Legal Planning Basics – 2 Minute Legal Checkup


We publish an occasional Legal & tax Update, free of charge and obligation, be informed at the foot of this page. Many property owners with pre 2019 Wills are gifting up to £140,000 to the Taxman rather than their family.  Join the Newsletter for more!

Do you and your family deserve proper legal protection?

1. Who looks after your financial decisions if you can’t?

Accident, sickness or old age can lead to you being unable to make decisions. Who then can? NOT your spouse (without a Lasting Power of Attorney) and probably never your partner. The Court will decide! Who pays – YOU! Unless you have an EPA or LPA – Lasting Power of Attorney Property & Affairs and make YOUR choice. Is your business safe? 0 Yes 0 No.    More information.

ACTION NEEDED: YES / No already in place.

2. Who looks after your welfare if you can’t?

(Information as in 1)

This covers: where you live, who you see, children, what you eat, medical issues etc. If there is a fit surviving parent they would look after the children but if not it will be up to the Court to decide unless you have a Lasting Power of Attorney – Health & Welfare (introduced Oct 2007). Medical Directives, Living Wills etc are not the same thing at all.

ACTION NEEDED: YES / No already in place.

Too late for 1 and 2 as the person has lost the ability to make decisions? Before Social Services take over, visit our Court of Protection Advice page.

3. Last Will & Testament (deals with your affairs ONLY after death.)

NO WILL? All decisions will be made by the State, including who gets your children. “Common Law” partners get nothing (without court action) and you will have missed both Asset Protection and Inheritance Tax planning opportunities. If you have a Will is it up to date? Invalidated by Marriage? Guardians & all kids included? Regularly reviewed? In a properly safe place? Are the Executors able to find it?  Are they still appropriate? Many are way too old to be burdened with all the stress.

ACTION NEEDED: YES / No already in place /  Amend / Review.

4. The Family Bank: Probate Savings, security from creditors, speedy access & flexibility.

Asset Protection plus savings on Probate costs and the security that the value of your home will benefit the right people. Unprotected homes can benefit children’s creditors (or soon to be ex-spouses); probate may take 12 months and cost thousands. The Family Bank can help the generations. Save money, hassle and potential TOTAL loss.

ACTION NEEDED: YES / No already in place.

5. Pre-paid funeral plans – independent advice

It makes sense to transfer money from low interest, taxable savings to a Funeral Plan with inflation protection. Sadly the Financial Conduct Authority has decreed that Independent Advice will only be available to well off folk who can afford to pay fees, not those of you who actually need a funeral plan.  The Prepaid Funeral Review is no longer able .to offer advice.

ACTION NEEDED: YES / No already in place (do the right people know about it?)

6.  Probate – sorting things out after a death.

We are specialists in this area and can also, on request, review Inheritance Tax issues at the same time.

Hopefully, this won’t be relevant, but if it is, please click through to the main probate website. There is also a wealth of Legal Planning information on the site – direct link.

Probate arguments? We can also introduce you to a specialist contentious probate service.  A brief initial review to see if there is anything that can be done is very inexpensive.  But you have to act quickly.

7. Ongoing review of legal planning

– family situations, Law & Tax are always changing. Will your legal planning remain up to date & safe? Not without our Peace of Mind Service to assist with all these issues!   However, the advice will normally come from us rather than Will Custodian Ltd.


Yes, I realise that circumstances change all the time & I would like an ongoing service. OR

No, the firm who set up my Legal Plans regularly reviews my planning, so I remain fully protected.

8. Run a Business?

Where a business is run by an individual or a small group of people, things can go badly wrong if anyone has serious health or mental problems – or dies. Most people will suffer from two of those things at some point!  The impact on your business, family and employees can be disastrous without sound planning. Powers of attorney, shareholders/ partnership agreement, IHT and succession planning are just some of the concerns.

Yes, I need a Review OR

No, I have good advisers who have looked after these aspects and they are taken care of.

Join our occasional Newsletter for alerts as to developments which might require changes in your Legal Planning and sometimes Tax issues – and there have been a lot of major developments since 2018 and there will be more in 2024……


Stephen Pett 5 Malcolm Gardens Polegate BN26 6PN


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