Managing your estate

Making plans to manage your estate after you pass away is incredibly important. Our Solicitors have a combined experience of over 300 years in the practice and can help you make these complex decisions.

Our specialist solicitors can guide you through the process of making a Lasting Power of Attorney, which enables another person, or Attorney, to take care of your affairs in the event of your becoming unable to do so.

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In order to make a valid Lasting Power of Attorney, you must be over the age of 18 and have the mental capacity to make this decision for yourself, although there is no requirement to be a British citizen or habitually resident in the UK.

You can choose who to appoint as your Attorney; who will be the person charged with making decisions on your behalf should this become necessary. You may appoint your partner, friend, relative or even your firm of solicitors, however, they must be over the age of 18.

There are two kinds of Lasting Power of Attorney, and you can decide to make one of these or both, depending on your situation:

You can change your Lasting Power of Attorney, including to remove one of your Attorneys, for as long as you have the mental capacity to do so. If however, you wish to add another Attorney, you will need to end your Lasting Power of Attorney and register a new one.

The legal experts at Ackroyd Legal have a great deal of experience in this area and will be able to guide you through the elements of making a Lasting Power of Attorney, ensuring that the process runs smoothly so that you can move on with peace of mind.

If you have been appointed as an Attorney by someone else, the specialist team at Ackroyd Legal are here to help you.

The person who appoints you as their Attorney is called the ‘donor’, and despite the term ‘Attorney’, you do not need any qualifications or legal experience in order to do this. You must, however, be over 18 years of age.

The Lasting Power of Attorney must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before you can begin making decisions on the donor’s behalf. For Property and Financial Affairs, you may be able to do this whilst they still have mental capacity themselves, with their agreement. If they do not agree, it will only come into effect if they lose capacity in the future. All decisions must be made in the donor’s best interests, and you must not ask someone else to make decisions for you, even in very difficult situations.

When it comes to estate planning, the legal experts at Ackroyd Legal have many years’ combined experience in providing sound, practical advice to our clients.

We will be able to guide and support you through all aspects of estate planning, and our service is always tailored to meet your individual requirements. We will help you to ensure that all of your obligations are fully met, looking after your interests and those of your beneficiaries at all times.

Trusts form an important part of estate planning. Trusts are used to protect the interests of your beneficiaries and can even help to ensure that they will not find themselves liable for excessive levels of Inheritance Tax. Whether you own a single property, or you have multiple assets, we will be able to advise on the best course of action. There are many different types of trusts, and the obligations of the trustees and the rights of the beneficiaries will vary according to the type of trust that is set up. It is therefore essential to seek legal advice before taking action, to ensure that you make the most suitable arrangements based on your own individual circumstances. Please contact us and we will be very happy to help.

Many people feel quite logically that since we cannot take it with us, we may as well give away what we can whilst we are still alive. This is known as lifetime giving, which could possibly reduce Inheritance Tax liability, as well as giving the donor more control and ideally enabling them to witness some of the benefits, for example by buying a grandchild their first car.

The truth is that any individual whose estate is valued in excess of £325,000 (or any married couple with a combined estate worth over 650,000) will probably incur some Inheritance Tax liability when the time comes to distribute their estate.

Deprivation of assets can occur if you purposely dispose of assets such as your home or your savings, with a view to ensuring that these will not form part of the financial assessment that will determine your liability towards future care home costs; for example, by taking out a home reversion plan and then giving all of the money away, even if this is to support your family. If the local council finds that deprivation of assets has taken place, this can increase your liability in paying for your care, even though you no longer hold the means to do so.

There are two tests that the local council should consider if they suspect that the wilful deprivation of assets has occurred:

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