Partnership: We ask professional Estate Planners, Squiggle for the low-down on Wills & Estate Planning.
Kieran began his career as a Business Relationship Manager with Lloyds bank. He was headhunted by an accountancy firm to open the legal arm of their business, and this triggered an interest in Estate Planning. He identified a gap in the market for a proactive legacy planning and formed Squiggle in June 2017.
What is estate planning?
Estate planning is the process of organising what you would like to do with your assets, your home and money whilst you are alive and once you have passed away. It can include a Will writing service as well as other legal services.
What is an estate plan?
A solid estate plan protects both your family as well as the assets that you accumulated over the course of your lifetime whilst you are still alive. The key purpose of an estate plan is to allow you to decide what happens to your assets once you’ve passed away.
If you don’t have an estate plan in place, one in place, the state will decide how your assets will be allocated. To avoid this, as estate plan allows you to ensure peace of mind for your loved ones and Squiggle can help you with this.
What is Probate and how does it work?
Probate is the legal process of transferring assets of someone who has died to their beneficiaries.
Whether or not you need probate isn’t about whether you’ve got a Will or not – it’s about what assets you’ve got.
Some people seem to think that if there’s a Will, there is no probate. This is NOT the case.
Easy oversimplified guide
Will + Assets = Probate + what you want happens (re your assets)
No Will + Assets = Probate with extra hassle + you have no say where your assets go
Will + no assets = No probate required but still need to do a lot of the requisite notifications
No Will + no assets = No probate required but there’s still extra hassle + still need to do a lot of the requisite notifications. Gee thanks.
What is included in an estate plan?
No two estate plans are the same since each person’s individual and family requirements differ.
1. A will that defines how you lay out your assets.
2. An element that describes guardianships, if and where applicable. For example, if you have children, you must appoint a guardian for any incapacitated adults who are in your care whilst you’re still living.
3. A trust component allowing you to manage your assets while you are still alive. This gets around the probate process.
4. A power of attorney component. A power of attorney is somebody you trust who will take care of your legal, financial and health responsibilities should you ever become mentally incapacitated.
5. A nominated health care individual should you ever become incapacitated and you need somebody to make certain medical decisions on your behalf.
6. A directive that includes instructions on what should be done in the event that you are close to death or are suffering from a terminal illness.
a) There’s a Will (TESTATE) – then the executor can fill in an application for a Grant of Probate (typically takes 4-8 weeks to be issued).
ALLOWS FAMILY TO JUST GET ON WITH IT.
b) There is NO Will (INTESTATE) – then the next of kin can apply for the Letter of Administration (and follow the rules of Intestacy as to who gets what and we’re looking at proof of relationships etc being needed).
FIGURING OUT WHO SHOULD BE HANDLING EVERYTHING CAN BE CHALLENGING ESPECIALLY IN BLENDED AND/OR ESTRANGED FAMILIES.