Wills & Estate Planning

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Wills are an essential part of any financial plan, as they dictate how you wish for your assets to be divided upon your passing.

They are increasingly important if you have dependents who rely on you financially, or if you wish to leave assets to those outside your immediate family. A Will can also be a good way to limit the burden of Inheritance Tax that may be left after you're gone.

Transferring Your Wealth Through Generations

Retaining pension wealth within a pension fund and passing it down to future generations is an extremely tax efficient estate planning solution. Changes in legislation allow any nominated individual to inherit a pension fund at any age, regardless of dependency and receive withdrawals, potentially tax free. Also, whilst the funds remain within the pension, they will not be subject to Inheritance Tax (IHT) as they are outside the beneficiary's estate and, in addition, will continue to enjoy tax free growth

Death Benefit Nominations

Legislation regarding death benefit nominations has changed the way we pass on any remaining pension funds on death. This means you should revisit existing death benefit nominations to ensure they still meet your needs and objectives.

Don't forget that a nomination doesn't have to be all or nothing. It's possible to nominate a number of different beneficiaries and even skip a generation with some of the fund.

Should I Use a Trust?

As a pension fund is controlled by its new owner, they can determine who benefits on their death or withdraw the whole fund leaving nothing to pass on.

This may be an issue if you wish your pension to be passed onto certain individuals over time, have children from a previous marriage or are worried about a beneficiary's ability to manage their own financial affairs.

As an alternative to the death benefit nomination, a possible solution would be the use of a trust with the pension assets being held under trust and then controlled by your own appointed trustees. This may not be the most tax efficient solution but may be the most appropriate in certain circumstances.

Important Information:
A pension is a long term investment. The fund value may fluctuate and can go down. Your eventual income may depend on the size of the fund at retirement, future interest rates and tax legislation. Will writing and Inheritance tax planning are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Will writing services are provided by a third party.

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