City thinking, local knowledge

Looking after your family’s financial future

By Questa Chartered

This last year may have caused you to think about your family’s future more than ever. You may have been living at much closer quarters than usual, working from home and home schooling. Or you may have been prevented from seeing your parents or loved ones due to all the restrictions. Maybe you’ve been unable to cuddle a new grandchild for the first time.   

Whatever your situation, these uncertain times will, no doubt, have made you think about the big questions in life.           

You may have wondered: 

  • What would your family do, if you weren’t there? 
  • Would they be sufficiently protected?
  • What would their financial future look like?        

Let’s take a look at how some sound financial planning now can pay off in years to come 

 

Don’t procrastinate

The first key point is don’t leave estate planning until later. We all know how easy it is to get caught up in everyday life but this is not just something for the elderly. In fact, it’s never too early to start planning. While it may sound like a cliche, you never know what’s round the corner. The last twelve months have certainly proved that. So take action now. Try and be prepared for the unexpected. Once you know you’ve put a plan in place, you’ll feel a great sense of relief.         

 

Make a will

If you haven’t already, make a will. And if you have done so, make sure it’s regularly updated. Every three to five years is recommended but you should review it whenever your circumstances change, whether that’s due to marriage, divorce, moving house, the birth of a child or grandchild or a death in the family.   

Your will clarifies how you want your assets to be distributed after your death so that there is no confusion for those administering your estate. You might also consider setting up a trust, which enables you to transfer parts of your estate to your descendants at specific times. 

But estate planning is about much more than just distributing assets. It also enables you to nominate guardians for your children. It encourages you to consider arrangements for family keepsakes, make plans for your long term health care and communicate your wishes for your funeral arrangements. By thinking ahead in this way, you’re putting yourself in control and ensuring your preferences are clear.    

 

Consider whether your key documents are easy to find  

As part of your planning, make sure all your documents are accessible. Be thorough and check that your will, trust, Power of Attorney and any insurance policies are to hand and ensure that your family would know where to find them.    

 

Think about intergenerational wealth planning  

Intergenerational wealth planning may sound a grand phrase but in reality it’s simply about making sure your wealth is passed on to the people that matter the most to you in a tax-efficient way. As we said earlier, the key is to start planning as early as possible. Find out what your position is regarding inheritance tax. See what steps you might be able to take to reduce the bill so that less goes to the taxman and more to your family. Check out the rules on gifting and get into a regular pattern early.    

 

Set up a meeting 

At Questa Chartered, we have a wealth of experience in helping families make provision for the future throughout the generations. If these uncertain times have caused you to start wanting to plan for the unexpected, give yourself some peace of mind and get in touch.    

 

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