Who will raise your children if you die before they are 18?

Have you ever considered who will look after your children if you die while they’re still under age? Who will make sure they are raised the way you would wish and only has their best interests at heart? Many people don’t want to think about these issues as they are considered morbid and negative thinking. But it is really important to be prepared should the worst happen. It is not enough to simply make the decision and discuss it with your family. You need to make it legally binding by including it in your Will. Should you die without a
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What is a Trust and do I need one?

A Trust is a legal arrangement in which a person (the Settlor) transfers the ownership of some of his or her assets to one or more Trustees, who manage the assets on behalf of one or more Beneficiaries (who will receive the assets or income). There are many reasons why this would be done: The Beneficiary is under age and therefore too young to handle their own affairs The Beneficiary has limited mental capacity to be able to handle their own affairs To control and protect family assets To pass on assets while you’re still alive To protect family’s assets
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Have you considered a Funeral Plan?

All through human history people have been planning what to do with their remains once they have died. From following ancient traditions to unusual and quirky funeral ideas, the list is endless. Going back thousands of years, Egyptians built large burial chambers to prepare for their afterlife, whereas Vikings prepared their traditional longboats for a burning at sea. Pirates were said to have gold earrings which would cover the cost of their funeral. Nowadays people want to decide on whether they are buried or cremated, where they are buried or what happens to the ashes as well as how elaborate
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Changes to Inheritance Tax in the 2015 Budget

Inheritance Tax is charged on the transfer of property passing on death (chargeable transfers) subject to various exemptions and reliefs, notably for certain business and agricultural property. It is also levied on certain lifetime gifts. In the UK, death taxes were first introduced in 1796 to finance the war against Napoleon, but inheritance tax as we know it was implemented in 1986 and has gone through several changes since then. The current situation is that inheritance tax is not payable on the first £325,000 of your estate when you die.  It is then payable at 40% of everything above that
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What is a Lasting Power of Attorney and why do I need one?

Imagine you have a joint account with your partner and he or she is unable to manage money due to something like dementia. Should this happen, the bank can freeze a joint account making it impossible for you to access any of your money. This could be disastrous in the short time and involve a very lengthy and costly legal process to get the bank to allow you to use the funds in the account. The same would be true if you needed someone else access to your account should you lose your mental capacity and are no longer able
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What can we expect from a Conservative Government following the General Election?

This week we are taking a look at the key pledges made by the Conservative party and what we can expect from them in the next five years, a lot of which was included in the recent Queen’s speech (May 2015). They have promised to: Increase the Inheritance Tax threshold on family homes to £1 million by 2017. There are promises of a new transferable allowance of £175,000 per person for married couples and civil partners when their main residence is passed down to children on death – this will come on top of the existing £325,000 tax free allowance
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My Top 10 Reasons Why You Need a Will

Do you have a valid Will? If the answer is yes, congratulations, you are among only 33% of adults in the UK who do. If you answered no, you are unfortunately among the majority of people who haven’t made plans for what happens to their assets when they die. Having a Will is not a luxury. It provides peace of mind for you and your loved ones. Here are my top 10 reasons why you need a Will (plus an extra 2 for free!) It is the only way to ensure that your estate is distributed according to your wishes
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The Importance of Using a Professional to Make Your Will

A friend of a friend has recently died – naming my friend as an executor. The deceased has been ill for 3-4 years, and on advice of their friends had made a Will in 2009, and had asked 2 people if they would be happy to act as executors, to which they both agreed.  Over the years, he told many of his friends that this Will existed, and where he kept it.  He also told them that he had made certain “provisions” for them in the Will. Knowing that his time was almost up, he had been getting his affairs
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The Importance of Estate Planning

Not long into Captain Ahab’s search for the Great White Whale, one of the Pequod’s longboats is attacked, the sailors escape the immediate peril of the vengeful whale, but are “tossed helter skelter into the white curdling cream of the squall”.   They find themselves “drenched through, and shivering cold, despairing of ship or boat” and are left adrift throughout the night.   After escaping the “jaws of death” Ishmael reflects upon the perilous life a whaler leads, a life in which “squalls and capsizing in the water and the consequent bivouacks in the deep are a matter of common
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