Wills and Estate
August 8, 2017
Currently, 850,000 people in the UK are living with dementia and with life expectancy constantly increasing, it’s important now more than ever to consider wills and estate planning. The Bespoke Support Network have taken a moment to inform our readers of the reasons as to why creating a plan should be at the top of your to do list.
Protecting a Loved One
Of course, addressing the mental capacity of a loved one can be a stressful and emotional time for everyone involved. However, it’s a subject that needs to be addressed, if not, then it can lead to disputes in the courts as well as family members.
Unfortunately, all stages of dementia are progressive. The chemistry and structure of the brain over time becomes increasingly damaged and it begins to limit ones’ memory, communication and ability to reason.
If a loved one has passed and you or your relatives have a dispute over the decisions made in a will, it can be difficult to prove that the deceased member was not in the right mental capacity.
What to do
There are precautions you can take when drafting a will in order to prove ones’ mental capacity.
Capacity is considered an essential when creating a will. It is best to have written confirmation, which can be used as evidence, to prove that you are mentally intact to avoid disputes in the future.
To be extra cautious, you may want to obtain an external opinion. This opinion is best to be that of a medical professional or one of legal authority. This may be beneficial to you as having a second opinion will confirm your wishes and anyone that chooses to dispute must go through the chosen external approval.
The way you handle this situation is also essential, we understand that this is a sensitive issue, especially for those directly involved. One way you can handle this situation is by explaining the potential consequences that may incur if you fail to provide proof of capacity, these consequences can be costly to you and your family.
August 4, 2017
The 21st of August marks Senior Citizens Day. This day is aimed at raising awareness about supporting the older generation as well as recognising their achievements. Here at the Bespoke Support Network we take extra care in providing support for those that need it.
To many, a will seems like a blasé task. With our lives becoming increasingly busy, this is understandable. Yet, did you know only 30% of the UK population have written a will? This figure is shocking as it is undoubtedly a necessity for securing your families future. Without one, your family can be left in dangerous territory should you pass away unexpectedly. Death is a morbid subject however it needs to be addressed. If you do not have anything in place, the state will dictate what will happen with your estate and belongings; causing a lot of drama amongst families, which can have a detrimental effect.
Having a will clearly identifies who inherits what with minimal fuss, leaving your family to remain together and grieve during this emotional time. Here at Bespoke Support Network, we understand the importance of will and estate planning. We work hard to put you in touch with experts who tailor a plan to suit you, should the unthinkable occur. This way, you can rest assured that your belongings are going to the right home.
When Do I Need to Make a Will?
Creating a will becomes more important after you have children. Setting up a will allows you to decide the final guardian of your children after you pass- this may be a family member or a good friend.
However, everyone who owns a basic level of asset, whether it be a house, or even a car should have a plan in place, otherwise, as aforementioned, it will end up with the state and, in some cases, your children may end up inheriting more than your spouse.
How Do I Put a Plan in Place?
You don’t have to spend hundreds when writing a will, you can write it yourself or confide in a lawyer depending on your circumstances. However, it is recommended that you seek advice before proceeding and make sure when you sign your will, that it is witnessed in order to make it legally valid.
If you would like more information, or advice on wills and estate planning, give Bespoke Support Network a call and we’d be more than happy put you in touch with the finest experts to help.
August 3, 2017
It’s National Son’s and Daughter’s Day on the 11th August, Protect Your Children from Sideways Disinheritance.
National Son’s and Daughter’s Day: a time to celebrate the love for your children and the time you enjoy spending with them on a day to day basis.
It’s these celebrations that highlight the importance of putting measurements into place, should the unthinkable occur.
Studies have shown that nearly 60% of adults in the UK are yet to write a will, which considering the implications, is frightening. Having no will or an outdated document can have a serious impact on your family and more importantly, your children.
Could you imagine in the event of your death that your children end up with nothing from your estate?
This is called the Sideways Disinheritance Trap, which is something you should be aware of, especially if you have remarried. There are a number of families in the UK that are defined as ‘blended families’ where both parents might not be their birth parents. This could cause problems should you leave your estate to your partner, and they then remarry after your death leaving their estate to their new partner. Your children would then be disinherited.
The question is, how do you prevent your children from being disinherited?
First things first, it’s important to draft a new will once you have remarried. This will avoid any situation where you disinherit your children. It also gives you a chance to tweak certain things and help to protect your new spouse or partner.
Another way to protect your children, would be to leave your assets in a trust. A Life Interest Trust for example, will hold your assets until you pass. You can name someone to be your ‘Life Tennant’ who will be able to live in your property and gain any income generated by your assets. Once they pass, your estate will be passed down to your children.
One other option would be to create Mirror Wills. These are identical to your partner’s, therefore no matter who passes away first, your intentions will match each other’s.
If you are concerned as to whether your children will be protected in the event of your death, then Bespoke Support Network can help. We put you in touch with trusted professionals that will provide you with the service and guidance you need. Get in touch with our team by calling 0300 303 3441 today.
July 20, 2017
Have you ever considered writing a will? According to a recent study one in four people over the age of 55 do not have a will in place with 59% of all adults in the UK have not written a will at all.
These statistics are shocking but is there any surprise when there is little to no information about what to do with your belongings after the unexpected occurs. However, writing a will is a necessity as not only will it give you peace of mind, it will also help protect your loved ones.
So, What Exactly Does a Will Do?
A will is defined as a legal document that sets out your requests concerning the distribution of your property, assets and the care of any children you may have.
To increase the chances of your wishes becoming a reality you need a will that is set out in writing and made sure that it is signed by both you and your witnesses. However, make sure you have dotted every I and crossed every T as if your will doesn’t meet certain standards, your requests may not be carried forward.
Why Do You Need a Will?
There are endless reasons as to why you should invest in a will. Firstly, it will give you individual preferences over your belongings. If you have young children, writing a will will let you provide for them.
A will not only benefits you but also your loved ones. There’s no doubt after a family member passes away, emotions run high and so do tensions. Everyone believes they know what’s best- so if you do not have a will in place, it may cause some family upsets. Creating a will minimises stress among survivors.
If you do not have a will, the state will oversee the distribution of your assets. There is a common misconception; the state does not inherit your assets but will instead distribute them according a basic formula. This formula is often based on half of your assets going to your spouse and the other half divided amongst your children.
Benefits of Creating a Will
As aforementioned, a will is a necessity in order to save your family money, time and grief. However, there are other benefits:
- You’re in Control of Your Assets
- You Can Change Your Mind
- You Can Choose Who Will Help Manage Your Assets and State Affairs
If you would like any more information on wills or how Bespoke Support Network can help, please get in touch on 0300 303 3441.
July 12, 2017
Other than the obvious, life insurance has many important advantages for you and your family.
We are sure that you will be surprised to find out that one in four breadwinners don’t have life insurance, which could lead to enormous financial problems should they pass away.
With one in four people not having any type of life insurance that means 8.5 million in the UK are risking their families having to payout £31,000 should a family member die. So why are people not getting life insurance?
Recent research found that 67% of people said that insurance, particularly life insurance, was “confusing” and that it is hard to understand exactly what you need and why you need it.
At Bespoke Support Network Essex, we strive to provide all our clients with the very best experts in everything from finances to insurance. In order to help out our confused customers, we asked our experts why exactly people should get life insurance and here’s what they said:
“As we start growing older, getting married and starting families, we become more and more aware about the importance of life and protecting it.
For parents, business owners and property owners this means life insurance comes into the picture becoming a fundamental part of our financial plans. You can find comfort in knowing money will become available to protect your family in the event of your death, should you get life insurance.”
Here are a few other reasons to get covered by life insurance:
● Inheritance – Perhaps you have assets to pass onto your children such as the house, a car or even money, you can guarantee they should receive this inheritance with a life insurance plan. Even without any assets to give, you can create an inheritance for your kids by buying a policy and name them as beneficiaries.
● Pay Off Debt – As well as protecting your family and providing them a income, your family’s life insurance can cover any outstanding debts such as mortgages and credit card bills.
● Financial Security – As a parent you want to know that your kids are well looked after when you pass away. Not only could they want to go to university but they could be getting married or starting a business, and you will want them to be financial stable in the event of these big life events.
Are you interested in starting a life insurance policy? Bespoke Support Network have partnerships with hundreds of experts in the finance industry, including qualified and trusted insurance brokers and advisors. Get in touch with the team at Bespoke Support Network on 0300 303 3441.
June 27, 2017
Did you know that recently (7th – 15th) it was National Heart Week? And if anything, this week has shocked us into taking more consideration about our heart and general wellbeing.
There are many factors that can put a strain on your heart; over indulgence, smoking and lack of exercise but to name a few. These factors can lead to many heart problems, which will cut your life short.
So how can you ensure your heart is healthy for the future?
- It may sound obvious but exercise is the key to a healthy heart and healthy body in general. It doesn’t even have to be a chore, go on fun, little walks around your local area with a motivating playlist or take a class at your local gym with friends.
- Eating Your Greens. For someone who’s never once thought about his or her heart’s health, it can be hard to hit your 5-a-day. But why not start with a daily fruit smoothie? Then keep yourself energized with some healthy snacks that are good for the heart such as carrot sticks or sliced apple.
- Drink Water. It’s recommended that you drink 8 glasses of water each day. While it may not be everyone’s first choice of drink, water flushes the body of toxins, can improve the look of your skin and make you feel full to prevent you snacking as often.
- Kicking Habits. We’re all prone to unhealthy behaviour, and we don’t want to be the people who tell you ‘you shouldn’t be smoking’ or ‘that McDonald’s is bad for you’. However, giving up these behaviours can help extend your life; in fact stopping smoking at 35 can add up to 10 years to your life. Giving up cigarettes has tons of other benefits such as giving you younger looking skin, improving your fertility, whiter teeth, fresher breath and prevent heart disease and lung cancer.
While we hope nothing like this should ever affect your family, raised awareness brings it to the forefront of our minds and it’s important to future proof.
Writing your will has never been so easy with our will expert’s help.
Bespoke Support Network Essex are encouraging all our clients to begin preparing their wills should disaster strike. Our team will put you in touch with trusted experts who can help.
To find out more information about our will writing services, call 0300 303 3441 and start protecting your family’s future.
June 8, 2017
The general election is in full swing and the manifestos have been published, but what does this mean for the wills and probate market?
Here at BSN we thought we would put together a round up on what each manifesto could mean for Wills and Probate, especially pensioners.
Liberal Democrats view –
- They aim to abolish marriage inequalities and spousal veto in relation to pensions.
- They would reverse the conservative raising of the Inheritance Tax threshold.
- Another aim would be to maintain the triple lock pension- increasing on a yearly basis by the highest of earnings growth, price growth or 2.5% for the next parliament.
- For pensioners who pay tax at the higher rate of 40% they would withdraw winter Fuel Payment eligibility.
- They would also consider the implication of introducing a single rate of tax relief for pensions.
The Conservative view –
- The conservatives would tighten the rules on pension abuse, increasing the punishment for mismanagement of pension schemes.
- They would try to increase the power of the pensions regulator so that they were able to prevent issues threatening the schemes solvency.
- Introduce a new Double Lock in 2020, where pensions will increase in line with the earnings that fund them or inflation.
- Another step would be to start promoting pensions and long term saving products to encourage all generations to make plans for later life.
- They would also review the Winter Fuel Payments, introducing a means-test so assistance is focussed on the least well-off.
The Labour view –
- Labour aim to maintain both the Winter Fuel Allowance and the Triple Lock on pensions, which will ideally grow annually by 2.5% staying in line with inflation or increase with earnings.
- They want to provide compensation to the 2.5 million women who had their state pension age raised without fair notification. Trying their best to consider other options for transitional protection.
- They would aim to protect UK citizens living overseas and their pensions.
- Next up they would review the pension age and try to bring an end to hidden pension charges and fees.
- Last up they would implement measures to protect pensions in situations where a business is being taken over.
These are just a few pointers from the manifestoes explaining the plans for pensioners in the near future should each party come into place. For further information on the effects the election could have on your pensions then give us a call today.
Our team here at Bespoke Support Network, Essex, can you put you in touch with local Essex based pension experts today!
April 30, 2017
Are you aware that more than half of the adults in the UK are yet to write a will? Considering the detrimental effects that not having a will can have on your loved ones this is a shocking result.
Our Bespoke Support Network team understand the upset that can be caused when a family is left without a will in place. It may seem like the easy option to put off preparing your will for another day as the process seems long and complex. However, our team of experts will take the hassle out of will writing and offer you advice and guidance alongside the entire process.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed with all of the processes involved in wills and estate planning but we can assure you it can be a simple and stress-free experience. To make your life easier it can be a good idea to prepare a checklist of things to consider when writing your will, ready for your meeting with our advisors. Below is a list of things to think about:
- Debts – You will need to make a list of the amount and type of debts that you may owe. This will include credit cards, mortgages, equity loans, student loans and personal debts.
- Assets – Consider all your assets including real estate, bank accounts, retirement accounts and any valuable personal property you have.
- Beneficiaries – Think about the people you would like certain assets to go to and which members of your family you wish to inherit from your estate. You can include friends, relatives and even organisations that you believe have contributed positively to your life.
- Executors and guardians – Another important decision will be choosing the executor of the will. This could be a family member or loved one that you know will be able to deal with financial matters and the added stress of sorting through your will. If you have minor children you will also need to consider who you would like your guardian to be. It’s good to think of a couple of options in case your first choice is unable to serve at the time.
If you think that you are ready to prepare a will and want to make the next step, contact our team of experts today. If you are living in we are the perfect team for you.
April 28, 2017
When you decide to write your will, it’s not very often that you think about the possibility of this document being challenged by a member of your family once you pass. Therefore, it’s so important to take the time to write your will correctly and think about the consequences that it could have on certain family members.
Here at Bespoke Support Network we understand the issues that can arise should someone wish to challenge your will. We also understand how and why this could happen, so here are our tips to protecting your will from being contested.
- First things first it’s important to word your will carefully. You need to make sure everything is clear and where necessary, it revokes any earlier wills you may have written.
- If you want to exclude a certain family member or loved one you will want to provide detailed reasons as to why you have done so. This will help to protect your wishes should they want to contest your decision in the future. If needs be you could always prepare a ‘letter of wishes’, which can be used to explain the reasoning behind certain choices to someone if you wish to keep it private.
- A very simple tip but crucial all the same is that you will need to make sure that your will meets the requirements of section 9 of the Wills Act 1837 and that it’s signed and witnessed correctly.
- Where you can it’s important to minimise the risk of someone accusing you of being unduly influenced in the process of writing your will. To do so it helps if you arrange the appointment with the will writer yourself and ensure that when you go to each meeting and sign your will, no one that will benefit from your will is there at the time.
- There could be questions raised should you be working beyond your means. Our advice is for your GP or doctor to provide written evidence as to your capacity, which will help to prevent issues arising in the future.
Here are just a few of the things you should remember when preparing your will. If you need some further advice or wish to write your will today, then get in touch with a member of our team at Bespoke Support Network.