At Dragonfly Wills we aim to help you enjoy life in the here and now, without the nagging thought that you ‘really must be getting around to sorting out your affairs.’
For the Native American, the Dragonfly signifies the transformation of a loved one’s soul from the physical into spirit. In other cultures, it is a symbol of good luck and prosperity.
As a company we are conscious that the sometimes-complex nature of relationships within families can evoke uncomfortable emotions. We take the time to recognise that each family member is an individual with differing needs and will always advise accordingly. Writing a Will can be very daunting, especially where there are complicated circumstances. However, our aim is to make the entire experience as easy and comfortable as possible, leaving you with peace of mind.
My name is Sarah Haywood. As a mother of three grown up children, having gone through divorce and the difficulties it brings, I understand some of the challenges families face in these circumstances. It can lead to children living away from parents and being brought up by someone who is not blood related to them. This is a time when trusts to protect assets can help put your mind at rest, knowing that no matter what happens, your own children will still benefit from what you have, whilst a new partner or spouse is not left high and dry without a home.
Choosing a guardian for children where you die young can be difficult. What if the Government were to choose them for you with no consideration from you? Without a Will, this is exactly what will happen. Many years ago, a friend of mine’s brother got married in Spain. They flew to the reception in a helicopter. Their children were waiting at the reception. An accident meant they never made it. Thank goodness they had done a Will and named my friend as a guardian. Social Services will still get involved, but to save family arguments, the transition will be much smoother where people are already identified.
My father has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. This is becoming a story that is common to many families. It can be hard to accept but at the same time it is imperative that the right planning is put in place before such an illness is diagnosed. Once they lose capacity, all ability to protect their assets for the family goes out of the window.
A friend of mine has a child with Autism. He is never likely to be independent and will always need some kind of support from state benefits. Leaving assets to a child directly in this situation, can lead to benefits being withdrawn and the need to reclaim later when the Government may have changed the rules.
Cohabitation sounds wonderful on paper, but when one of you dies, the tax man will not recognise the relationship. Instead, anyone over the Inheritance Tax thresholds will be taxed and the remaining partner may be left having to sell the joint home, especially if there are children involved. Putting the right planning in place, can help to alleviate this situation.
It is surprising how many families fall out, wanting nothing more to do with each other. Yet when some dies, they suddenly appear again. Making sure your assets are protected in a way that means they are not readily available to be contested, can help your assets go to those you want to benefit.
The new rules for Inheritance Tax mean that if you have children, you can benefit from extra allowances as long as you own a home and have an estate below £2million. If above this, with the right planning, it is still possible to claim. If you have no children, this extra allowance is not available.
Gifting to Charity can help reduce your Inheritance Tax bill.
Lasting Powers of Attorney – so many people believe these are only for when you are old. What if you were to have an accident or illness that meant you lost your mental capacity? Your family, no matter how old, will be faced with assets in your name being frozen, an expensive and arduous process to be able to even access them, and heartache if they are not the ones the Court of Protection feels are fit for the job.
All it takes a conversation to see what is available to you as a family to ensure you have considered your options when making plans for the inevitable, for in life, two things are certain;