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Inheritance Tax (IHT)

Also known as ‘death duties’.  This is an expensive tax that may be avoidable with good planning. ALL your assets are taken into account and valued on death, and 40% of everything over the IHT threshold (currently £325,000) is payable in tax to the government.

This is a complex area and needs expert advice.  There are ways you can protect your money and reduce IHT during your lifetime, rules on giving away money and assets.  In your Will, there are ways you can save IHT by making legacies to your favourite charities, and using potentially exempt transfers.

Care Home Fees

1 in 3 of us will need some type of residential care at the end of our lives, this is a real concern to lots of families.  They have saved hard and bought their own home, and expect to leave it to their children.  But what if they need to pay for care home fees by selling their home instead? It’s not as simple as just signing over the house to the children, as this can be viewed as ‘deliberate debrivation’ by the Local Authority who have far reaching powers to re-claim assets to pay for care home fees. If this is something that concerns you, talk to APS about your options.

Complex family situations and 2nd marriage syndrome

Co-habiting

Couples who live together but are not married, often believe there is a ‘common law’ which gives some legal rights after you have been living together for a certain length of time – say, 1 or 2 years.  This is actually a myth and is not true in law. 

Did you know that in Yorkshire and Humber, 58% of couples who live together and have children together are not married.  So people who are married are actually in the minority!  Maybe it’s because getting married is so expensive?  The good news is, making a Will can give those extra rights and protection to partners and children, AND it’s LOADS cheaper than the cost of a wedding!  In addition, if you are planning or thinking about getting married in the future, we can add a clause so your Wills don’t become invalid when you marry.

Separation & divorce

If you are considering or taking steps towards separating or divorce, you need to consider making a new Will which excludes your spouse, as I’m sure you would not wish your estranged spouse to inherit property or savings or be an executor for your Will. 

2nd marriage

When you marry, your legal status changes, and any Will that had previously been made becomes invalid,  and children may no longer be entitled to any property and wealth from a parent who has re-married, as it will all go to the new spouse.  Do you really want to cut out your children from any inheritance?  If you have children (including grown-up children) from a previous relationship, they could be left with nothing just because you haven’t got round to writing or reviewing your Will. This can be easily rectified by writing a Will that reflects your new circumstances and your wishes, and can include protection for children and your new spouse/partner.

Property Protection Trusts

For most people their most valuable asset is the family home, and you plan to pass it on to their children.

One of the main concerns people have is what would happen if you died and your surviving spouse or partner went on to meet someone new?  It’s possible that instead of leaving the house to your children they could leave it to the new partner or spouse. This could even happen if they did nothing. Alternatively, you may have children from a previous relationship for whom you want to protect your half of the house.

We can incorporate a special type of trust in your Will, which can ensure that your share of the family home is preserved for your children whilst still allowing your surviving spouse or partner to continue to live in it.