Legal News | 12.11.20
What can you do during lockdown 2?
Last week another lockdown began in England. For many of us, this means being confined to our homes once again. Hopefully, we can take some inspiration from the last lockdown to keep ourselves busy; baking muffins, learning a new skill, attempting home work-out routines… We also have Christmas on the horizon, in whatever form that takes this year, and so online Christmas shopping may too be on your to-do list this time around.
What you may not have considered doing during ‘Lockdown 2’ is reviewing your personal affairs, like your Will or general estate planning. Indeed, as there is so much uncertainty at the moment it might seem difficult to plan ahead for the future. That said, it is actually the perfect time to take stock and plan ahead; the future has always been uncertain (and, indeed, Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney are prepared with that in mind…).
The following might keep you occupied, alongside your online shopping, Zoom quizzes or yoga, as we muddle our way through November…
1. Think about your Will
A Will sets out what should happen to your assets after you die. You might want to consider who should inherit from your estate, who should be tasked with administering your estate and whether any specific gifts should be made by your Will (e.g. cash sums to charity, jewellery to family members). If you already have a Will, 2020 may have given you some new perspective and it may therefore be wise to re-examine your current arrangements.
Wansbroughs assisted with Wills throughout the first Lockdown and beyond. Where face-to-face meetings are not possible, we have been able to help by way of a video or telephone call. This has proved popular; we can speak to you in your own home, without the need for face coverings or other measures.
2. Do you need Lasting Powers of Attorney?
Lasting Powers of Attorney (‘LPAs’) are documents which name an individual or individuals to act on your behalf (referred to as ‘Attorneys’) in relation to your Financial Affairs, your Health and Welfare, or both. Most commonly, LPAs are used when you lose mental capacity, although LPAs for Financial Affairs can be used by Attorneys with your consent whilst you still have capacity, if that is your wish.
You may want to consider whom you trust to act in such a position of responsibility and put these documents in place, just in case. Again, Wansbroughs can help by way of a video call or telephone call where meetings in person are not possible.
3. Estate planning
What should happen to your estate is not always as simple as naming individuals who should inherit.
Sometimes, tax planning is advisable in order to mitigate exposure to inheritance tax. Sometimes, a trust structure is a good idea in order to help potential beneficiaries or to safeguard assets. Wansbroughs can help establish whether any additional estate planning measures would benefit your loved ones.
4. And finally… Christmas (and general) gifting
As we approach December, gifts to friends and family are an excellent method of estate planning.
We have commented on this topic before (see https://www.wansbroughs.com/news-events/private-client-update-2/) but in short, you can make gifts of up to £3,000 per year without any inheritance tax implications. In addition, you can make as many gifts of £250 as you would like in any one year (provided these two allowances do not overlap). If you would like to discuss gifting in further detail, please get in touch.
We may not be able to help you with baking, but if you would like assistance with a Will, LPAs or estate planning, please do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01380 733300.