans with your loved ones can be hard, the importance of Wills and estate planning cannot be overstated. It may never seem like the right time to have such a difficult conversation, but planning for the future now offers you and your family complete peace of mind, not to mention a sense of security, financially and otherwise, for your nearest and dearest.
Control what happens to your assets
A Will, for example, is one of the most important documents you'll arrange in your lifetime. Without a Will, you have no control over what happens to your estate and your assets will be distributed according to the laws of intestacy, which may not be the way you planned. For instance, if you and your partner are not married or in a civil partnership, they stand to inherit nothing from your estate because of how intestacy laws prioritise asset distribution. Will planning is just one absolutely essential part of the wider estate planning process.
Choose someone to ensure your wishes are carried out
Likewise, there may be a time in the future when you don't have the mental capacity to make decisions, or you would prefer for loved ones to do so on your behalf. If you haven’t got a valid lasting power of attorney (LPA) in these circumstances, the Court of Protection may need to get involved. This can be a lengthy and costly process, and your appointed attorney may not be the person you would have chosen to make decisions when you can't. Thus, assigning an LPA should be an integral part of your asset planning too.
Mitigate inheritance tax
It's never nice to think about death and how you'll arrange your affairs after you’re gone, but it’s crucial if you want to mitigate inheritance tax for your loved ones. When you have arranged financial estate planning early on, you can be sure that your loved ones will have the freedom to carry out your wishes, and that you’ve done everything in your power to make sure your estate and assets are maximised and designated appropriately. With estate planning, it's always the case that the earlier you can start planning for the future, the better.
At Key, our personal service and bespoke estate planning solutions give you the help and expertise you need to make sure you’re fully prepared, no matter what the future holds.
How much does estate planning cost?
Wills and estate planning costs can vary from client to client depending on the number and type of services they require. However, we charge fixed prices for each of our services. While many solicitors charge by the hour or based on a percentage of your estate’s value, all our rates remain consistent, which means no nasty surprises for you coming out of the process.
With estate planning, there is always the option to carry out your Will and LPA designations yourself, typically at a reduced cost to working with professionals. However, the complexities of estate planning and the need for watertight documentation mean that the task is neither practical nor cost-effective for the average person. We believe our services, and the protections they afford toward your assets, more than make up for their cost in terms of future value.