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Three takeaway points from Jerome Dodge’s talk at Probus 2016

“Jerome’s talk provoked much interest and highlighted many important issues from our members, who all agreed it was one of the most interesting and valuable presentations the members had seen and heard.”

This was the message from Probus speaker secretary, Chris Nadin, when Blanchards Bailey principal, Jerome Dodge presented to a packed house in Blandford last month.

Jerome’s presentation covered two topics, Inheritance Tax and powers of attorney. We’ve picked out three key points from the head of probate’s talk, highlighting the importance of getting your financial affairs in order and leaving a legacy.

1. Recent government changes can save you money. Lots of money.

The Government is introducing an extra Inheritance Tax allowance applicable to a person’s residence that will be phased in from April 2017 to April 2020.

The new allowance has the potential to extend the Inheritance Tax allowance from £325,000 to £500,000 for an individual, and from £650,000 to £1m for a married couple and those in a civil partnership.

What this means is that it’s essential to take professional advice on the structure of your Will in light of this new legislation, to ensure that you do not inadvertently lose the benefit of the extra allowance.

2. Plan ahead with Lasting Powers of Attorney

Financial Lasting Powers of Attorney enable you to appoint others to manage your financial affairs in the event of a future loss of capacity.

Jerome added that he is seeing fewer people who have a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney (Healthcare LPA) but they are becoming increasingly important documents in the wake of a growing elderly population and an ever-stretched health and social care sector.

Therefore, if you do not have an up to date Financial Power of Attorney or Healthcare LPA, it’s vital to plan ahead and contact the specialists at Blanchards Bailey.

3. Creating a Will gives you total peace of mind

Previously, if you didn’t want to leave part of your estate to a particular individual, it was good practice to stipulate the reason for excluding them from the Will, as this reduced the chance of a successful claim being brought against the estate.

However, this practice was reviewed in 2015 in the highly litigious and highly publicised case of Ilott v Mitson. So while you can leave your estate to whoever you like, the beneficiaries might not receive the gift(s) as set out in your will.

If you are in this position and you’re concerned about someone making a claim on your estate, or if you believe that you have been unfairly excluded from an estate, the solicitors at Blanchards Bailey can advice on the best course of action to take.

Jerome Dodge was independently recognised by the Legal 500 as a leading individual in his field in 2015. He is available to speak at events and is contactable on: jerome.dodge@blanchardsbailey.co.uk and 01258 483616.

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