As people get older they face five problems:
(1) Sideways Disinheritance
This is something people normally do not foresee but can have a devesting effect on a family. For example, we have this very happy family you can see in the picture. Unfortunately, the wife dies and leaves everything to her husband. The husband eventually remarries and later dies before the second wife.
His estate transfers then to the second wife. As a result on her death the whole estate devolves to the new wife’s children while the children of the original couple are disinherited.
Please seek our advice to see how you can prevent this from happening to your family.
(2) Unreliable Children
Unfortunately there are many people who have children with problems whether they be drug, alcohol or gambling addictions or children in an unstable marriage or with severe financial problems. When the parents die it is therefore not advisable that a large proportion of the estate devolves to such children but of course that is what usually happens.
However if the assets are placed in a Will Trust this can be avoided, so that the assets can remain in the Trust for the benefit of the children, without being available to them unless the trustees decide at some time in the future that that is what the parents would have wanted. For example the child in the unstable marriage gets divorced or they are free of their alcohol, drug or gambling problem or the child with financial problems situation improves or their bankruptcy is discharged.
If a person becomes incapacitated, be it through illness or injury, then this can cause extreme problems for that person’s family. Often it can mean that their assets are frozen for several months until a Deputy ship order is issued. This can be and often is a drawn out, complicated and expensive procedure with the Court of Protection. It can cause financial hardship for the family and a very distressing time. To find out how to avoid this see “Lasting Power of Attorney” on “Our Services” page.
(4) Probate Costs
Probate costs are much much higher than you expect. For example if a couple have a house and other assets worth £500,000 then the Probate costs on the first death on an estate of £250,000 could be as much as £8,000 including VAT and disbursements. Furthermore if everything is transferred to the survivor, then on the survivors death the Probate costs could easily be £16,000.
Accordingly Probate costs should never be underestimated as in the above case the family could be looking at a total cost of around £24,000. Not only that, but there is the inconvenience and normally a substantial delay in administering someone’s estate especially on the second death.
(5) Care Costs
This deserves a whole section to itself so please see the Care Home Fees Section.
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