Probate, once a reserved activity handled only by solicitors, is being opened up to other qualified practitioners. We've done the exams and can assist in all aspects of non-contentious probate in our own right, or work with Solicitors as and when directed by The Courts.
How many people do you know who have been suddenly thrust into the position of having to handle a deceased person's estate as a novice? You'll be familiar with the curses that are directed in equal measure to Trusts, Wills, Lawyers, Banks and the Tax man. It doesn't need to be like this - you just need to be prepared for the one event we all know that will happen to us.
If you are talking to your accountant as often as you should be, then you will be familiar with the feeling of being in control and well prepared. Starting with the end in mind we can help you. There are three preparatory steps and then the obligatory regular review:-
- The first step is to figure out what the IHT will be right now if you do nothing.
- The second step is to explore your options to mitigate the impact.
- The third step is to implement a strategy which mitigates your tax liability AND ensures that the process of administering your estate after your death runs smoothly, in accordance with your wishes, and within the tight deadlines set by HMRC. This will include drafting and executing your will and setting up any special purpose vehicles.
- Review and adapt every time there is a significant shift in legislation and / or if your circumstances change materially.
When you die all sorts of things happen, and if you don't make adequate provision, then those you leave behind might find many reasons for not thanking you for the consequences. In the absence of clear instructions and up-to-date easy-to-retrieve documentation, your executors might have the devil's own job accessing your affairs or the liquidity to meet immediate expenses. And of course there's the tax bill. Doing this from a standing start introduces avoidable and distressing costs and delays which in turn can lead to some poor decisions taken in haste.
It may be something of a taboo that prevents us talking about our mortality as if it was an entirely normal topic of conversation, but once you start you may find your truth in Socrates' declaration that ".....a life un-examined is a life not worth living". It can be marvelously helpful to start the conversation by coming in and talking to us. The odds are heavily in your favour that you will leave with an enhanced clarity of purpose and new vigour. We can attend to the tax implications and your Will after this process is underway.