If you are thinking about estate planning but don’t know where to start, don’t worry. Estate planning services providers are available to help you.
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Many people find it tough to face making plans for when they pass away. So, if you are looking for an estate planning service provider, you should congratulate yourself. You have made the first difficult step towards getting your estate in order.
Things to do before your consultation
From the initial consultation with a professional, their time is your money. It is therefore in your best interest to do some preparatory work before you make an initial appointment with an estate planning services provider.
Make a list of all of your assets and liabilities. This includes your house, your car, your jewellery and/or any artwork. Gather all relevant paperwork for every account in your name and create a filing system so they are all in one place.
As part of the process, you will need to have an initial meeting where you discuss your details and the details of your estate. If you organise your finances prior to your initial meeting, it will be that much easier to instruct your service provider. You will also avoid wasting valuable time.
There are three basic types of service provider.
When looking for a solicitor, you can opt for a specialist firm that deals solely with wills and probate or you can select a generalist firm that has solicitors offering estate planning services.
You should consult a solicitor if the division of your estate involves any kind of legal complexity. This includes situations such as dependants from more than one marriage, property or businesses overseas or part-ownership of a business.
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A solicitor can write your will following your instructions and will advise you about the legal implications of the estate division.
Solicitors offering estate planning services will give advice on the tax-efficient division of your estate in the event of your death. They will also give advice, where applicable, on what you can do now to reduce your tax liability later.
2) Financial advisers
Financial advisers tend to offer packages which include a will and a tax efficient estate planning strategy. The will can be written either by a will writer or a solicitor.
Make sure the will writer or solicitor is recognised by a professional body, such as the Institute of Professional Will Writers or the Law Society.
3) Estate planning advisers
In terms of the estate planning services they offer, estate planning advisers are similar to financial advisers.
They will typically offer a package that includes an initial consultation. They will put together a tax-efficient estate plan and a will written by a will writer or a solicitor.
Preparation is key. Draw up a plan of action before the first meeting and write a list of questions where necessary. Make sure your instructions are completely clear regarding the division of your estate.
If you are uncertain about specific aspects of the process, ask for clarification. It’s in your best interests to ask as many questions as you need to.
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