Prioritising the power of pensions

A very tax-efficient solution for passing on your wealth

Passing wealth through the family, for most, is an important part of their estate preservation planning process. Pension funds are typically free of Inheritance Tax provided the scheme trustees/administrator has discretion over the payment of death benefits

Making a Will

Distributing financial wealth or possessions in an orderly fashion

A valid Will is an incredibly important part of estate preservation planning and will ensure that should the worst happen, your assets, whether they be financial wealth or possessions, are distributed in an orderly fashion to the right beneficiaries.

Leaving your legacy behind

Considerations when making a Will

Thinking about death isn’t easy. Talking about it is even harder. The reality of our own mortality is a tough subject, but a discussion will ensure your assets are left to the right people.

Trusts

‘Ring-fencing’ assets to protect family wealth for future generations

You may want to consider putting some of your assets into a trust for a loved one. Trusts are a way of managing wealth, money, investments, land or property, for you, your family or anyone else you’d like to benefit.

Extending the scope of the trust register

Deadline for non-taxable trust registrations announced

When you put assets in a trust, they are under the control of an appointed person or persons called ‘trustees’. The trustees then manage the trust according to your instructions, even after your death.

Bare Trust

Held for the benefit of a specified beneficiary

Bare Trusts are also known as ‘Absolute’ or ‘Fixed Interest Trusts’, and there can be subtle differences. The settlor – the person creating the trust – makes a gift into the trust, which is held for the benefit of a specified beneficiary. If the trust is for more than one beneficiary, each person’s share of the trust fund must be specified.

Discretionary Trust

Wide class of potential beneficiaries

With a Discretionary Trust, the settlor makes a gift into trust, and the trustees hold the trust fund for a wide class of potential beneficiaries. This is known as ‘settled’ or ‘relevant’ property. For lump sum investments, the initial gift is a chargeable lifetime transfer for Inheritance Tax purposes.

Flexible Trusts with default beneficiaries

Default beneficiaries set up in the settlor’s lifetime

Flexible Trusts are similar to a fully Discretionary Trust, except that alongside a wide class of potential beneficiaries, there must be at least one named default beneficiary. Flexible Trusts with default beneficiaries set up in the settlor’s lifetime from 22 March 2006 onwards are treated in exactly the same way as Discretionary Trusts for Inheritance Tax purposes.

Split Trusts

Family protection policies

These trusts are often used for family protection policies with critical illness or terminal illness benefits in addition to life cover. Split Trusts can be Bare Trusts, Discretionary Trusts or Flexible Trusts with default beneficiaries. When using this type of trust, the settlor/life assured carves out the right to receive any critical illness or terminal illness benefit from the outset, so there aren’t any ‘gift with reservation’ issues.

Lasting Power of Attorney

Allowing someone to make decisions for you, or act on your behalf

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) enables individuals to take control of decisions that affect them, even in the event that they can’t make those decisions for themselves. Without an LPA, loved ones could be forced to endure a costly and lengthy process to obtain authority to act for an individual who has lost mental capacity.