Client Care PLUS

Client Care PLUS

Our dedication to ongoing client care and support has helped us to establish our Client Care PLUS service.

Designed to provide long-term benefits for you and your family when it comes to your estate planning. At Estate Planning Solutions we aim to make life easier for you and your family.

There are many benefits in subscribing to our Client Care PLUS service, all of which are detailed in our downloadable booklet. Access this by clicking on the button below and see why you should subscribe.

Download our Client Care PLUS booklet for a full overview of the services available and their benefits.

The principal aims of the Client Care PLUS service are:

1. Secure document storage

Safe and secure legal document storage. We use an independent legal services document storage facility. First and foremost, your documents are insured. Secondly, they are kept in a highly secure, fireproof, bombproof and waterproof environment. Store your Will, Trust Deeds, and Lasting Powers of Attorney. Additionally, you can also choose to store house title deeds, insurance policies, and other important legal documents. Documents stored at home are at risk, don’t take any chances.

2. Free estate planning reviews and basic will updates

Receive unlimited free reviews and basic will updates. Consequently allowing you to update your Will as often as you like, in the case of a change to your family dynamics or financial circumstances. Ensure your Estate Planning documents are always up to date and fit for purpose. Review meetings are free.

3. Probate Assistance

Gain valuable assistance with probate. As a result reduce costs and stress for your family in the future, ultimately making life easier for those left behind. Access a FREE 1 hour consultation with an experienced probate practitioner for advice and guidance. Also there is 10% discount on Probate with our preferred partner law firm Acer Prime Law. In addition, we have negotiated a 2% cap and fixed fees with them.

If you are interested in signing up to the scheme, you can contact our office FREE on 0800 781 6658 or email us at enquiries@estplan.co.uk and we will advise you on the next steps to take.


Vulnerable Beneficiaries

Vulnerable Beneficiaries

Protecting Your Vulnerable Beneficiaries

Vulnerable beneficiary protection is something close to our hearts at Estate Planning Solutions. Most importantly we take enormous pride in being able to help our clients protect their vulnerable beneficiaries for the future.

We work in conjunction with organisations and parents groups across the UK, dedicated to protecting vulnerable beneficiaries. Continually holding regular informative webinars and seminars, both in person and by remote video channels. Our team of qualified experts offer help and guidance in relation to estate planning options, designed to look after your loved ones in the future.

We can advise on the benefits of a vulnerable beneficiary discretionary trust and how it will protect them for the future. Ensuring their inheritance is protected from long-term threats and the loss of means tested benefits.

Vulnerable Beneficiary Booklet

Experience in the field over a number of years, has enabled us to put together a helpful booklet. This details all the options available to parents/carers on how they may protect their close ones in the future. Implementing the correct estate planning now is essential. Download a copy using the button below.

Download our Vulnerable Beneficiary Booklet for a full overview of services available and their benefits.

Autism Shows

The live Autism Shows across the country, are a highlight in our yearly calendar and we return each year to the show. You will find our specialist team is on hand to answer questions and relay expert advice. Here we speak to clients on a one to one basis, answering any questions they may have in regard to the right planning for their loved ones. Many visitors to our stand include past clients and also those visiting us for the first time unsure of what they can do to protect those they care for. Visit the Autism Show website for details of upcoming events.


Trust Registration

Trust Registration

New Trust Registration Rules

HMRC announced the new Trust Registration scheme in 2022. As a result the majority of Lifetime trusts and some Will trusts have to be registered with them. This enables HMRC to maintain a record of Trusts currently in operation.

The Trust Registration scheme was put in place by government in order to strengthen compliance with anti-money laundering regulations. It’s aim is to ensure there is a clear record of all legal (Trustees) and beneficial (Beneficiaries) owners of UK assets.

Although this change in law was unexpected, we believe this strengthens the independent nature of each registered Trust. It in our view it is a small-scale administrative requirement to register and keep your Trust information up to date. Ultimately this supports the legal status of your Trust as a separate entity.

The new registration and reporting requirements are easy to follow and free to access online.

All Trusts must now be registered with the HMRC, within 90 days of completion.

How to register a Trust:

A Trust must be registered within 90 days of completion, in order to comply with HMRC’s requirements and ensure no penalties arise.
Choose a Lead Trustee. We recommend that this is the person who set up the Trust, or their spouse / partner if this person is no longer available. Alternatively, if neither of these individuals is available, we are happy to talk to you about who should be chosen as the Lead Trustee. All Trustees remain equal, but the Lead Trustee takes on the administrative role as the main point of contact for HMRC.

The Lead Trustee can register the trust themselves here

The Lead Trustee is also responsible for ensuring the register is updated each time there are any relevant changes. For example to Trust assets, Trustees or Beneficiaries.

Trust Registration Service

For those unable to access the registration process online or requiring assistance in registering a trust we can help. Our associate company Summit Compliance Services can help you register and maintain your trust records. Summit were established specifically to provide ongoing support for trust registration and trust reviews.

You can engage with Summit on a one-off basis. Once your Trust has been registered you then have the option to join their ongoing trust review service. This provides you with annual reviews and updates. We recommend this service to give you the confidence that your Trust remains compliant in view of current and future changes to your Trust and the law.

Please contact Summit if you have any questions or would like to join the Trust Registration and Review service
enquiries@summitcompliance.co.uk
01625 709807


Later Life Care Costs

Later Life Care Costs

Planning for Care Home Costs

Planning for the future requires considering who will care for you as you age, where that care might take place, and how it will be paid for.

The UK has specific rules about care funding, which centres on how much an individual’s assets are worth. Later life care costs can have a dramatic affect on your hard earned wealth.

Put simply, if you have assets – such as a property or savings – worth more than £23,250 (£30,000 in Wales) you will have to foot the bill for all the care services required to keep you safe. Currently, annual care home costs in England average between £26,000 and £75,000. This means that there is significantly less money passed down to your loved ones and beneficiaries when you pass away.

Planning for the future – take control

You can take steps to plan for potential future care home fees by implementing a Trust. A Lifetime Trust can help to shelter your assets, making it highly unlikely that they will be included in any care fee calculations. Although we do not recommend establishing a Lifetime Trust as a method of deliberately avoiding care home costs. This would be seen as a deliberate deprivation of assets and is unlawful. However, a Lifetime Trust can be set up for other reasons. Such as to eliminate Probate costs and to enable your estate to be administered more efficiently. In this case assets held within the Trust will not be considered for the purpose of assessing your liability for care home fees.

Around one in four adults live in a care setting. If you were to go into care, it would be important to select a setting and location that offers quality, safety and protection. A Lifetime Trust offers you more control when deciding about your care and associated later life matters.

To set up a Lifetime Trust, you will need to be fit and healthy, with no foreseeable need for care. Estate Planning Solutions endeavour to determine whether you qualify for legitimate reasons for lifetime planning. We do this at our very first meeting, before taking your instructions. Even if you don’t qualify for lifetime planning, you’re still likely to be able to undertake estate planning using a Will Trust, which still affords you some protection.

Always consult an estate planning professional for the best possible advice and guidance in regard to your options, when planning for the future.

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Probate Support

Probate Support

Applying for Probate is a time consuming, stressful and expensive task to handle at an already difficult time.

Estate Planning Solutions are here to provide you with probate support. We support many of our clients through the probate process.

We offer a wealth of professional advice and guidance. Aiming to make applying for probate as stress-free as possible and helping to put your mind at ease.

What is Probate?

Probate is the legal right to deal with someone’s property, money and possessions (their ‘estate’) when they die. You should not make any financial plans or put property on the market until you have been granted probate.

The executor(s) named in a person’s Will, is responsible for Probate. An executor(s) is usually a family member or friend. However, some people appoint professional executors to carry out the process on their behalf. Even if you have appointed family members or friends, they can get professional help if needed. By delegating some or all of the work associated with Probate to an experienced and qualified probate provider.

If you need help, the team at Estate Planning Solutions can guide you through the Probate process. Probate is something most people, are thankfully, only asked to do once in their lifetime. It can be a very difficult process, taking on average 12 to 18 months and is something you are not prepared for. Also there is serious personal financial responsibility for any errors or mistakes in relation to tax returns and liabilities. For these reasons many people decide to get help from an experienced Probate practitioner.

Probate Service

We can recommend professional Probate and estate administration services through our preferred Probate Partners. They offer a free telephone consultation service and are compassionate, efficient and cost effective probate providers. Accessing this free service gives you help, guidance and advice on dealing with probate.

As part of our ongoing client support package (Client Care PLUS) and in conjunction with probate experts, we have negotiated a 2% cap and fixed fees. Some banks can charge as much as 4-5% of the estate value for probate and with the average cost of probate being around £9000, this saving can be substantial.

There is also a Probate Assist service, offering help and support to your named executor(s). The service helps them deal with initial matters and the completion of complex Inheritance Tax returns. These are needed in order to obtain a Grant of Probate.’

What is the Probate Process?

Probate takes at least a few months to complete. In most cases, the entire Probate administration process will take around 12 to 18 months. The Probate process involves three main stages:

1. Apply for a Grant of Probate

You need to complete the application for a Grant of Probate, the legal document giving you authority to deal with the estate. This involves collecting in current values of all assets and liabilities and notifying a number of organisations. Once you have gathered all the necessary information you can apply for the Grant. Extensive guidance notes are available on the government website.

Executors are personally responsible and financially liable for any errors or omissions in completing the application. In addition they are also responsible for any subsequent tax returns for Income Tax and Inheritance Tax. Most importantly, any paperwork must be completed accurately and correctly.

2. Dealing with financial responsibilities

Once the Grant of Probate has been issued, you will need to:

  • Collect any assets
  • Complete tax returns and pay any relevant taxes
  • Pay any debts remaining on the estate

Other beneficiaries who are waiting for their inheritances will need to be kept advised. Any work should be done quickly, efficiently and professionally. Non-professional executors can charge for out-of-pocket expenses but normally there is no provision for any fees to be paid.

3. Paying the beneficiaries

Once all the deceased’s debts and tax liabilities are paid, a full set of estate accounts is prepared. You can then distribute the estate to the beneficiaries in accordance with the terms of the deceased’s Will. This includes setting up any relevant trust arrangement, either at Land Registry or through a trustee bank account or trustee investment.

Alternatively, you may ask a professional to do some or all of the work for you, for a fixed fee. This way you know you won’t have to pay any more than the fee quoted. Avoid open-ended ‘time fees’ as these are based on hourly rates, typically ranging from £200 to £400 per hour. There will be no limit on the amount of time charged.

For further insights, current industry news and updates on Probate...


Inheritance Tax planning

Inheritance Tax Planning

Passing Inheritance to your loved ones.

Most important to our clients, is being able to pass inheritance on to their loved ones. We work hard throughout our lives to ensure they have a nest egg once we’re gone. Without a comprehensive estate plan in place and the right Inheritance Tax planning, there is a risk some of your assets and wealth could end up in the hands of the HMRC after you pass away.

This means your family and friends won’t benefit as favourably as they should.

The most important step is making your will and keeping it up to date. You need to appoint a dependable executor, as this is the person responsible for ensuring the IHT bill is paid out of your estate.

We can advise you on the best course of action for your circumstances. All our advisors are fully trained and compliant with the latest IHT regulations and we incorporate inheritance tax planning into our service.

Avoiding Inheritance Tax

When you die you want your estate to pass to your children. However, having to pay Inheritance Tax may reduce the amount of your estate that ends up in their pockets. Prevent HMRC getting their hands on your assets before your children do by putting the right planning in place.

Here are just a few ways you can avoid paying Inheritance Tax:

1. Make a Will

Making a Will is a major part of estate planning. You can ensure that your assets are distributed in line with your wishes. Without a Will in place your assets are distributed according to the rules of intestacy. Potentially this makes them liable for IHT, which may have been avoided with a Will.

2. Stay below the IHT Threshold

The Inheritance Tax nil rate band, or IHT Threshold, currently stands at £325,000 per person. This will remain at the same level until 2026. It is passable to a spouse or civil partner on death, resulting in a total nil rate band of £650,000 for couples.

There is also a main residence transferable allowance of £175,000 per person, to avoid Inheritance Tax on property. This is in addition to the nil rate IHT threshold. Therefore married couples or civil partners could potentially pass on up to £1 million free of IHT.

3. Gift your assets

Should you choose to gift your assets to family members and live for a further 7 years, then these gifts are free. Subsequently they avoid Inheritance Tax. However if you die within 7 years of making the gift, Inheritance Tax is paid on a reducing scale. Gifts of £3000 per year can be made free of IHT.

4. Place assets in a Trust

By placing your assets into a Trust they do not form part of your estate on death and avoid Inheritance Tax. For example you could place assets into a Trust for the benefit of your children when they reach the age of 18. There are many ways of avoiding Inheritance Tax with Trusts.

5. Leave a Gift to Charity

Anything left to charity is free of Inheritance Tax liability. If you leave at least 10% of your total assets to charity the remaining assets will be taxed at 36% instead of 40%.

Always seek professional advice when looking for the best inheritance tax planning. A qualified estate planning specialist such as ourselves can offer you help and guidance in the right solutions for your particular circumstances.

For further insights, current industry news and updates on Inheritance Tax...


Lifetime Trusts

Lifetime Trusts

Protect your estate, assets and wealth

Poor planning of your estate, assets and wealth means that those you love can be unintentionally disinherited in many ways. Thankfully Lifetime Trusts are a solution to this challenge, and are both simple and flexible. Undoubtedly, in these modern times we now have far more wealth than ever before. Furthermore, family dynamics have become more diverse and fragmented. Consequently this means that the threats to passing on assets have also increased.

In short, Trusts are used to protect:
Assets – ensuring they pass to the right people at the right time
Beneficiaries – ensuring they enjoy the full benefit of their inheritance

Lifetime Trusts Explained

Trusts are not a new concept. For over 800 years, Trusts have been used to protect and preserve family wealth and are no longer just for the wealthy. Anyone can set up a Lifetime Trust. A Lifetime Trust is a vital estate planning tool for anyone wishing to protect their wealth and assets long-term. Set up during your lifetime, your assets are transferred into it now, however you still retain access and control of those assets. A Trust is simply a legal arrangement and an ideal tool for not only asset protection but also wealth preservation. Using a Trust protects your wealth from numerous disinheritance threats or ‘what ifs’. Most importantly, you can achieve maximum protection with complete flexibility.

Download our services booklet for a deeper understanding of Lifetime Trusts and their benefits.

Benefits of Lifetime Trusts

  • Remove Probate fees and delays, minimising stress
  • Avoid sideways disinheritance and as a result maximise bloodline inheritance in the long-term
  • Gain access to your hard-earned wealth at all times, retaining control of your assets
  • Ensure your wishes are fully observed
  • Deliver the maximum amount of inheritance to the people you love, quickly and simply
  • Remain in control of any future care fees

Your wishes, observed to the letter

Many people have specific wishes of how their wealth and assets are distributed when they pass away. With this in mind a Lifetime Trust proves very useful. For example, you can:

  • Pass assets to children or grandchildren. However, you can hold back their inheritance until they reach a certain age, or pass to them only under specific conditions
  • Ring fence family assets against problems following death, divorce or remarriage
  • Distribute your assets much more quickly. Therefore saving thousands of pounds that may otherwise be lost in Probate fees

In line with new government legislation the majority of Lifetime Trusts must now be registered with HMRC. The Trust Registration Service has been put in place by government in order to strengthen compliance with anti-money laundering regulations. Full details can be found on our Trust Registration page or alternatively you can visit the HMRC Trust registration page

For further insights, current industry news and updates on Lifetime Trusts...


Lasting Power of Attorney

Lasting Power of Attorney

Retain control over your affairs

Undoubtedly, sudden changes to your mental and physical health can impact your capacity to make decisions for yourself. Clearly, it is important to everyone to remain in control of their own affairs. This is the purpose of a Lasting Power of Attorney. Because you assign trusted family members or friends to help manage your estate and affairs, it allows you to retain control.

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
The definition of a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows someone to make decisions for you, or act on your behalf. In the event that you are no longer able to do so yourself.

Firstly, they are designed to protect you during your lifetime. Capacity can be lost at any age through accident or illness and LPA’s can be used in the event of capacity loss at any stage in your life. LPA’s are not just for the elderly, however you must be over the age of 18 to make an LPA.

Secondly, LPA’s allow people you know and trust the power to act on your behalf and make decisions for you. The people appointed to manage your affairs are called the attorneys. A Lasting Power of Attorney is a completely separate legal document to your Will. However, many people make them at the same time as their Will, as part of planning for the future.

See below for the types of LPA available and the benefits they provide. Alternatively, a full overview can be found in our services booklet which you can download here.

Download our services booklet for a full overview of the types of LPA available and their benefits.

LPA’s are your way of giving people you know and trust, the power to act on your behalf. Only if you lose the capacity to do so yourself at any stage in your life. Besides choosing your attorneys, you may impose restrictions if you so wish, however this is unusual. It should be noted that attorneys have a strict legal duty to act in your best interest at all times. In order to draw up a lasting power of attorney you must have full mental capacity. Therefore it should be done sooner rather than later as you never know what the future holds.

How to make a Lasting Power of Attorney

Firstly, LPA’s are prepared and signed by all relevant parties, including you, all your attorneys and your Certificate Provider. This is the person who certifies that you understand what you are doing and that you are not being coerced. They understand that there is no reason why the LPA should not be done.

Secondly, in order to use them, LPA’s must be sent to and registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG)

There is a registration fee of £82 per document and this is payable direct to the OPG.

We always recommend you register your LPA’s when you make them as this saves time and inconvenience further down the line. Once registered an LPA can be used as and when it is needed.

At EPS we offer a full Lasting Power of Attorney service. We arrange and prepare all your documentation for you, obtaining the necessary signatures from your attorneys and certificate provider. Should you choose to register your LPA’s when you make them, we can deal with the registration for you also.

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Wills and Will Trusts

Wills and Will Trusts

Protection for you and your loved ones

Ensure your future wishes for your wealth and loved ones are met by using Wills and Will Trusts. Writing a Will is both a personal and private thing to do, and certainly one of the most important legal documents you will ever make. Always choose a Will specialist to help you make the correct Will for you. They can talk you through all the Wills and Will Trusts options available.

As a professional Will writing company we provide a first class Will writing service from our Head Office in Manchester. First and foremost, our aim at Estate Planning Solutions is helping clients to achieve their desired result. Without a doubt any Will you make must be the right one for you.

Will Writing Service

Firstly, at every step of the Will writing process, you are treated with sensitivity and respect. We handle the information you provide us with in a confidential manner at all times and never share your details with outside parties. Secondly, any recommendations we make are personalised to you. Most importantly, all estate planning recommendations are tailored to meet your circumstances and wishes.

As a UK will writing service we abide by the rules and regulations stipulated by the legal authorities and are regulated by the Institute of Professional Willwriters.

When making a Will or any associated estate planning such as Will Trusts, there are four different options available. The advantages and disadvantages of each are are outlined below. As professional Will writers it is our duty of care to inform you of all options. In addition to this you can also download a copy of our services booklet. This provides a more in depth overview of the Will and Will Trust options available to you.

Download our services booklet for a more in depth overview of the options available to you.

The 4 main options to consider when deciding to make a Will

1. Not making a Will

Without a Will in place, the Laws of Intestacy automatically apply when you die. Intestacy rules are there to balance the rights of your spouse and children. However, inheritance is fixed in terms of how much each party will receive, so consequently someone always loses out. You avoid the cost of writing a Will, although it should be noted that your wishes may not be met.

2. Basic Will

A basic Will leaves everything to your spouse or partner. If you are single everything passes directly to named beneficiaries. In addition, a basic Will distributes what is left of the estate, however this is only after you have passed away. Importantly you avoid the Intestacy process and your wishes are made clear.

Disadvantages of not making a Will:

  • The law writes your Will for you. There is no control over the distribution of your estate.
  • Your wishes are not reflected. Moreover, your spouse’s inheritance is limited and partners receive nothing. Children will inherit at 18. Also you cannot make any monetary gifts or specific gifts of sentimental items.
  • Winding up your estate is likely to be an expensive process, which in turn makes it difficult for those left behind.

This is NOT an appropriate option for most people.

Disadvantages of a Basic Will:

  • No protection for your estate against lifetime disinheritance threats, including such things as sideways disinheritance and long-term care fees.
  • Probate fees and delays still apply.
  • No protection for your beneficiaries’ against long-term disinheritance threats.

This is NOT an appropriate option for most people.

3. Will Trust

A Will Trust protects some of your estate, against some of the losses inflicted by inheritance threats. Combine the way that you own your property with the use of a Will Trust.

4. Lifetime Trust

A Lifetime Trust protects your estate against all inheritance threats. Importantly, it places assets within its protective wrapper.

Advantages of a Will Trust:

  • Protects your spouse or partner, or other beneficiaries if you’re single.
  • Mitigates the impact of sideways disinheritance and the effect of long-term care fees on your beneficiaries’ inheritance.
  • Maximises bloodline inheritance.

Disadvantages of a Will Trust:

  • A Will Trust does not come into effect until after the first death.
  • Probate is still needed. Consequently fees are still incurred at an average cost of £9,000 and furthermore delays of at least 9-12 weeks.
  • Only half the property is protected against sideways disinheritance and care fees.

An appropriate option for anyone wanting to mitigate some risk and improve loved ones’ inheritance.

Advantages of a Lifetime Trust:

  • Avoids the cost of creating a Will Trust after the first death.
  • Avoids the cost of Probate fees, consequently saving thousands of pounds. In addition, it avoids the stress and delay of Probate for loved ones.
  • Protects the whole of your property and other assets from sideways disinheritance.
  • Provides complete protection of each beneficiary’s inheritance from potential threats. Including, sideways disinheritance, marriage and divorce, financial issues and insolvency, Inheritance Tax and the loss of means-tested benefits.

An appropriate option for anyone looking to maximise inheritance for loved ones and protect their inheritance in the long-term.

Firstly, to decide which option is right for you and your loved ones, you must assess your current circumstances. Secondly, you look at your short-term and long-term estate planning objectives.

Often this includes some, or all, of the following:

  • Retaining control and making life easier for loved ones
  • Most couples want to protect each other in the first instance
  • Maximising inheritance for loved ones.

For further insights, current industry news and updates on Wills and Will Trusts...