Planning for the future – securing your legacy

financial planning to secure your legacy

Iain Stevenson discusses how planning your finances to secure your legacy and protect your family’s future is well worth the effort.

Years of practising in dentistry can result in a lucrative estate, made up of multiple assets. There comes a time – sooner than many may think – when you need to ask yourself a few questions around the value of this cumulative wealth:

Who will get the house? 

What about the shares and the investment portfolio? 

What happens with the value of my share in the dental practice? 

Despite the initial aversion to talking about life after you’re gone, this is a wonderful aspect of financial planning to get your teeth into and make good decisions around – hopefully well ahead of the time your estate is finally distributed. 

Redistributing assets

It can take a little time, and you will need help from a financial adviser to guide you through what you can and can’t do and the effect it might have on inheritance tax.

It is vital you understand all your allowances and how you can start to redistribute assets while you are still alive. There are several important opportunities that can fall either under a regular or one-off basis, which can help to ensure you are placing the right assets into the right hands and, of course, also help to mitigate potential inheritance tax. 

You can make some serious errors if something is not set up correctly, or you could possibly give someone too much or not enough. Timing is a major consideration too in terms of when you pass on assets, as this can have a huge impact on the overall position and tax liability both before and after your death.

However, even if you get all of this right and have taken the time to organise everything exactly the way you want it, there is one vital ingredient that many people forget – please take the time to tell those involved. It will help to ensure everyone is on the same page and there can be no room for people making up their own version of your wishes after you have passed. 

Peace of mind

There are so many great benefits of forward planning and organising your assets. Everyone will receive exactly what you intended. If done properly, you will have taken advantage of the many tax planning opportunities. You will minimise the impact of inheritance tax. 

But above and beyond the numbers, most importantly, you will have peace of mind. You will have attended to some very important issues that, if left, can lead to family disputes during an already challenging time. Therefore, the knowledge that you have done everything you can to secure your legacy and protect your family’s future is well worth the effort.

Remember: advice in relation to inheritance tax planning is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Tax treatment depends on individual circumstances and may be subject to change in future. The value of investments can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you invest. 

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