Planning for the future is important, even if it’s a future without you in it. Research commissioned by the Law Society has revealed that 73 per cent of the UK population aged 16 to 54 have not made a will. The figure is still a high 64 per cent for those over 55. We are an ageing population and, it seems, an unprepared one.
The estimate is that by 2018 the UK government will receive nearly £1 billion in Inheritance Tax, but with the right estate planning, you can reduce the amount of Inheritance Tax you pay. If you want to protect your property and other assets, not just in the event of death, but also for other eventualities such as divorce or chronic illness, then the best thing to do is seek expert advice.
How, then, do you choose an estate planner? There are levels of expertise in this field, but a clear mark of excellence is a STEP qualification. STEP is the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. As an international body, with its headquarters in London, STEP supports its members with training, CPD and establishes benchmarks for professional standards in the estate planning practice.
An advanced STEP qualification is the equivalent of a PhD in the estate Planning world, and marks the recipient out as an expert in his or her field, having achieved passed specialist professional examinations.
Paul Dodsworth, Managing Director of Estate Planning Solutions, and recently a recipient a diploma-level STEP qualification, explains, “Working for it has been hard work, but enormously rewarding. Being a full member of STEP reflects my dedication to this field of work, and to my clients.”
STEP’s mission is to help families plan their assets across generations. Membership indicates a high standard of care and professionalism – so important when it comes to dealing with such sensitive issues, both personal and financial.
“The figures show how far as a country we’ve got to go in raising awareness of the importance of estate planning,” Paul concludes. “With the rising value of property, more marriages, civil partnerships and divorces, and an ageing population, the time has never been more crucial to have the right legal measures in place to ensure your wishes are respected.”
If you would like to discuss planning for the future and ensure that your wishes are respected, please call Estate Planning Solutions on 01625 540033 or visit estplan.co.uk