Login In

Interactive Diagnostic


13 The Courtyard
Timothy's Bridge Road
Warwickshire CV37 9NP

01789 294484



7-8 Stratford Place

0207 495 0304


Estate Planning: Protecting Your Loved Ones


Estate planning - protecting children's inheritance

You work hard for the lifestyle you want. Therefore it is natural to want to protect your assets for the benefit of your loved ones. Estate planning and writing a will can help protect your wealth and the inheritance of your loved ones. Join us as we look at estate planning, bloodline planning and writing a will to ensure your loved ones benefit entirely from the inheritance you want them to receive.

What is estate planning?

Estate planning is arranging your assets to protect loved ones and honour your wishes. With wills, trusts, and designations, you stay in control. Small business owners and families need to plan and ease burdens. You must seek expert guidance to safeguard your legacy.

How do estate planning and making a will differ?

Estate planning and making a will can help protect your wealth, but they are different.

Estate planning will help you to decide how best to protect and pass on your wealth to your loved ones. An estate plan is a broader plan of action for your assets that may apply during your life and after your death. Estate planning is more than being sensible with your finances. It is about giving you peace of mind.

Making a will lets people know how you want your money and assets shared after death. So, while a will is often part of an estate plan, an estate plan is more comprehensive.

Seeking professional advice is essential if you’re thinking about making a will or creating an estate plan.

What is involved with estate planning?

Estate planning empowers you to protect your assets, secure your loved one’s future, and ensure your wishes are respected. Seeking professional advice can help you to plan wisely and build a legacy that brings peace of mind.

Key components include:

  • Will: Appoint Executors and Trustees to distribute your estate by your wishes to your intended beneficiaries.
  • Trusts: Settled in your lifetime or on death by your will, which can offer asset protection benefits and, in some instances, tax advantages.
  • Lasting Powers of Attorney: Appoint an attorney to make decisions about your property, finances, health and welfare in case of incapacity.
  • Designate a representative for medical decisions.
  • Appoint Guardians: Name caretakers for children and other dependents if you’re unable.
  • Tax Planning: Minimise taxes on your estate through strategic measures.

When should I make an estate plan?

Estate planning during your lifetime can be highly Tax efficient regarding Inheritance Tax. You can Gift assets to Beneficiaries before your death. Giving to Beneficiaries in this way means assets are entirely outside the Donor’s estate seven years after the Gift.

However, rather than gifting assets absolutely, it is wise to consider giving with the aid of Discretionally Trusts. Gifting assets “absolutely” means they are potentially at risk from Divorce, Creditors and long-term care costs. In addition, these Gifts would add value to the recipient’s estate, increasing your beneficiary’s inheritance tax liability on death.

A Discretionary Gift Trust means that, although you make a Gift to your children and grandchildren, the asset need not enter their estate. Ultimately, this means you can protect these assets from any possible future claims on them in the future.

How can I protect my children’s inheritance?

Bloodline planning is a way to protect an estate down the Bloodline. It will ensure that your assets reach your children, grandchildren and relatives rather than end up in the wrong hands!

You can lose so much when you give directly to Beneficiaries because these Gifts are considered part of the Beneficiary’s estate. As such, assets not protected by a Trust face attack from Divorce Settlements, Creditors and Taxation.

Without the correct Bloodline Planning:

  • Your spouse/partner and children may not inherit your share of a business.
  • Some of all of your children’s or grandchildren’s inheritance could be lost.
  • Assets distributed to Beneficiaries expose those assets to risk.

Assets not protected by a Trust face attack from:

  • Divorce or Separation Settlements of future generations.
  • Creditors or Bankruptcy Claims.
  • Other Inheritance Tax Bills.

Have you considered what might happen if your surviving spouse were to remarry? How would this affect your children if they later changed their will to favour the new spouse and the children they share? Or, if you have children from a previous marriage, how do you ensure they would get their fair share? What if your children are very young and have special needs? How can you ensure that they receive adequate care and support?

There may also be a business you have worked hard to build up. Surely you would want to protect this for your family too?

How do I protect who has access to my assets?

We recommend holding your assets in Trust. Specifically, a discretionary Trust called a Probate Trust. While still protecting assets from the attack of Care Costs, it also allows the Settlor access to the assets held in Trust. The Trust has a memorandum of wishes where the Setlor is also a beneficiary. The purpose of the Trust is for Bloodline planning, not Tax Planning. The transfer of assets by the Settlor is classified as a ‘Gift With Reservation of Benefit’ (GWR).

How can Trusts help with Bloodline planning?

Your children’s and grandchildren’s inheritance can be at risk for several issues. Taxation is one, but issues like Care Costs can also impact legacy. Having to pay Care Costs can significantly erode the value of an estate. Family homes may have been sold, and income and investments drained, seriously reducing any subsequent inheritance. Trusts can also protect your assets from family circumstances which may become a concern.

There are two potential scenarios where planning can be done with Trusts:

  • During your lifetime.
  • In preparation for death.

You can use a range of Trusts and a will to protect your hard-earned assets and loved ones. The planning type depends on individual requirements and the value of the estate.

Who can help me with estate planning?

You can do a certain amount of estate planning yourself. Equally, resources are online for you to write up your own will. However, to be sure you’ve covered the essentials, it’s best to get help from a professional. You work hard for the lifestyle you want. Don’t leave things to chance.

Estate planning guidance requires deep understanding and extensive experience to ensure your situation fits into personalised solutions. Ensuring your chosen Estate Planning Consultant is qualified and provides reliable service is key to aligning your estate planning with your needs.

Creating wills and planning estates happen in a space without strict regulations. Ensuring your consultant is open about their qualifications and background is important. Ask about your Consultant’s legal qualifications and experience. Check if your Consultant is connected with respected organisations that follow codes of conduct, showing professionalism and ethical service. Examples are STEP and BEST Foundation.

What happens if you don’t plan your estate?

If you don’t have a will when you pass away or become incapacitated, your estate will be divided according to Intestacy laws. This means you lose control over how your assets are distributed. Plan to protect your wishes and ensure your estate is handled according to your choices.

At Grenfell James, our trusted experts can help with your estate planning needs and make a will. To ensure your loved ones benefit entirely from the inheritance you want them to receive, call us today at 01789 294 484. Planning for your estate is never too early but often too late.

You might also like these

Grenfell James Technology Adoption Index

How does your business perform against others adopting financial tech? Find out with our interactive diagnostic:


How does your business receive invoices?


Invoices are mainly received in paper form


Invoices are mainly received by email


Invoices are emailed then automatically forwarded to a designated mailbox


How are purchase invoices processed?


Invoices are entered manually


Invoices are attached to manually raised invoices


Automated software (e.g. ReceiptBank, 1Tap, HubDoc etc) collates invoices


How are accounts processed?


Using Excel/paper-based


Using Computer-based, offline software


Using cloud-based accountancy software


How often is business data revised?


Data is updated annually


Data is updated quarterly


Data is updated monthly or more often


How is banking updated for your business?


Banking is updated manually


Banking is updated by imports


Banking is updated via a live feed


How are bank payments made?


Bank payments are manual


Bank payments are made using bulk imports


Bank payments are made directly via accounting software


How are bank receipts reconciled?


Receipts are chased and reconciled manually


Receipts are chased and reconciled automatically


A third-party platform is used to chase debts and collect fees


How often are management reports produced?


No reports are provided


Reports are provided but often too late to be valuable


Reports are automated with real-time information

Score 8-12:

Curious Exploration

Your financial technology phase is Curious Exploration

% of respondent businesses are in this phase too.

Switching accountancy systems may seem like an upheaval, but can be much more straightforward than most businesses imagine. From talking to our clients, they have found moving from paper invoicing and desktop-based accounting software to the cloud and apps quickly makes the transition process a worthwhile investment of time. Digital accounting solutions bring in streamlined processes, up-to-date business data and greater confidence in the accuracy of information when making financial decisions.

Grenfell James works with your team to fully assess the needs of your business and minimise the impact of any transitions for solutions we recommend.

Find out more about App Advisory


Score 13-19:

Measured Discovery

Your financial technology phase is Measured Discovery

% of respondent businesses are in this phase too.

Once cloud accountancy software is in place, there’s still plenty of scope to improve your accountancy processes and make sure your business is maximising the benefits of adopting a digital accounting solution. Grenfell James assesses each business to understand how any implemented solutions are being used, identify areas for improvement and the needs of the business overall to support your business goals and achieve success.

Our team of experts can discuss a range of time-saving automation and get different apps and cloud-based solutions talking to create and manage a digital accountancy eco-system to help your business grow.

Find out more about App Advisory


Score 20-24:

Bold Innovation

Your financial technology phase is Bold Innovation

% of respondent businesses are in this phase too.

You know the benefits of accounting technology and the impact it can have on your business goals. If you want to take it a step further, our team can conduct a systematic review of your processes, apps and business goals to ensure your digital accountancy ecosystem is keeping pace with the changing needs of a growing business.