There are certain things you just wish you’d been told in advance of the event, such as…

Where the keys for the shed are.

Where the home insurance policy is kept.

Whether the scariest dude in the universe is your Dad or not.

Luke Skywalker must have been pretty irate at Uncle Owen and Aunt Berus at that point. Although the big guys name having the same meaning as Father in German was a clue.

But do they speak German in space?

This is why making a will is so important. It’s an instruction manual for the next generation that tells them what we want, how it should be done, and where the keys for the Porsche are (more on that particular topic in the coming months dear readers).

It’s the first building block of an effective scheme of estate and succession planning. Which is why it’s an absurdity that two thirds of adults in the UK do not have a will.

So, let’s start there. If you don’t have a will – you need to get one.

Last time I wrote about inheritance tax (IHT) without going into much detail.

This time, more detail.

Spoiler alert – it’s bad. Worse than Vader bad.

In 2012/13 the amount of IHT collected by HMRC was £3.1 billion. By 2018/19 that had increased by £2.3 billion to £5.4 billion. Enough to run the NHS for 2 weeks.

The average IHT bill?

£179,000.

Ouch.

There are lots of basic tricks that you should know about. Annual gifts, PET’s, wedding gifts, freezer shares – to name just a few. They’re all good but they take time, planning and application.

I know someone who knows how to deal with it in one hit. More on that later.

And the threats don’t stop at Inheritance Tax. Most family wealth is gone within three generations. It dissipates and erodes until the work of a lifetime, your lifetime – is gone.

But you can ensure this doesn’t happen.

Remarriage can cause your children to be disinherited.

Bad planning can ensure you pass on an IHT liability to your grandchildren on day one.

That’s before we even start to talk about the numerous commercial and personal threats to wealth and assets which were your problem but are now your kids problem (thanks Mum and/or Dad!).

So, what do you do?

Making a will is a start, but it’s not the whole story.

My friend who specialises in this area can help you build a wall around your assets to ensure that the wealth you have built up cannot be attacked. He can ensure that your wishes and instructions are followed for 125 years after you’re gone.

Best of all, he’ll make it happen quickly so you can get on with ruling the universe.

Look out for the next instalment in this mini-series (or should that be blogamatic universe) tomorrow.

All the best,

Stephen Wallis

Copyrighted and published by FOAR Ltd