Remember the Oxo family? The ads featuring Lynda Bellingham ran from 1983 to 1999, 42 in total. What was so special about them was the way in which they created a sense of a real family by not ironing over the cracks. There were disagreements around the dining table alongside the affection.
It is cruelly ironic then, that the real family of Lynda Bellingham, who died of cancer in 2014, are in dispute over her will. Bellingham’s two adult sons insist that their mother had wanted to ensure that they were looked after, even though her will left everything to her third husband, Michael Pattemore. Now the two sons are saying they find themselves effectively cut off from their mother’s financial legacy.
Property Aspects Magazine discussed this issue with Paul Dodsworth, Managing Director of Estate Planning Solutions, in Wilmslow. Paul explains, “Family structures are increasingly complex, with second or even third marriages. But inheritance issues can easily be avoided with appropriate estate planning”.
Paul points out that there is a popular misconception that estate planning is all about death when, in fact, it is simply sensible financial planning to ensure that your estate ends up in the hands of the people you want it to.
“It is relatively inexpensive to write a new will so that your assets are looked after and go to the right people”, Paul says. “For example, the way that property is owned and apportioned is absolutely critical. Writing a proper will avoids the kinds of conflict we now, sadly, read about”.
Paul sees the job of the estate planner as one of tying all the relevant strands together. “There are various key ways of ensuring that your family and your children are protected for the future”, he explains, “and that your own interests and wishes are respected during your lifetime”.
Estate planning involves more than will writing. It can mean;
- setting up family trusts to ensure legacy wealth is kept for whom its intended
- setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) to protect the interests of someone in the event of their incapacity while they are still alive
- looking after aspects of wealth protection to ensure people’s legacies are protected
“If you have health concerns you see a doctor”, Paul concludes. ‘If you want to protect your family and your assets in the future the same rule applies – see a specialist”.
If you would like some furthrer information on protecting your family, please call Estate Planning Solutions on 0800 781 6658 or visit estplan.co.uk