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Passing on your Wealth

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Ensure you have a Wealth Manager who provides holistic advice, understands all types of assets and how they behave on life and death.
Ensure your chosen Wealth Manager completes a detailed financial audit of your affairs.
If you have property assets make sure your finances and wealth are in order so your children and family receive as much as your wealth as possible, more so understanding the way in which your property ownership is structured.
  Source three potential Wealth Managers to give your financial objectives to.
  Work out your financial objectives for the wealth manager; for example do you want income in later life?  Capital lump sums?  What level of risk do you wish to take?  Can you afford to lose access and gift assets?
  Compare the service each Wealth Manager offers, including personal visits and how transparent their investments are.  For example do they reassess your investment if the ‘investors’ financial objectives changes?  Do they constantly manage and monitor your investment portfolio and if so how do they do this? 
  Understand from the Wealth Manager how they believe changes in the economy in the future will affect your financial affairs such as changes in interest rates, taxation and so forth.
Check the Wealth Manager will instruct a STEP qualified trust and estate planning solicitor to create and keep your Will up to date as your wealth changes, also knowledge of how you want them to behave on your death.
Make a list of all of your wealth, including property you own, financial investments, pensions, life cover, cash deposits and other such as premium bonds.
If you have a Will, secure a copy and check when it was last updated.
If you own property ensure you keep a check on the estimated value this will help with assessing capital gains tax and inheritance tax.  This will assist in creating better documents such as a Will and ideas on how the assets should be managed.
Understand who will receive your wealth and how much you would like of your wealth to go to them, at what age and their relation to you.
Decide if you want your assets to be protected against third party claims such as bankruptcy, divorce, local authority means testing when passing your wealth to a spouse, children or grandchildren.
Brief the three Wealth Managers you have chosen and compare how each presents their recommendations to you.
Decide what you would like to happen to your money after your death and choose your trustees carefully.
Decide which Wealth Manager you want to work with and check their terms of engagement.
Make sure your Wealth Manager is not going to simply carry out an instruction you give but advise on and discuss all issues including the difficult ones with you. Go through the Wealth Manager’s proposals in detail and make sure you are happy with their recommendations, discuss what changes you would like and items you are nervous about.

All our information is brought to you by Kate Faulkner, author of
Which? Property books and one of the UK's top property experts.
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