December, 2013

10 Horrendous Will Writing Mistakes

Writing a will is not just for the rich and famous. As soon as you own assets it’s best to write your last will and testament so that your finances and the future for your children are taken care of effectively and efficiently. Unfortunately, people make terrible errors writing their own will, which is why you always employ a professional who is an experienced expert. So what are these dreadful errors that people make? The wording of the will becomes ambiguous and it’s not clear what you are leaving for your family, friends and other beneficiaries. This may cause arguments and conflict amongst those who were close to you, before your death. Failure to appoint suitable executors may leave people administering your estate without any due care and attention. Some people try to leave their property to other members of the family, when their spouse or partner still needs to live in it. A will allows you to appoint guardians for your children if they are under 18 years of age if you die before they reach the age to vote. Failing to appoint guardians may mean that the state decides where your children will live and with whom. Not taking account of tax in advance, may lead you to pay 40% inheritance tax on the assets you leave behind when you didn’t need to. A well worded document will make use of tax-free allowances. Without any beneficiaries, your complete estate may pass to the government and you will have missed the opportunity to direct tax-free money to your favourite charities. Where you are unmarried, your partner may not have the right to receive property from you unless you have taken specific actions to ensure that matters are left correctly. By not offering personal effects to certain people, items may need to be sold as family members disagree. There are parts of your estate that you can give away a number of years before you die and receive certain tax advantages. This involves you being well-organised by taking tax advice and writing your will as soon as you can. There might be people that you may not wish to receive anything from your estate, but a poorly worded will may direct your funds straight to their bank account. All of these errors can be corrected by having your last will and testament written by a professional will writer who...

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Insurance Policy v Pre-Paid Funeral Plan

There are many different types of insurance policies available in the marketplace. Not all of these are designed to pay for your funeral after you have died. Most are arranged to provide your family with a source of income when yours is no longer available, most likely after you’ve died. There are specific insurance policies that are designed to pay out a certain lump sum of money to pay towards your funeral. They do not guarantee to cover the cost of your funeral, but they pay-out the specific amount that is guaranteed from the day you arranged the policy. When inflation increases the cost of funerals, you might be faced with a funeral that costs more than your insurance policy is designed to pay out. One of the disadvantages of purchasing an insurance policy to cover your funeral expenses is that you might end up spending more in monthly premiums than the cost of the funeral, if you live longer than you expected. An insurance policy will work to your financial advantage if you die early in the life of the policy because your claim will be for more than you have paid in. A Pre-Paid Funeral Plan provides certain guarantees that an insurance policy lacks. Related articles Funeral Plan Insurance...

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The Mail on Sunday Agrees With Us About Living Wills

Today, the Mail on Sunday has printed an article about the reasons why almost everyone should have a Living Will written so that individuals can dictate their wishes when they become incapable of making health decisions – perhaps when you’re in a coma or will be severely brain damaged when you do wake up after an illness or an accident. A Living Will (also known as an Advance Directive) allows you to name a healthcare proxy; someone who will be able to inform doctors about your wishes and gives medical professionals information about when you wouldn’t wish to receive life continuing treatment. Here’s the newspaper link Or you can copy and paste this link:...

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How to Guard Against Future Funeral Cost Increases

Where you had paid for an average funeral in 1990, the cost will have been around £850. By 2025, the average funeral expenses are expected to set you back around £2,700, plus expenses. If you had purchased a Pre-Paid Funeral Plan back in 1990, you would have saved around £1,850, if the plan was used in 2005. That is a better yield on your money than an investment in a building society savings fund, over the same period of years. The inflation rate for funerals has tended to run at a much higher rate than general retail price inflation for many years. To try and save against the effects of inflation, you can purchase a Pre-Paid Funeral Plan. This means that the price you pay today, guarantees that you will pay no more for all the funeral director’s activities involved in the funeral and service. However, you should note that an amount of what you pay now, is set aside and will rise in value with the value of the funeral trust fund and is used towards the items that you cannot guarantee the cost of;- the cost of your cremation or burial; your doctor’s fees and that of your clergy. In their Cost of Dying report for 2013, Sun Life Direct has quoted funeral costs increasing 80% since 2004. They state that the average cost of dying is now £7,622. A basic funeral has risen 5.3% since last year to a current total of £3,456, which is 80% more than 2004. Once you add other discretionary expenses such as flowers and a headstone, the average cost of this funeral increases to £7,622, which is an increase of 7.1% over 2012. These figures show why it’s sensible to purchase a Pre-Paid Funeral Plan today, but it’s best to avoid insurance based plans. They have several disadvantages. Principally they don’t guarantee to cover funeral costs or allow you to specify the arrangements. Even if you are in reasonable health, you may well end up paying much more in premiums than the insurance company will ever pay out.   Related articles Not All Pre-Paid Funeral Plans Are The Same...

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Why Will Writing is Important

An article in The Economic Times, a news collection from India, highlights why writing a will is not just important, but vital. All of the salient points made, apply equally to those of us residing in the UK. An excerpt: 5 Reasons to Review Your Will You should consider changing your will if … You change your name or any beneficiary mentioned in the will changes his or her name. You sell any of the assets mentioned in the will or acquire new ones. There is a change in circumstances. You may want to exclude a beneficiary or add a new one in the will. A beneficiary mentioned in the will dies. The executor of the will dies or is rendered unfit due to old age or ill health. If you don’t have an up to date will, or any will at all, please click over to our advice page to find out more....

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