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Plan for life

  Boyd Certificate

The good news is that people are living longer. According to the Government, one in five people currently in the UK will live to see their 100th birthday.

You may have already planned ahead for the future, getting your affairs in order by taking out a funeral plan or making a Will. But have you thought about your assets – your house and any savings? How can you be sure you will remain in control of these now if you become incapacitated or after you have passed away?

Boyd Legal are pleased to offer you their new PlanforLife.  This can benefit you and your family by ensuring you plan effectively for any legacies you may wish to leave your children, grandchildren or other beneficiaries. It can also help reduce Probate or Executry costs and can be a tax-efficient method for saving and investing.

Above all, a PlanforLife offers you a controlled, accurate way to distribute your wealth, so it only benefits the people you really want it to.

What is the Plan for Life? Asset Protection for You & Yours

The PlanforLife is a Lifetime Discretionary Trust which allows you to plan for issues that may arise in the future. You transfer the bulk of your assets into the PlanforLife and become a Trustee, along with Boyd Legal. This gives you control over your assets and helps to protect them.

The important question is – who do you want to inherit your assets?

  • The Taxman?

  • The Local Authority?

  • Your Loved Ones?

You need to act now to make sure the answer is Your Loved Ones.

Planning for Care Home Fees? Speak to our Solicitors in Edinburgh

As later life approaches, it is important to take steps which mean the assets you have built up so far are protected during the rest of your lifetime and are distributed according to your wishes when you pass away.

There are also many threats to your assets, which you may not be aware of:

  • Executry Costs – these are payable by everyone on death and average £5,000*.

  • Care Costs – Your local Council can take all your assets including your home to pay for care.

  • Family Disinheritance – If you do not review your Will frequently, there is a chance you could inadvertently disinherit your family.

  • Legal Rights – A person is not absolutely free to distribute his or her estate in a Will as they so wish. The spouse and dependents have a Legal Right to claim against the estate.

  • Incapacity – if for whatever reason you are not able to look after your affairs and you have not put in place a Power of Attorney, then the court can appoint someone to look after your affairs. This may not be the person you want to do this.

* source www.solicitorsfee.co.uk

How does the Plan for Life work?

It’s usually a 3 stage process…but it can be quicker!

  • Stage 1 – One of our consultants will meet you, either in the comfort of your home or at our offices. At this stage, a full explanation of how the PlanforLife works and the benefits associated to it are explained. They will be able to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

  • Stage 2 – A full Fact Find will be prepared, which will include personal details and a note of all assets to be transferred into the plan. This forms the basis of the Legal paperwork, which will then be drawn up.  At this meeting we ask you to consider having any beneficiaries or children present. It may be important that they understand what you are doing. That’s up to you of course.

  • Stage 3 – The PlanforLife is set up and all agreed assets are transferred into it. The PlanforLife is then registered and the original is retained and stored safely by Boyd Legal for future reference. You are issued with full copies of registered documents and explanatory documents. These should be kept by you in a safe place for future reference.

The process should be simple and seamless, assisted by a personal consultant, who will guide you through the whole procedure.

What problems does it solve?

Executry Costs
These costs have always been around but are not widely understood individuals. They are incurred during the legal process of administering your estate after death. All assets are gathered in, claims dealt with and then funds distributed according to your Will (if one exists). Costs can be high and it can take 6 months or a lot more to complete, thus adding expense and administrative problems for your beneficiaries and executors. The average cost of an Executry is £5,000.

PlanforLife takes away this cost, as all assets in the Plan sit outside your estate and, therefore, do not form part of the Executry process. The trust is wound up and the assets transferred in a very quick time without the delay, stress and additional expense for your beneficiaries.

Care Costs
It is estimated that one in two of the next generation will require long-term care in later life. If you are unfortunate to be one of these people, then the local authority can take all your assets – including your home – to pay for the costs! If you have assets valued at more than £23,500, you are required to pay the full rate yourself, less any free personal care allowance. Once your assets have been reduced to £14,500, you stop paying. The council cannot force you to sell your home but they can put a charge on the property, which means when it is sold, they get their money from the sale proceeds before they are distributed to your beneficiaries

The PlanforLife may avoid these costs and issues. If it is put in place at the right time – and the advice is always that this should happen sooner rather than later – it should protect your assets, so they are distributed according to your wishes.

Family Disinheritance
Although rare, this problem can have serious repercussions, which are avoidable. This can commonly occur when a widow or widower remarries and doesn’t renew their Will. If they die next, the new husband / wife may inherit all or a substantial part of your former assets. It is then up to them if they leave anything to the original family! Even worse, if they die without a Will, your original family has no legal right to a claim on the Estate.

PlanforLife can help solve this problem. It helps ensure your wishes are always adhered to.

Legal Rights
Even if you have a Will which does not leave anything to your family, they have a Legal Right to a share of your estate. Under Scots Law certain family have claims by right. PlanforLife can help solve this as no Legal Rights can be claimed against your PlanforLife assets.

Incapacity
If you become incapacitated as a result of an accident or illness, you may need someone else to take over your and manage your affairs while you are alive, e.g. operating your bank account or paying your bills. If you don’t have a Power of Attorney, a petition to the court has to be made to appoint someone. This can be both a lengthy and costly process, as well as cause undue pressure on your family.

PlanforLife solves this problem for the assets you put into PlanforLife, as Boyd Trustees continue to administer the Plan in line with your wishes during your lifetime.

Plan for Life - FAQs

Why should I bother?

You don’t need to do anything but you may in the process lose a significant part of your assets and savings. It is often hoped that an individual’s family will take care of them rather than see them go into a home or care, but circumstances can change. Hopefully you will never need to go into care but unfortunately 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men over 65 do, so it can never be ruled out. The PlanforLife is the best way to protect your assets, while still remaining in control of them. If you want to ensure your family or beneficiaries are the only ones to benefit from the distribution of your assets, then a PlanforLife is the answer.

How can the PlanforLife help with the issue of Legal Rights?

It doesn’t matter what you say in your Will, your children can demand a share of your estate when you die. In Scotland, these are called Legal Rights. With a PlanforLife, you are in control during your lifetime and, when you die, the Trustees have the discretion to manage the PlanforLife for the benefit of your children or beneficiaries. Children have no claim on any of the assets in the Plan; they can only claim against anything out with the Plan.

How can it help me with Family Disinheritance? 

It is not so unusual nowadays that a totally different family can inherit your assets. It can happen on the first death of a partner or spouse if the survivor then remarries. If that survivor dies, the estate goes to the new spouse and then might bypass your original family, especially if there is no Will for the last spouse. So a totally new family gets your original estate. Again, this might not be what you want. If you set up the PlanforLife, you can be reassured your assets will pass over in accordance with your wishes.

When is the best time to set up the PlanforLife?

As soon as possible. The sooner you set up the PlanforLife, the sooner you have the peace of mind that your assets are protected.

Why do I need two solicitors to act as my Trustees? 

This is to ensure that you keep control. During your lifetime the Solicitor will always vote with you, which means you make all the decisions about the Trust and cannot be outvoted. Boyd Legal will act with you as a Trustee. During your lifetime, they will always listen to your wishes as long as you are not being unduly influenced. This means you are involved in all the decisions as a Trustee for the PlanforLife.

Can I trust the Solicitors?

The Solicitors are not beneficiaries in the Trust, and they cannot benefit from the Trust in any way. Like all Solicitors, they are supervised and controlled by The Law Society of Scotland. They also have to operate under the Scottish Trustee legislation.

Can I move house? 

Yes of course, you can move house in the usual way. The purchase and sale are carried out in the Trustees name (including you) rather than by you alone.

What happens if one of the other Trustees dies?

A new Trustee is simply assumed in their place.

What happens if one of us dies? 

Nothing. The Trust and the protection it provides simply continues as before
until the second person dies. The survivor continues to retain control of the Trust.

Contact Boyd Legal, Asset Protection Solicitors Edinburgh, Kirkaldy & Aberdeen, Scotland

Boyd Legal are a well-established legal practice based in Edinburgh and operating throughout Scotland.

We specialise in the area of Wills and Trusts, which encompasses our PlanforLife. Boyd Legal have a track record of satisfying customer’s later life planning needs and we want to meet and, if we can, exceed our clients' expectations. Contact us today to find out more.

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