Are you risking your children’s future by doing nothing?

In your Will, you can nominate someone to be a legal guardian for your children, just in case the worst happens and you die before they reach 18.

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Research* indicates that there is a significant section of society who haven’t even considered the importance of later life planning.  Whilst most of us understand the importance of making a Will (and maybe still haven’t actually got around to making one!) there is much less understanding of the need and uses for making Lasting Powers of Attorneys (LPA). Over a third of respondents had not even heard of an LPA and were unaware of the potential importance it may have for planning their later life.

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In 2017 the rules on Inheritance tax (IHT) changed, with the intention that eventually married couples and civil partners will be entitled to pass on assets worth £1 million, including the family home, without paying any inheritance tax by adding a new Nil Rate Band for your main residence, to the standard Nil Rate Band. 

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Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common

There are 2 ways of owning a property* – Joint Tenants (JT) or Tenants in Common (TIC). When a property is bought and registered with the Land Registry, the electronic title deeds will show who the owners of the property are.  We no longer require paper deeds. Properties are often owned as JT.  For example, if a couple (married or co-habiting) buy a house it’s usually as joint tenants (JT).

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This could affect you.

Separate accounts? Separate property? Separate children? These days, it’s not only our families that are more complicated, but also our finances.  It’s quite common for couples to separate their finances, or some of them.  Even if you have joint bank accounts, there may be separate ISAs and savings, credit cards, bills, investments, pensions, etc.  Even if you have a joint bank account, if one of you loses capacity (for example has dementia) the bank can freeze the joint account and ask the remaining partner to apply to the Court of Protection to allow them access to the money.

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