What is Inheritance Tax and how can I reduce it?

What is Inheritance Tax and how can I reduce it?

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Most of us will pay taxes for a large proportion of our lives and then still leave our loved ones with a tax bill to pay upon our death for Inheritance Tax…it doesn’t seem fair does it?

So what exactly is Inheritance Tax? When is it payable and is there anything that you can do to reduce your Inheritance Tax bill?

Let’s take a look…

Inheritance Tax only becomes payable on death and is calculated taking into consideration the value of everything that you own at the date of your death and including any gifts that you made within the seven years prior to your death. Any debts or liabilities that you have at the date of your death will be deducted from the value of your assets and this final balance is what is used to calculate whether any Inheritance Tax is payable.

If you are leaving your assets (property, money, personal possessions etc.) to your spouse or civil partner then this will be exempt from Inheritance Tax, as are any gifts made to Charities.

However, anything left to children or anyone else will be subject to Inheritance Tax where the value exceed the Inheritance Tax Threshold.

The Inheritance Tax Threshold is currently set at £325,000 per person and an additional £150,000 can be claimed if you are passing your residential property to a direct descendent (children / grandchildren), this is termed the Residential Nil Rate Band. The figure of £150,000 is set to rise to £175,000 in April of 2020 meaning that each person will have £500,000 before having to pay Inheritance Tax. This is also transferable between spouses and civil partners, meaning that if you pass everything to your spouse or civil partner upon your death then no Inheritance Tax will be payable and from 2020 (if both your death and your spouse/civil partner passes after April 2020) then your Estate can total £1million before any Inheritance Tax is payable.

If your estate is worth more than £2million then you lose the right to claim all of the Residential Nil Rate Band, thus for every £2 over the £2million valuation, you will lose £1 of the Residential Nil Rate Band.

Inheritance Tax is payable at 40% of anything above the Inheritance Tax Threshold (or Nil Rate Band).

If you are leaving 10% or more of your Estate to Charity (whether one or multiple Charities) then your rate of Inheritance Tax will be reduced to 36%.

Now, we mentioned above that any gifts made in the seven years prior to your death will be taken into account when calculating the value of your Estate. HOWEVER, if these gifts were made from surplus income then they do not need to be taken into account when calculating your Inheritance Tax liability. We all benefit from a £3,000 allowance each year which we are able to gift before Inheritance Tax become payable and so it may well be important to consider this when assessing the value of a deceased loved one’s Estate.

There may be other exemptions on gifts that you can benefit from such as gifts on marriage, you can find out more about this in our article – Inheritance Tax: What can be done to reduce your exposure? 

Another consideration that we would always advise looking at is putting your property into a Trust, meaning that upon their death the property passes to whoever they want it to (perhaps their children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews) but their spouse is entitled to benefit from the property and live there until their death or until they remarry (if this happens). This not only has the benefit of protecting the property for your intended beneficiary but also protects you and your spouse if the property is valued in relation to Care Fees as the share in Trust will not be taken into consideration.

As always, we would always recommend reviewing your Will regularly to ensure that it still does exactly what you want it to and that you have considered possible benefits and exemptions that you could benefit from.

Check out our article – Inheritance Tax: What can be done to reduce your exposure? For more information on reducing your Inheritance Tax liability.

If you would like to discuss your Inheritance Tax liability, or putting a Will in place, call us on 01727 865 121 or email us at info@TotalLegacyCare.co.uk for a free consultation

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Leah Waller

Have a Question or
want to book a 

FREE Consultation?
 

What to do after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease

What to do after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Whether receiving a diagnosis for yourself or a loved one, it is a very difficult time, so much information to take in and lots of changes on the horizon. It can be overwhelming.

Depending on where you are on your journey when the diagnosis takes place, may depend on the amount of information you already have and what is available.

Here we set out a simple list of steps that should be taken upon diagnosis to help you set off on the right path…

Knowledge is Power

You may have had experience with Alzheimer’s or Dementia before, or this may well be your first encounter, either way there may be symptoms that you are not aware of or have not experienced before.

The more you can learn the better. The phrase “forewarned is forearmed” comes to mind. The more we know, the better we can prepare.

There is a lot of support around online, groups, professionals, carers, families and individuals that have also been diagnosed all navigating a similar journey. Linking up with these groups and support can be beneficial mentally and emotionally.

Allow yourself to feel

As we have said, receiving a diagnosis for yourself or a loved one, is a very difficult time, so much information to take in and lots of changes on the horizon. Allowing yourself to go through the emotions you are feeling is okay.

You are not superhuman or a robot and taking time to acknowledge and process those emotions is invaluable.

There is no ‘correct path’ of emotions to take and so feelings of sadness, anger, frustration, disappointment and disbelief are all natural feelings.

Getting into a Routine

Getting organised and into a routine can really help, not only in terms of getting into good habits but to help set out early where everyone is, what should be done when and to know what is expected when. This is vital as the Alzheimer’s or Dementia progresses as routine and structure will be a necessity.

Alzheimer’s affects memory and so having a structured routine can help keep track of medication, appointments, activities and day-to-day tasks.

Routine can help to reduce stress, anxiety and frustration and increase independence and feelings of security.

Ensure your LEGAL and FINANCIAL affairs are in order

Managing your financial and legal affairs is impossible once capacity is lost. 

A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or Dementia does not automatically mean that capacity is lost and so arranging the correct legal authorities are in place, whilst you have capacity to do so is vital.

You may consider reviewing your Will but also putting Lasting Powers of Attorney in place so that the person that you choose, and trust, has the authority to deal with your matters (financial, property, health and welfare) when you are no longer able to do so.  

We are always happy to have a free chat with you about this – CLICK HERE

Look at what CAN be done

Once a diagnosis is received is very easy to see this as a disabling disease that will only get worse and therefore discount capabilities, activities and all those things that were much loved prior to the diagnosis.

THIS DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THE CASE!

It is so important to consider what can still be achieved, the preferences, opinions and desires of the person living with Alzheimer’s.

A diagnosis doesn’t always mean that a person is incapable and they won’t necessarily lose their desire to carry out those activities that they used to love. Being able to carry this on for as long as is safe can be great for independence, self-esteem not to mention physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.

Consider a Care Plan

It is inevitable that as the Alzheimer’s or Dementia progresses the need for care will increase, as will appointments with an array of professionals.

There may be a range of people helping with care, loved ones, family, friends and professionals, and a care plan can assist with setting out who is responsible for what, what is expected and when this is expected.

Having a plan for now, as well as having discussions about what may be needed as the condition progresses, and how this could be catered for can save a lot of stress in the future.

Diagnosis is NOT the End

It is natural to feel that there is no light at the end of the tunnel or struggle to see what there is to be grateful for when receiving a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or Dementia as the road ahead can seem somewhat bleak and overwhelming however, this doesn’t have to be the case.

Taking into account point 5 above and looking at what can be done means that it is not the end…fun can still be had, knowledge can still be gained and relationships can still develop. 

Yes, things will be different but that does not mean it has to be worse.

You are NOT alone

Remember, whether you are the one that has been diagnosed, a loved one or caregiver…you are NOT alone.

There are lots of support groups out there, those that you can attend locally and National support groups that you can access online.

We have a list of upcoming events that maybe local to you on our website HERE.

There are no stupid questions and so we should not be afraid to ask for help or assistance.

Everyone’s journey is different, neither right nor wrong. We all have different experiences and can learn something new.

 

If you would like a free chat to see how we can help or if you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch for a FREE consultation on info@TotalLegacyCare.co.uk or 01727 865 121

Dementia TLC

Did you know we have a whole website dedicated to Dementia, those living with Dementia and their Caregivers?

Check it out HERE!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Leah Waller

Have a Question or
want to book a 

FREE Consultation?
 

What to consider when planning a Funeral

What to consider when planning a Funeral

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Is there anyone that really wants to discuss planning their funeral…maybe a few but the majority of us avoid it like, well, the plague!

However, if we really think about it, there are probably a few things we would like and things we would definitely NOT want at our funeral but we won’t be there to help with the planning so it is important to get out wishes down whilst we can.

Putting a funeral plan in place allow you to not only get your funeral wishes document but also to pay for your funeral directors fees in advance removing that burden from your loved ones when the time comes.

After the death of a loved one the last thing our relatives need is the added stress, anxiety and arguments caused by deciding exactly what we would have wanted…a funeral plan can remove all of that. Unfortunately, arguments over what we may have wanted could cause divides within our family and this is something none of us want! 

So, a funeral is a funeral right? What is there to think about?

Below we have listed a few things that you may want to consider when putting your funeral wishes in place:

Cremation or Burial?

Cremation

Following the ceremony and cremation itself the remaining ashes can be given to a loved one to keep or scatter as they wish or as you direct in your funeral wishes.

Direct Cremation

If you opt for a Direct Cremation then your body is taken from the funeral director to the crematorium and the cremation takes place without a service, this means that there will be no friends or family in attendance. The ashes can still be collected by a loved one to keep or scatter as they wish or as you direct in your funeral wishes.

Traditional Burial

A traditional burial will mean that your body and coffin will be buried in a grave, usually at a cemetery or churchyard. If you would prefer to be buried, enquiries into a burial plot and reserving your plot may be required and this is something that is best to look into beforehand.

Natural or Woodland Burial

Having a burial at a Natural or Woodland burial grounds is becoming ever more popular. With a Natural or Woodland burial is allowed to decompose in an environmentally friendly manner and the coffins are biodegradable.

If I am cremated, what happens to the ashes?

Possible options for your ashes following a cremation include:

  • Scattering at a favourite or memorable place;
  • Scattering at a memorial garden
  • Scattering at sea
  • A loved one keeping them in an urn
  • Burying with passed loved ones
  • Having them made into a keepsake (jewellery, art etc.)

What about the type of Coffin?

The type of coffin may not be important to you but some may want to take a traditional approach or a much more environmentally friendly approach and so the choice of coffin may well be important. Some options include:

  • Wooden (traditional)
  • Cardboard (could be personalised with photographs)
  • Wicker
  • Wool (biodegradable)

Religious or Non-Religious Ceremony?

This will very much depend on you as an individual and your beliefs. This may also depend on whether you would like a loved one or friend to conduct the ceremony for you or whether you would like a Celebrant (Church Minister, Civil Celebrant or Humanist Officiant) to do this.

Religious Ceremony

If you are religious you may well choose a religious ceremony and can also include your favourite hymns, prayers or readings.

Humanist Ceremony

A humanist ceremony does not include any religious content and will be 

focused on celebrating your life and experiences. These ceremonies can 

include poems, music and readings and you can also choose to have loved one’s speak in addition to the Humanist Officiant.

Civil Service

A civil service is often seen as the compromise between a religious and 

humanist ceremony, offering a service that looks at the life of the individual and includes some religious content.

These ceremonies can include poems, music and readings as well as hymns and prayers.

How will you be transported to the crematorium or place of burial?

Some options, whether opting for something traditional or a little different, include:

  • Hearse (traditional)
  • Eco-Hearse (electric and so environmentally friendly)
  • Vintage Hearse
  • Motorcycle
  • Trike
  • Horse-Drawn Hearse

Flowers

It is completely up to you whether you would like flowers at your funeral, and if 

you do what flowers you would like.

If you would prefer that flowers were not used or instead donations were made to a preferred charity or cause then this could be included within your funeral plan and wishes.

This is by no means an exhaustive list but may give you a few things to think about if you are considering putting a funeral plan in place and removing all these decisions from your loved ones at what will already be a very difficult time for them.

If you would like more information or to discuss putting a funeral plan in place, call us on 01727 865 121 or email us at info@TotalLegacyCare.co.uk for a free, relaxed and considerate discussion on how we can help

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Leah Waller

Have a Question or
want to book a 

FREE Consultation?
 

How to Solve a Rubik’s Cube: What’s the Link?

How to Solve the Rubik’s: What’s the Link?

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Rubik’s Cubes and Total Legacy Care…what is the link?

This is something that we are SO SO passionate about so, let us enlighten you!

As a legal firm, we protect our clients with Lasting Powers of Attorney but we wanted to do something to go the extra mile for our clients. That’s when we decided to help our clients to not only protect themselves if they were to lose capacity in the future, by putting Lasting Powers of Attorneys in place, but ensure they take measures to keep their minds active and have some fun in the process. Learning to solve the Rubik’s Cube has some amazing benefits…

The Rubik’s Cube is often referred to as the IMPOSSIBLE TOY but everyone recognises the iconic cube and it often brings back memories from childhood, whether that be elation at solving the cube or frustration at not being able to!

We are so passionate about the positive benefits that the Rubik’s Cube can have that we have committed to giving each of our clients a Rubik’s Cube when we have finished registering their Lasting Powers of Attorney BUT WHY?

The Rubik’s Cube is not only for the younger generations but for ALL of us! Some of the benefits that we have already seen from our voluntary projects include; improved dexterity and coordination, memory improvement as well as a reduction in anxiety, getting social, engagement and socialising with others (and maybe even those that you wouldn’t usually!).

So, what exactly do TLC do?

Not only are we great believers in the positive benefits of the Rubik’s Cube at any age, we are always keen to HAVE FUN!

We give a Rubik’s Cube to each client upon registration of their Lasting Powers of Attorney and have just finished recording our videos that will teach YOU how to solve the Rubik’s Cube in just EIGHT steps! 

A Lasting Power of Attorney in relation to your Health and Welfare only comes into effect when you have lost capacity (either physically or mentally,  or both) and are unable to make decisions for yourself, whereas a Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney can come into effect immediately upon registration or upon losing capacity, depending on your decision. So, here at TLC we don’t just want to help you in the future…we want to help you now! Hence the Rubik’s Cube. We genuinely believe that the positive benefits of the Rubik’s Cube, learning to solve it and keeping your mind active each day will have lasting effects on your health and wellbeing going forward and so that is our gift to you.

We currently run projects throughout Care Homes and Day Centres to teach people, largely the older generation (we are talking 30plus, so definitely not old!), how to SOLVE THE RUBIK’S CUBE.

We have taken solving the Rubik’s cube and simplified it to open it up to all ages and abilities. Through trial and error, and with the help of a group of elderly participants, we have devised a course of eight sessions with simple videos to accompany them. The videos will be released on FRIDAY 25 OCTOBER and will be available on our website and on YouTube (so, keep your eyes peeled).

Our main aim is to HAVE FUN but solving the Rubik’s Cube keeps the mind active and has already demonstrated that is is key in helping the residents within a Care Home or Day Centre setting to learn (or re-learn) a skill – solving the Rubik’s cube, whilst having the benefits of improving their hand-eye coordination and giving them something a bit different from the norm.

We are keen to explore a link between solving the Rubik’s Cube and stimulating and improving short-term memory (similar to those studies with Sudoku, Crosswords and chess), a symptom of Dementia that is common across most types of the condition. Keeping the mind active has numerous benefits and can keep connections within the brain communicating to improve a person’s daily activities and communication skills.

At present we are often found in Care Homes and Day Centres teaching our lessons on how to solve the Rubik’s Cube, we are currently in talks with an Autism Charity to develop a scheme for them too as the benefits for those with Autism could be just as positive and rewarding!

This is a project we are super passionate about and are always happy to discuss.

If this is something that you would be interested in for yourself,or a group that you are involved in or just want to have a chat or find out more, please do GET IN TOUCH!

And, if Lasting Powers of Attorney is something that you have been thinking about, or putting off, now is a great time to get your plans in place!

Before we go…

We couldn’t write an article about this without mentioning our latest involvement with Rubik’s:

🏆GUINNESS WORLD RECORD🏆

We are so proud to be a part of the Guinness World Record for… 

The most contributions to a Rubik’s Mosaic. With 308 individuals contributing to the final mosaic, it was a brilliant achievement!

Thank you so much to Rubik’s Brand Limited and Torgeir Amundsen (Cube Arting) and CONGRATULATIONS!

 

We absolutely LOVE teaching all generations how to solve the Rubik’s Cube and it was our pleasure to help as many as we could to be involved in the GUINNESS WORLD RECORD! 🧡

Solving the Rubik’s Cube has so many POSITIVE BENEFITS!

 

If you would like more information, to discuss a project with 

a group you are involved with, 

or are thinking about putting Lasting Powers of Attorney in place, 

call us on 01727 865 121 or email us at info@TotalLegacyCare.co.uk

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Leah Waller

Have a Question or
want to book a 

FREE Consultation?
 

Wouldn’t it be great if we could predict the future?

Wouldn't it be great if we could predict the future?

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

We all have busy lives and so sometimes just predicting what today is going to ring is an achievement, let alone way into the future! It would be great though, wouldn’t it 😉

Unfortunately, none of us know what is just around the corner and so planning for it is key. That is where Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) come in! LPAs are relevant during your lifetime and ensure that someone that you trust and have appointed as your Attorney can act on your behalf when you are unable to. Check out our article, Why Do YOU need an LPA? 5 reasons YOU should put your LPA in place for more information on LPAs.

We all know that age is going to hit us hard at some point but that ‘point’ is way off in the future, right? Unfortunately, this may not be the case…

Just looking at a few celebrities, we can see that an LPA may be needed a lot sooner than we would have hoped!

Chris Tarrant was just 67 years of age when he suffered a stroke that led to an emergency operation and ongoing rehabilitation to help him to regain his speech and physical movement.

Michael Schumacher was only 44 years old when a skiing accident resulted in him being placed into a medically induced coma (for six months!) and suffering life-threatening head injuries. 

Micahel Schmacher is a father of two children, who were aged just 14 and 16 at the time of the accident.

Richard Hammond was involved in an awful car accident whilst filming for Top Gear at the age of just 37 causing major brain damage after being in a coma for two-weeks, this also led to significant memory loss and depression.

However, it is not just celebrities that this happens to and when we take a look at the facts, they are hard-hitting! Just a couple of statistics for you:

  • Every 90-SECONDS, someone in the UK is admitted to hospital with a brain injury;
  • Every THREE-MINUTES, someone in the UK is diagnosed with Dementia (and this is not just a condition that affects those over 65!);
  • Every FIVE-MINUTES, someone in the UK suffers from a stroke;
  • One in Six people within the UK will have a stroke during their lifetime;

 

So, enough of the doom and gloom….

What can we do to ensure we are protected, plan for our future and our family’s future and give us some much needed peace of mind?

The answer is a simple one…. Get your Lasting Powers of Attorney in place whilst you still have capacity to do so!

There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney:

  • Health & Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney; and
  • Property & Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney.

(to find out more about these check out our article Why do I need an LPA?)

An LPA allows you to appoint an Attorney, or Attorneys, to make decisions for you, and on your behalf when you are unable to. This could just be a temporary measure due to a temporary loss of capacity either physically or mentally or a more permanent arrangement.

You can give your Attorneys guidance and state your preferences, should you choose to do so, within your LPAs and set out the extent of the power that you want your Attorneys to have.

 

So, what if you don’t get around to getting these all important LPAs in place?

If you do not  register LPAs whilst you have the capacity to do so then you lose control to a certain extent as it is then for your loved ones, or a professional, to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order in order to manage your financial affairs on your behalf. 

This process is costly – a court fee of £385, not to mention legal fees if you seek legal advice and potentially a fee for a professional to verify your lack of capacity to support the application being made, and timely – the application can take around 4 months to be granted from the date of submission however, if there are objections made to the application then this process can take 9-12 months!

Once you have lost capacity you lose the ability to choose who you want to appoint to manage your affairs for you and ultimately the choice is left to the Court of Protection – this may not be who you would have chosen had you been able to make the choice yourself. 

You also lose the opportunity to give guidance to your appointed Attorneys and advise of your preferences.

In relation to your health and welfare, if you do not make an LPA to cover this whilst you have the capacity to the Court of Protection will be reluctant to appoint a Deputy in relation to your healthcare decisions unless the circumstances are extremely complex. Again, meaning you lose the control to appoint who you trust to make decisions on your behalf.

Getting an LPA in place doesn’t have to be complicated, time consuming or expensive and can ensure that you have peace of mind and take the burden away from those closest to you.

 

If you would like a free chat to see how we can help or if you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch for a FREE consultation on info@TotalLegacyCare.co.uk or 01727 865 121

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Leah Waller

Have a Question or
want to book a 

FREE Consultation?