Many people, when approaching retirement or shortly after having retired, take the opportunity to review their financial and personal affairs.
This is often a time when they realise that their priorities for the future have changed now that they are older, and their children have grown up. For example, whereas previously Inheritance Tax may have been their main concern, now it may be the potential cost of future long-term care which is at the forefront of their minds.
Our clients come to see us to discuss various matters such as reviewing their Wills, making Lasting Powers of Attorney and exploring the options rearranging their assets, such as making gifts or transferring assets into Trust or the names of children or grandchildren, which can be a good option for some people but must be carefully considered by all the parties involved.
Clients often find that they have not revised their Wills for 20 or 30 years and so their existing Wills may appoint family members, such as their siblings, as Executors and guardians for their, now adult, children. By the time most people reach retirement, their children are grown up and often have children of their own. At such a time, our clients often update their Wills to appoint their children as Executors and sometimes to include their grandchildren in their Wills, hoping that the legacies they leave them will help with the cost of higher education.
Lasting Powers of Attorney
During a person’s working life, he or she will usually assume that they will maintain good health and be able to manage their own affairs. However, once they retire, many clients look to the future and a time when they might not have the capacity to manage their affairs themselves due to sudden illness or a progressive disease such as dementia. Making a Lasting Power of Attorney, which is a legal document authorising one or more persons to manage your affairs on your behalf is a relatively straightforward procedure and something which is always better to put in place sooner rather than later.
Some clients, having reviewed their finances, decide to make gifts to family members and seek advice as to the tax implications of doing so and also how this might affect the assessment of their assets should they ever need long term care. There are various options for making gifts and we advise clients about these, sometimes working in conjunction with their financial adviser, as clients often take the opportunity to obtain a wide range of advice on retirement.
Many clients also find themselves managing the affairs of older people, such as their parents or perhaps other relatives who have no other family members to help them, so even if our clients are not concerned with the cost of care for themselves, they are going through the process for the first time and we assist them with the various issues and difficulties that are often encountered at this time.
We work with various organisations who deal with the issues surrounding the care and the needs of the elderly and we have developed useful links with local companies to which we can refer our clients to provide them with as much assistance as possible at what can be a very difficult time in their lives.
If you are approaching retirement or have recently retired and feel that these issues may be relevant to you, please do not hesitate to contact Charlotte Fox, one of our solicitors in the Private Client Department, on 0118 958 9711 or by email: [email protected].