Thinking about the future and what will happen to your family after you die is difficult. However, if you want the wealth that you have built up to be protected and passed on through your children and grandchildren’s generations then it is important to take a proactive approach.
So how do you ensure a successful wealth succession? There are a number of steps you can take to help you plan and put in place the right framework for the future.
Start planning early
It is advisable to start thinking about plans for the future early on. This allows the process of planning to be conducted in a less stressful environment than if it was left until the issue is urgent. It also allows changes to be made as it becomes apparent how well individuals will be able to manage future responsibilities.
Have open conversations with your successors
Discussing the future with your loved ones may not be easy to start with, but it is an important part of successful planning. Finding out how they envisage their future and what you are prepared to do to help them realise this is a good start.
You may also want to leave different amounts to different individuals. If you are able to talk about your reasons for this with them, it could help your estate avoid being involved in a dispute later on.
If you are leaving a business, then you should have honest discussions with your family about their future roles. They may not wish to take on the responsibility of running a business, or they may not have the skills and expertise needed. Ignoring this could result in damage to the organisation. By looking realistically at what people want and what they are capable of may be difficult in the short term, but succession planning is about protecting assets as well as providing for future generations.
Jim Emsley, Managing Director of Elm Legal Services explains: “Nobody likes to think about dying or how our families will cope after we have gone. But it is important to make sure they are prepared to handle the wealth left to them in order to ensure it lasts throughout further generations, and that means talking openly about it.”
Educate the next generation
Allowing your successors to see how you manage your wealth and how you make the necessary decisions is an essential step. They will need the skills and knowledge to deal with the assets when the time comes and if they have not been involved up until that point, it will be very difficult for them to acquire the expertise quickly.
Ideally, by the time you hand over the reins, they will have a good idea of how various processes work and how to look after the assets. You will be able to introduce them to the experts who can help them with financial, legal and investment advice and ensure that they understand how to safeguard the money they have been entrusted with.
Put the right Will in place
A valid Will is at the heart of planning for the future. It can be used to tailor your estate so that it is left in exactly the way that you want, with your wealth protected and shared amongst your loved ones as you would wish.
You have the option to set up trusts within your Will and to appoint trustees where appropriate to administer funds on behalf of beneficiaries.
Your Will and the plans you have made for the future should be reviewed regularly, and at any time there is a major life event. People’s wishes change over time and their capacity for taking on responsibility may also change.
You should review your Will if anything happens to someone to whom you have given a responsibility, such as an executor, trustee or guardian.
At Elm Legal Services we can advise you in respect of estate planning to ensure that you have the most efficient and robust framework possible in place. We will go through your wishes with you, making sure that your loved ones will be provided for and that your estate will benefit them as you would want.
By making sure you have a valid Will in place, you will have the peace of mind of knowing that your family will be looked after when the time comes and that you have done all you can for them.
Our Wills and Trusts experts can discuss your situation with you and draw up a tailor-made Will on your behalf. We can answer any questions you may have and ensure that your Will directs your assets exactly where you want them to go.
If you would like to speak to one of our specialist Wills and Probate lawyers, call us now on 0117 952 0698 or Contact Us and we will be happy to explain the options available to you without obligation.