Have you ever told your children how much money you have got? Is it any of their business? Does it make them more likely to leave the roller skates at the top of the stairs or will it encourage healthy debate and the offer of genuine assistance from them?
We discuss this with a lot of people and the answers vary. I encourage everyone to discuss their planning with their children unless there are good reasons not to. But I can see the downside. It is true that some children can take a selfish attitude and treat that money as if it is theirs when it clearly is not. The joke about skiing (Spending the Kids Inheritance) is not funny for some. Take my parents for example. Just not funny. They just keep going on holiday!
But seriously, you need to consider your own finances and future plans but you also need to know about your children’s own financial positions and plans to make sure you are building in planning that they might need. Do they already have a tax liability? Are they heading for a divorce? Do they get means tested benefits? All of these things need to be considered and planned for.
You should make Lasting Powers of Attorney to delegate decisions about finances and health/welfare choices when you can no longer make those decisions yourself. You should not expect them to make choices for you when something happens to you without you having given them the chance to talk to you about it. They need to know what you would want.
We often recommend Trusts to protect your assets and appointing your children to be Trustees. They have important responsibilities and choices to make that will affect you. They can’t do that in a vacuum.
New research, undertaken with Opinium, revealed that 47 per cent of UK adults have never discussed inheritance, while 26 per cent do not consider the conversation as a priority, on the basis that they are not old enough to worry about it.
We find health scares and bereavement prompt people to discuss succession planning with us, but apparently 36% do not feel comfortable raising it with their family.
You need to think about your planning for you and your families, in terms of Wills, Powers of Attorney, Trusts and Inheritance Tax (IHT).
According to the ONS, IHT raised GBP4.9 billion in the last financial year. This is partly down to rising property prices and frozen tax thresholds, but it can also be a result of poor planning.
I realise you won’t like talking about money or death. If you want to make a start, call and make an appointment with us. It won’t kill you, I promise, and we can discuss what involvement family members should have as we go along.