Much of our information is now stored online, or in the cloud.  If you have ‘opted to go paperless’, you could be saving paper, but you may be creating problems for your loved ones if you die.  Will your executors or loved ones know how to find out what accounts you have, where you have money, savings, shares, investments, PayPal or trading accounts? What about your social media and online accounts such as email, Facebook, twitter, Instagram, eBay, music, blogs, photos, etc?  If you leave details and passwords somewhere, what about security?

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Families who are incorrectly making homemade wills could be disinheriting their children.

‘Do-It-Yourself’ kits have grown in popularity over recent years, because of the reduced cost. Tempted by the price of just £20 in some cases, an increasing number of people are choosing to consolidate their final wishes using a DIY kit, or filling in an internet template, or are at least attempting to. But are they really saving money or is it a false economy?

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Everyone is currently entitled to pass on £325,000 of wealth tax free to anyone they like, regardless of whether or not they own a property. Anything above this is taxed at 40%.

Married or civil partners can transfer all assets free of tax between each other, and one partner can also inherit the other’s allowance, so in practical terms, the Inheritance Tax (IHT) liability threshold for a married couple is £650,000 and the issue of paying IHT will only become a liability on 2nd death.   This is not the same for un-married couples.

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Few of us want to think about when we are no longer here.  However, more and more people are now coming to realise that planning – and paying for – their funeral arrangements in advance is a huge help to their family and will also save costs.

In 2017 the average cost of a funeral was £4,078* and the cost is set to rise further. Funeral costs have risen by 103% over the last 12 years*. If you have put money aside in a savings account for a funeral, it’s going to fall far short of what’s required when the time comes.

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Are you a business owner or company director? Who would manage your business if you suddenly couldn’t? Have you appointed anybody to act as your attorney if you are incapacitated? Not simply is there someone capable of acting on your behalf, but have you prepared a specific document to give them the legal authority to do this?

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