Looking at different Estate Planning examples can be helpful when it comes to drafting the right Will for you and your family. In this post, award-winning Will Writer Simon Hall outlines three real-life scenarios to get you thinking…
Simon has been widely recognised by his peers and was recently named ‘Business Champion of the Year’. Key to his success is his commitment to the highest values and ability to advise from a wealth of experience that includes diverse Estate Planning examples.
If you had told me five years ago, that I’d embark on a career where I talk so much about death, I would have said you are nuts. However today I believe we are able to make a positive impact regarding a topic that most people don’t want to talk about but need to.
Estate Planning is all about protecting one’s family and my family is my cornerstone. My 95-year-old mother continues to inspire me as does my son Tom who is working in London and hopefully not making the same mistakes as I did! I have a lovely fiancée, Linda and we are looking forward to getting married later this year. We share a mutual life-value system that is interlocked with the way we do business.
When discussing their Will writing requirements, a client will often draw on my knowledge of similar scenarios. Here are some case studies that I’ve recently dealt with that may help you see what is needed in your situation to ensure complete peace of mind. I am not using names and the photographs are AI generated however each is a real-life situation.
3 Estate Planning examples to get you thinking
1. Guardianship and Trusts
First up is a single parent who is in her 40s although she is currently sharing a house with her estranged partner. They are tenants in common, each owning half the property which makes it difficult for either to leave. She has two children under 18, a son from a previous relationship and a daughter with her estranged partner. The daughter has special needs. The client works long hours as a surgeon in a local hospital and has no Will in place. In the event of her untimely death, her son would not be provided for, nor would there be a plan in place for her daughter.
I was able to draw up a Will to secure her share of the house and protect her son and daughter in terms of guardianship while also providing a Trust to support her daughter, with trustees that understand the value of money. In this real life scenario, guardianship is a hugely important factor. The reason for this is that if parents don’t set up guardianship in their Will, it’s possible their children could go into to care. That could be for a matter of days, weeks, or several months. A Will ensures that doesn’t happen.
2. Lasting Power of Attorney
Secondly, we have an unmarried couple in their 40s or 50s. They have grown up children from previous relationships. They jointly own a house. Both are self-employed. The bombshell is that one partner has been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. Neither have a Will.
While there is a lot I could do for this couple, the most pressing thing was to arrange Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) should the health situation rapidly deteriorate or if there was a negative reaction to treatment. They also needed a Will in place within days. I had to turn both around very quickly before an emergency operation within days.
Suddenly getting married became important to them as it would double the Inheritance Tax allowances. Having grown up children from previous relationships can be challenging particularly if the children don’t get on with the opposite partner or each other. Having a Will in place makes everything very clear.
3. Out of date Wills
The third example is a married couple in their 60s or 70s, they have two adult children, one from a previous marriage. Both are homeowners and still working. They are quite independent of each other with no immediate health issues. They have Wills in place however they are out of date. This is important as your Will should be reviewed regularly, not something you do once and forget about.
Often couples request Mirrored Wills which in effect can save costs however in this case it became quite complex. The husband and wife required different things. For example, he didn’t want to leave his wife or his younger son anything. He felt his elder son should inherit his estate and could be trusted to provide for his widow and stepbrother. I had to explain the consequences of this decision and he soon realised that it didn’t make sense. Now, I’m not there to tell people what to do. I’m there to educate them, raise awareness, identify unexpected things that could happen and explore such scenarios.
This couple incidentally were not tenants in common and that is something I was able to put in place for them, should one of them pass away, the deceased’s half would remain in trust, if the survivor was then to enter full time residential care, only their half would be assessed for care fees.
Simon Hall Will Writing
This is a whirlwind tour of what I deal with daily, real life Estate Planning examples of a broad cross-section of our clients. They all have different stories yet tend to be people who place a high value on their life and what they have worked so hard to achieve. It’s not about the car in the drive or the house that they live in. It is about the people in their lives and safeguarding their future and the legacy they want to leave their children.
At Simon Hall Will Writing we take each client on a three-part journey. Firstly, to develop a relationship based on trust. Secondly, we work out what their estate is worth both now and in future and the financial implications that entails. Then we move to the third step which is writing their Will. By following these simple steps, we develop long-standing relationships with our clients that can be lifelong.
My role is simply to pay attention to what our clients are saying and help them make decisions about what to do to maintain a quality of life for them and their family. I undertake to provide independence for each individual for as long as possible and empower families to leave a legacy that will have a lasting impact for generations to come. The bottom line is to ensure each client has complete peace of mind.
You are welcome to follow me on LinkedIn for more insights on Will Writing with additional Estate Planning examples and advice about LPAs, Trusts and Probate issues.