Following on from our campaign about 20 things to know in your 20s, many young individuals and professionals do not think they need a lawyer until or unless an event in their life happens. There are many next generation professionals who do not have their estate planning documents in place. Taking the proper advice and in good time is a key step in next generation planning be that for personal matters, or for those relating to your business.
At Thomson Snell & Passmore, we have been here for you since 1570, and are here for all lifetime events on the Private Client side of our business that we can support you with. Amy Lane and Harry Golding discuss the services that we can support next generation professionals with:-
- Marriage or Civil Partnership
Nobody marries or enters in to a civil partnership expecting to separate at a later date, but in the unfortunate event this does happen, resolving the financial matters can be an expensive and acrimonious process. A prenuptial or premarital agreement is a written contract a couple enter into prior to their marriage, in order to set out their intentions as to the ownership of assets, debts, incomes and inheritances and how these will be divided if a separation occurs. Whilst prenuptial or premarital agreements cannot override the discretion of the Court when deciding financial matters upon divorce, the courts are increasingly upholding these agreements (subject to certain caveats) so long as the necessary guidelines have been followed when preparing the agreement. Where parties have already married and now wish to sign such an agreement, postnuptial agreements, although less common, can be equally as effective as a prenuptial agreement.
If you have a will in place, this will be revoked by a marriage or Civil Partnership, unless the will is made in expectation of forming that marriage or Civil Partnership. It is therefore advisable to put in place a will before you get married or, if not, shortly afterwards.
If you die without a will, how your estate passes under the intestacy provisions will change after getting married or forming a Civil Partnership. This could result in your estate passing in a way you would not have chosen.
- Buying a family home
Our conveyancing team are here to help and advise on the sale and purchase of your property.
In addition, when buying a property, advice should also be sought where a property is being brought in different proportions, such as one person puts down more of the deposit, or one person pays more of the mortgage. It is advisable to seek advice about a Declaration of Trust and about whether to hold the property as joint tenants or tenants in common.
Considering how you wish the property to be held is also a key concern if you want to make an investment purchase, as are questions on Stamp Duty Land Tax payable and whether the 3% surcharge (implemented in 2016) or any reliefs may apply. Our residential conveyancing team can assist in all aspects if you are buying with or without a buy-to-let mortgage.
In relation to leasehold properties lease investigation is crucial; for example the ground rent payable is pertinent: https://www.ts-p.co.uk/news/the-gbp250-ground-rent-issue Both the dispute resolution team and residential conveyancing team can also assist with Lease Extensions. https://www.ts-p.co.uk/news/lease-extensions-the-pros-and-cons
- Starting a pension
It is important to take advice from a Financial Advisor about starting a pension in good time. Pensions are a key part of estate planning, and should be considered in the round with your whole estate when taking tax advice as you get older.
- Starting a family
When starting a family, there are various legal matters need to be considered particularly on death. You can choose in your wills who should be a guardian for your child(ren), but if not it will be up to the Court to make that decision after death, if no one with parental responsibility for the child(ren) survives you.
In addition, you need to give some thought to how provision for your child(ren) should be structured after death, including taking advice about potential trust structures.
- Planning for yours and your children’s future
In addition to the comment above about starting a family, you should also consider planning for the future, including what will happen should you lose capacity and be unable to make decisions about your property and finances or health and welfare. This is where a Lasting Power of Attorney would be useful. It is also advisable to have a Lasting Power of Attorney to cover decisions about your business, should you become incapacitated.
There will also come a time when succession planning is key, be that planning for your children, or your parents planning for you. This is particularly important when thinking about passing wealth on to future generations, and ensuring seamless transition of wealth, businesses and / or farms on death.
Finally, have you asked your parents if they have Lasting Powers of Attorney in place? Whilst they are relevant for your personal planning, your parents having LPAs in place will make the administration of their affairs easier, compared to them not having them at all.
- Dealing with death
Death is inevitable, it will come to us all, and there may come a time where you are required to be an executor or administrator of an estate, or a trustee. This role can be an onerous one, especially when the structures are complicated, tax is involved, or there are difficult family dynamics. Our specialist team can guide you through the process and offer different levels of service depending on how much support you would like.
In addition, there are steps that beneficiaries can take on death, be that disputing an estate or trust or seeking advice about varying their entitlement for their own tax planning purposes.
If you would like more information about our services, please click on the links throughout the article or contact us.