Powers Of Attorney
On the subject of thinking a few moves ahead, it is important not only to make a will but to implement Lasting Powers of Attorney. There are two types: Property & Financial Affairs and Health & Welfare.
In the event that a parent or even both parents lose mental capacity, it is crucial that you have control of their affairs to avoid the state and social services making decisions that you do not agree with.
It is not desperately expensive and could save an awful lot of subsequent expense, delay and likely distress. It is essential to use an IHT specialist so please let me know if you would welcome some help in this respect.
The Property & Affairs LPA allows the donor to appoint an Attorney to manage their finances and property whilst they still have the capacity to make decisions for themselves whereas the Personal Welfare LPA allows the donor to appoint an Attorney to make decisions on their behalf about their personal welfare. A Personal Welfare LPA can only be used when the donor lacks mental capacity as determined by a consultant (Physician/Psychiatrist).
Family Home Allowance
A new ‘residence nil rate band’ was introduced on 6th April which adds £100,000 to the existing £325,000 exemption. However, the rules are complex and may necessitate rewriting your will. It could render current IHT plans redundant especially if the property has been left in a trust. Again, for a review of your wills and IHT plans, please let us know and we will introduce you to a specialist for up-to-date advice and guidance.
Sterling v Stocks & Shares
As I am a few years off retiring (not that I ever will; putting three children through private school has seen to that), the recent falls in the UK stock market following the rise in sterling consequent upon the decision to hold a general election are of little concern to me personally. As we embark upon the Summer holiday season I am delighted that I will get a little more San Miguel for my pound! It will be a temporary reprieve, I suspect, especially as a Tory landslide in June will restore confidence and stability and the UK market will kick on with sterling falling back again.