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How Colin and Eleanor Secured their Family's Future

Peace of Mind Across Four Generations

Colin and Eleanor’s Story - Peace of Mind for Four Generations

This is the story of Colin and Eleanor, great-grandparents who wanted the peace of mind of knowing their assets were protected for the four generations of their family, and that their own personal wishes were respected no matter what

Colin and Eleanor’s Story

Colin and Eleanor (not their real names – confidentiality is essential to everything we do) are a lovely retired couple in their late seventies. They have three children, seven grandchildren and an impressive eight great-grandchildren. Their large and close-knit family is their pride and joy.

Their main asset is their home, and they have generous pension provision and a substantial fund of savings they have built up through their life together.  They really want to make sure that those assets are protected, so that they are both securely provided for throughout their lives. They have worked hard for what they have, and it’s important to them that their assets stay in the family. Ideally, they would like their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to benefit from the fruits of their hard work for generations to come.

They enjoy a comfortable and active retirement, but they are beginning to “feel their age”, and realise they may not always be able to manage their own affairs without help. But they really don’t want outside interference if that happens. They would much prefer all the decision-making to take place within their loving family circle.

Their most pressing concern is the welfare of their eldest son Pete and his family. Pete has just been diagnosed, in his fifties, with a very cruel progressive illness, which will render him increasingly disabled in the course of the next few years. It won’t be long at all before Pete has to be cared for in a nursing home. They are worried that whatever inheritance Pete receives from them will be snatched away from him to meet the cost of his care, robbing him of comforts and depriving his children of their share of the family assets.

How we helped Colin and Eleanor

First, we dealt with their concern for Pete. The traditional mirror wills Colin and Eleanor had made some years previously were no longer fit for purpose. All those wills achieved was to leave their assets directly to their children in equal shares. If Pete received his inheritance in this straightforward way, he wouldn’t see any benefit from it, because his inheritance would immediately be used by the local authority to fund his care.

FamilyTrust Wills were the right solution for this family.  Instead of leaving their estate directly to the next generation on the second of their deaths, Colin and Eleanor are leaving their assets to a family trust, which will operate for up to 125 years from the end of their lives. The trust will be managed by family members, and the people to benefit from the trust’s assets will be Colin and Eleanor’s children and “remoter descendants", i.e. subsequent generations.

However, because the assets will be officially owned by the trust, rather than individual family members, the assets will be kept out of reach of potential predators. So, in Pete’s case, although the trust will be able to give him financial support and comfort as appropriate, none of the trust’s assets will officially belong to Pete, which in turn means the local authority can’t take away any of those assets to fund his care. Colin and Eleanor’s assets will exclusively benefit their blood family instead of being open to erosion.

Next, we made sure that decision making would always stay within the family throughout Colin and Eleanor’s lives. Colin and Eleanor have made Lasting Powers of Attorney for Property and Finance, which means that, if either of them become frail and unable to manage, their family members can help them look after their money without outside interference. They have appointed each other and their two able-bodied children as Attorneys.  

They have also made Lasting Powers of Attorney for Health and Welfare, which means that, if big decisions are needed about where they live and how they are looked after in later life, it’s the people closest to them, whom they trust the most to respect their wishes, who will speak up for them and make decisions for them.

Colin and Eleanor have also made Living Wills, which spell out exactly what medical care they do and don’t consent to if they are ever to ill to speak up for themselves. Their Living Wills emphasise their comfort, dignity and freedom from pain as the most important priorities. So Colin and Eleanor get to retain control of their own destiny and know that their most personal wishes will be respected.

Finally, Colin and Eleanor have the benefit of a Probate Guarantee. The last thing they want is for their children’s inheritance to be eaten into by legal fees, but equally, they don’t want their children to be lumbered with handling probate without support from a solicitor. With the benefit of a Probate Guarantee, the probate process will be dealt with by a solicitor for 50% of the normal hourly rate. Not only that, but the overall solicitor’s bill will be capped at 1.5% of their estate, so they know their children will be guaranteed at least 98.5% of the family’s assets no matter what.

The Outcome

The result for Colin and Eleanor is complete peace of mind. They know that their assets will be protected for the benefit of their family, and they also know that their own wishes and preferences will be respected whatever their own state of health, so they have complete control of their destiny.

Sounds Expensive!

Actually, no - Colin and Eleanor invested less than 1% of their net worth in this strategy - and the peace of mind they gained as a result was priceless.

If protecting your assets for your family and retaining complete control of your personal destiny are important to you, you can take action to achieve this. To find out more about how we can help you, just give us a call on 01581 601 5399, or fill in the contact form below. We’re here to put you in control.

"As a single person with no dependants I wanted to ensure that in the event of my death my assets would be given to the people that I wanted - Gina sorted it simply and in plain english - that’s a real comfort. Thanks!!"

Traci W

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