The Importance of Estate Planning

Date: Jul 3, 2023

Estate Planning is a way in which we can prepare for the inevitable, safe in the knowledge that our assets will be distributed in accordance with our wishes.

What Is Estate Planning?

The Private Client team at Mills Selig appreciate that few of us like to think about our own mortality but sadly death is an inevitable part of life. Estate Planning is a way in which we can prepare for the inevitable, safe in the knowledge that our assets will be distributed in accordance with our wishes.

Most people may believe that a will is essentially estate planning, but this is not always the case.  Estate planning goes beyond making a will, it can require a comprehensive approach to managing your affairs. 

Why is Estate Planning important?

With estate planning in place, it gives you a say on how your possessions should be distributed (either during your lifetime or on your death). 

Your ‘estate’ is in essence all your assets, for example, your property (or properties), your bank accounts, investments, life insurance, your car, your jewellery and all other personal possessions.  That said, it is not limited to your assets, estate planning can determine who should care for your young children in the event of your death.

Estate planning essentially allows you to pass on your wealth before and after you die. It typically includes creating a WillEnduring Power Attorney (EPA) and, with the right guidance, planning can be put in place to protect your assets in the event that long-term care is required.  In addition, by passing on your wealth you can begin to reduce any inheritance tax (IHT) liability that may be due on your death.

Estate Planning is a way of protecting those you love, safeguarding the things that are important to you and having your wishes known.

What does the Estate planning process look like?

Firstly, regardless of your age, marital status or financial position, everyone should consider putting some form of estate planning in place. 

The initial step of the process is to establish the value of the estate and determine what are the issues and objectives. It is important for efficient estate planning that you are fully aware of the value of your estate and how much inheritance tax (IHT) your estate could be liable to pay, if any. The rules surrounding IHT are complex and understanding the thresholds can be difficult. 

During the process it may become apparent that a simple will or Enduring Power of Attorney is all that is needed or alternatively it may be that a more detailed estate plan is required which deals with issues such a IHT or long-term care which may include the creation of a trust during your lifetime or in your will.

Trusts can be a useful vehicle to help you manage your assets. For example, a trust can help facilitate the transfer of assets to family members, provide tax savings and protect disabled beneficiaries. There are many advantages to having a trust in place.

What if you don’t have an Estate plan in place?

If you don’t have an estate plan in place, get in touch with the private client team in Mills Selig. The private client team would be delighted to create an estate plan tailored to your needs, your financial affairs and your family situation. 

Contrary to what most people believe, estate planning is not only for the wealthy and furthermore, planning does not have to be an overly complicated or expensive process.

How can the Private Client team at Mills Selig help?

The team at Mills Selig can give you peace of mind by providing advice on making a will and EPA. We can also provide guidance and advice on how to protect your assets, giving consideration to inheritance tax and long-term care.

Mills Selig’s Private Client team will take the time to understand your personal needs before putting measures in place to protect your future.

The team also advise clients on the creation of a Will, setting up personal trusts, succession planning, enduring power of attorney and inheritance tax planning.

Editorial by Paula Gibson, Senior Associate, Private Client @ Mills Selig

For further information on all of the above, do not hesitate to contact the Private Client Team at Mills Selig

Learn more: ‘Mills Selig’s Private Client Team reflect on a year of growth and success’

Paula Gibson, Solicitor, Private Client @ Mills Selig

Paula is a qualified Trust and Estate Practitioner and is a full member of the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP) with expertise in drafting intricate wills and administering complex estates, providing trust advice, setting up and administering trusts.

Paula deals with capacity issues such as mental capacity, controllership and Enduring Powers of Attorney.   She focuses on providing advice to individual clients in relation to inheritance tax, estate planning and nursing care.

T: 028 9044 5409

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