Planning for a happy retirement should be an essential element of life as we move through the years. Wilkin Chapman's Lucy Butterfint looks at how planning for the future is more important than ever.
We lead busy lives and it is easy to push thoughts of the future to one side. Before you know it, the years will have ticked by and you will find yourself looking back and regretting the lack of any financial planning.
Time taken now to put those plans into place is time well spent.
Pensions, Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Trusts – such areas can often seem complex and that is perhaps why some people shy away from looking at what action they need to take.
However the consequences of not setting your finances in order can be severe and far-reaching, not just for you, but also for your relatives – especially if you ever find yourself in the position of needing full time care, or after your death.
Putting into place clear and proper plans will alleviate a tremendous amount of worry – allowing you to enjoy your retirement.
But my advice comes with a word of warning, to ensure the plans you make are done so with the sound advice of a trained legal professional.
In recent years, there has been an increase in unregulated practitioners operating. These people will often appear to be extremely knowledgeable with regards to the Trust packages they sell, but have no legal expertise at all.
Recently, I acted on behalf of two elderly ladies who had been sold expensive Family Trust and Will packages for an up-front fee of over £4,000 each. These packages were almost certainly not going to protect them in the way they were told. Fortunately, these two ladies were concerned and had the foresight to come and talk to me straight away. As a result, I was able to retrieve the whole amount for them, while advising them on a proper course of action.
By using a solicitor who is a member of STEP (The Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners), you can be assured they are experts who will offer you the best advice - not try and sell you something you don't need.