Inheritance and death
You could set up a Lasting Power of Attorney. This is a legal document where you appoint a person you trust (called an attorney) to make decisions for you and to act on your behalf. This could involve taking care of your money, your property, your welfare or your health.
You can specify what powers you want to give your attorney and when they can start making decisions for you.
To find out more visit the Gov.uk power of attorney website.
A will ensures your property, possessions and money (known as your estate) go to the people you want them to and allows you to appoint guardians for your children, if necessary. It also avoids any uncertainty, unnecessary expense and long legal delays that can occur if you don't write a will.
Without a will, your estate will be split according to the rules of intestacy. These rules can cause problems. For example, your assets may have to be sold so your estate can be split between your heirs. This could mean your partner is forced to move out of your family home.
Inheritance tax (IHT) is paid when your estate (that’s everything you leave behind, including your property, possessions and money) is worth more than £325,000* when you die.
But in fact most estates don’t pay any IHT at all. That’s because there are a number of allowances and exemptions which reduce or eliminate it altogether.
If you’re worried about leaving behind an IHT bill, speak to a solicitor, accountant or financial adviser to discuss your options.
(*2014–15 tax year)
The easiest way is to write a will. This means you can control who inherits from you and you can make gifts that could save inheritance tax (IHT).
There are other things you can do too. One is to consider writing any life insurance you have ‘in trust’. This means the payout on death will be free of IHT.