Where there’s a will, there’s a way – or so the saying goes. Unfortunately, in the UK, over half the adult population don’t have a will. Even fewer people are aware of the difference between family wills and estate planning, often assuming that these are one and the same. In fact, there is a significant difference between a will and estate planning. So, what do you need to know?
What Is a Will?
A will is a single document that sets out your wishes relating to your estate after you have passed away. A will can cover financial arrangements, state who should care for your dependants and include details relating to your funeral. Wills are probably the best solution if your financial and family affairs are relatively straightforward. If, however, your estate is likely to have a high value, you have had more than one marriage and/or have children from more than one marriage and own substantial assets, then estate planning is likely to be a more appropriate route.
What Is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is a more complex process and in most cases will involve a number of legal documents. A will is likely to be one of these, but other documents may include a deed of trust, a living will and powers of attorney. Each individual’s circumstances will dictate what is required to secure your assets and property for the future. Estate planning can also allow you to manage your property effectively, even if you are incapacitated during your lifetime.
A living will allows you to specify how your medical care is managed if you are unable to express these wishes directly at some point in your life. A power of attorney is a document that allows you to dictate who should control your assets if you were temporarily or permanently incapacitated. A trust is a separate legal entity that can be used to manage assets and property. A trust may be established during your lifetime and you should be able to continue to benefit from the assets held on trust. Trusts are complex documents and professional advice is essential if you plan to use one.
So, how do I find advice on wills and estate planning near me? For Nottingham-based estate planning, visit Crystal Clear Financial Planning for more advice and information to establish which type of planning is the best way forward for you and your family.
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