You’ve finally got around to making your will after many years of putting it off, and as you sign, you give a sigh of relief that ‘everything is now sorted’. So how long should you leave it before you review or re-write your will?

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Pension Freedoms and the importance of a Lasting Power of Attorney

Do you have a drawdown pension?  Or are you a financial adviser for clients with pensions? Four out of five retirees (79%) using pension freedoms to manage their retirement savings face a potential ‘later-life financial crisis’ as they have not yet set up Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), Zurich has warned.

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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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