In the past the retired client was seen as only needing simple and routine advice. Nowadays the advice required by this sector is becoming increasingly detailed and complex. Decisions taken in good faith can have unintended consequences later in life.
Retirement is the ideal time to re-assess your situation and many clients will start their estate planning to reduce the tax burden on their children. Pensions continue to receive a favourable tax treatment and provide good planning opportunities.
Your Will is one of the most important documents that you prepare during your lifetime. It sets out how you want to provide for your loved ones and allows you to provide for favourite charities. It can make sure that grandchildren do not inherit “too young” and is a valuable way of mitigating inheritance tax liabilities.
Powers of Attorney
With increased life expectancy, many families now face a situation in which a relative is no longer able to deal with their affairs personally. With a little planning, you can ensure that the person appointed is chosen by you rather then by the Court of Protection.
A Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney enables you to choose who should be responsible for your legal and financial affairs if needed.
A Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney enables you to select who should make health and social/welfare decisions if you could not make these yourself.
We can also assist in the application to appoint a deputy and obtain appropriate court orders if the person is no longer able to make that decision for themselves.
Care Home Fees
This area is particularly confusing for many clients and there are a number of ‘myths’ which add to the confusion. Because of the uncertainty involved, it can often be a cause of considerable worry for many of our clients.
We have significant experience in dealing with the local authorities and care homes in the local area. We can help you ensure you get the best solution for you and your family.
Elderly clients frequently move in with younger relatives, who may also be either full or part-time carers.
We know that, without prior advice, such arrangements can often lead to family disputes which may not surface until years later. Sharing accommodation has implications for all the parties and carries with it significant responsibilities and liabilities and there are often unconsidered tax consequences.
Gifts of Property
Elderly clients can make substantial gifts to their family, either for estate planning or often in the belief that they can reduce the care fee burden. Any gift needs careful consideration as there may be unforeseen tax implications or consequences for future care funding.
The right to refuse particular medical treatment was given a new statutory footing in the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
A properly prepared Advance Refusal or Living Will can ensure that your wishes are fully respected. It can also ensure that a difficult decision for your family is made easier.