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Estate planning - it's good to talk

Recent research has revealed that nearly half of all adults in the UK have not had a conversation with loved ones about what would happen to their estate after they die.

Naturally, whilst we are all aware of the importance of inheritance planning, the subject of death and making necessary financial arrangements for relatives tends to be avoided by many of us. It often takes a traumatic personal event, such as a health scare, to encourage people to broach the subject.

However, positive occasions, including births and marriages, could also prompt the conversation about passing on your wealth. Identifying family heirlooms and what should happen to them is another possible starting point.

Aside from the obvious emotional barriers to engaging in this conversation is that it is often difficult to know where to begin.

Making a Will is a good practical way to start the process of estate planning and involving family members in the process. This document can provide you with legal clarity and peace of mind, safe in the knowledge our loved ones will be provided for and that their role as executors will be as straightforward as possible. It also gives the person making the Will control over how their estate is divided.

Deciding who receives what in a Will can be a tough decision – but if a person dies intestate (without a Will), then specific procedures and rules dictate who receives their assets which could cause a rift that tears their family apart.