Our pets are so important to many of us

Our pets are so important to many of us

Our pets are so important to many of us, so are we able to provide for them in the same way as we would for any other family member after we die?

​Unfortunately, in England and Wales you cannot leave a gift directly to your pet or pets within your Will.  You can however, gift your pet within your Will to a friend or family member.  We would advise speaking with your chosen carer in the first instance to check that they agree.  Many people then decide to leave a legacy to the carer on the understanding that they will give your pet a home and care for your pet for the rest of their lives.

An alternative would be to set up a Legacy Fund within your Will.  Essentially, you would be setting up a trust fund for the benefit of your pet and your Trustees would use the income raised and or the capital for the upkeep and maintenance throughout the life of your pet.  This would be for a specified period of time and you would still need to think about who would actually provide the care for your pet.  The Fund would need to be maintained and managed by the Trustees until the death of the pet and therefore this may be a little complicated for many of us.

A final way of ensuring your pet is well cared for is to request that an animal charity care for or rehome your pet.  In such cases, a legacy is left to the charity for their use along with the request to care for the pet.  Again, we would advise speaking with your chosen charity before you make any requests in your Will.

If you would like to discuss your options for including your pet within your Will, please contact our Private Client Team at Colchester who are available for appointments on 01206 577676 or alternatively email us: [email protected]

For more information on Probate

Contact either of our offices, Colchester 01206 577676 or Dunmow 01371 873277 or you can email [email protected]

How to make things easier for your loved ones in the future

How to make things easier for your loved ones in the future

How to make things easier for your loved ones in the future

Whilst we all go about our day-to-day business, there is an elephant in every single room we enter. We cannot always see it, but it can always see us and there are times when our lives brush past it and we emerge unscathed.

If you haven’t realised by now, the elephant in the room is in fact death – a topic no one likes to address. Whether we like to talk about it or not, the fact is this – it will catch up with us all at some point in our lives. The main question you need to ask yourself is ‘How can I make things easier for my loved ones when I’m gone?’

It is without question, critical to have an up-to-date Will in place throughout your life and any financial adviser will ask you whether you have one in place at initial discussions.

In the UK, Wills by nature are not something people think a lot about and are often associated with the elderly. This article isn’t solely about Wills in case you were wondering, although if you don’t have a Will, you really should get one.

If you pass away without having a Will, your estate passes by the rules of Intestacy. In this instance, your assets within your estate may very well pass to individuals that you do not wish to inherit. Therefore, it is vital to have an up-to-date current Will.

Recent research on Wills in the UK carried out by Royal London, YouGov, IRN Research and Orchard has revealed some interesting statistics.

Here are some of the most striking statistics:

  • 4 million adults do not know where to begin when it comes to writing a will.
  • Around 54% of adults do not have a will.
  • Six in 10 (59%) of parents do not have a will or have one that is out of date.

When you pass away, it can be rather daunting for your loved ones to deal with the task of locating all your assets and taking stock of what makes up your estate. There can be many assets within a person’s estate such as your properties, bank accounts, credit cards, mortgages and loans, pensions, ISAs, and other investments.

All too often, people are very private about their personal finances with their family members. This means that when someone does pass away, it can take a considerable length of time to ascertain all the assets in someone’s estate.

The good news is, this process can be expedited, and you could provide yourself with peace of mind by having the information your loved ones need during a difficult period of loss, all in one document that sits alongside your Will.

GoodyBurrett, along with Fiducia Wealth Management have collaborated and created a ‘What I Own & Where I Keep It’ document. Designed to run alongside your Will and personal documents.

In our document you can list all the assets in your estate and update these periodically as things change throughout your life. Within the document, you can include important information such as contact details of your Executors and beneficiaries. Any additional information regarding your funeral arrangements and wishes and any other details that would assist your family during the difficult period of loss.

Likewise, if you have made any gifts to loved ones during your lifetime, you can keep a record of this in your very own ‘What I Own & Where I Keep It document’. This will help establish a record of any lifetime gifting and thus potentially reducing any Inheritance Tax liabilities (some gifts are potentially IHT exempt) and the passing over of more wealth to your loved ones.

With property prices rising substantially in recent years, it doesn’t take much to realise your estate’s value is higher than you may have initially thought. Add to this any other assets you might have, such as a Pension or other saving plans, you can imagine the complexity of finding all this information in a timely fashion could be quite difficult for a loved one grieving.

If you have been unfortunate to have to deal with a loved one’s estate already, you may understand some of the difficulties involved and the potential complexities that can occur. It can be a daunting prospect hence why it is important to consider instructing an experienced Probate Solicitor who can assist and advise you during this process.

As we have mentioned previously in this article, the document does not replace your need for a Will, but it does simplify things for your loved ones during a very stressful time.

Not only is the ‘What I Own & Where I Keep It’ document essential for your loved ones dealing with your estate after you have passed away, it would also be a vital tool to assist those caring for you if you were to lose capacity. If you have Lasting Powers of Attorney in place, appointing individuals to manage your Property and Financial Affairs on your behalf if you were to lose capacity, your ‘What I Own & Where I Keep It’ document would provide them with all the information they would need to continue managing your affairs, in the way that you have always done so. Without a Power of Attorney in place, if you were to lose capacity, your finances would be inaccessible.

If you do not have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place, this is something you should certainly consider and discuss with your financial advisor.

As the saying goes, knowledge is power, and through our ‘What I Own & Where I Keep It’ document, you have the power to provide the knowledge to your loved ones. There is no better time to start having your assets documented for your loved ones to pick up and understand easily when the time arrives. It is advised that this document is stored safely alongside your Will and personal documents.

Make things easier for your loved ones in the future by downloading our ‘What I Own & Where I Keep It’ document and start collating your estates information today. If you would like help completing the document for the first time, speak to a member of our team who will be only too happy to help.

To download your free copy of What I Own and Where I Keep It, click here

Fiducia are a well well-established multi-award winning firm of Chartered Financial Planners with a proven track record of delivering outstanding wealth management and financial advice to private clients, business owners, family estates, charities, pension funds and trustees on tax, investments and financial planning. Their offices are in Dedham, Colchester on the Essex/Suffolk border and in Chelmsford, Essex. For more information about Fiducia, visit their website.

For more information

Feel free to contact us on 01206 577676 or you can email [email protected]

Don’t mention the… prenup

Don’t mention the… prenup

Don’t mention the… prenup.

Once the stuff of Hollywood royalty, the ‘prenup’ as its colloquially known, has become as much a part of marriage to us mere mortals as it is to them. For you needn’t have the wealth of Michael Douglas to, quite sensibly it might be said, want to protect your assets.  And where to start? Discuss it with your partner as soon as possible, preferably before the proposal and if not almost immediately afterwards. Speaking from a girl who knows (though you’d think it obvious…) there is nothing less romantic in the lead up to your wedding than negotiating the terms of your divorce.

Nobody wants to enter a marriage planning their divorce but sadly the statistics and Bridget Jones will tell you that half of marriages end this way.  A lot can happen over the course of the years and sometimes decades. A prenup can act as a type of insurance. You’d have health insurance in case of serious illness, or house insurance in case of fire, so why not a prenup in case of divorce? You don’t want these things to happen, or even predict that they will, but there’s a possibility, however slight that they might.

A prenup can protect those valuable assets acquired by a party prior to the marriage, and those they expect to receive in the distant future, for example, by way of inheritance.  They can also be particularly useful in protecting the interests of children from a previous relationship, or if there is a significant age gap between the parties meaning one has a much longer working life ahead of them than the other.

So how much weight have they got? Well, since the landmark case of Radmacher v Granatino, rather a lot.  Whilst they are not binding on the courts, they are indeed persuasive provided each party has entered into the agreement…

– of their own free will

– informed of its implications

– not under undue pressure

In most cases, this will mean having taken legal advice.

The courts should then give effect to the prenup unless in the circumstances prevailing it would not be fair to do so. For example, if the financial situation had changed in a way not envisaged when the prenup was entered into or if it would be prejudicial to any children of the marriage.  You’ll find most prenups contain regular review clauses for this reason.

If you’d like us to help you with a prenup or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us on [email protected] or 01206 577676.

And remember try to get it sorted sooner rather than later so it doesn’t overshadow your big day!

For more information on Prenups

Contact our Colchester office on 01206 577676 or you can email [email protected]