Be Prepared – In case of death checklist

When someone dies it will be necessary for another person to obtain a grant of representation to access most of the deceased’s assets and administer their Estate. It is often an emotional time for the person dealing with the Estate and it can be both demanding and time consuming. Sometimes knowing where to start is one of the hardest things, particularly if you have no idea what the deceased’s person’s Estate includes. Anything you can do during life to make this process run smoothly for the administrator will take away a lot of stress for your loved ones.

Some of the things you could do to make the administration of your Estate run as easily as possible are:

1) Make a Will to ensure your wishes can be adhered to and the Estate administration is a simpler process. Although not part of dealing with the Estate, whilst completing your Will also ensure you have Powers of Attorney in place.

2) Keep a list (electronic or paper) of your assets and debts. List the name of all banks, shareholdings, valuable chattels, addresses of properties/land you own, insurances you hold, pension and life assurance providers, utility providers you use, phone providers, loan providers, credit and store cards etc. If you have valuations of valuable assets include details. Consider everything inside and outside of your home. It is likely that you will keep adding to this list as you think of more things you missed the first time you put it together.

3) Keep a list of all gifts you have made in the past 7 years

4) If your spouse predeceased you, keep a copy of their Probate, Inheritance Tax Return and Will with your Will. This could help to reduce Inheritance Tax on your Estate.

5) Keep a contact list. List all organisations/clubs and charitable institutions/friends/professionals who should be notified of your death. You may also want to list social media sites you use.

6) Consider whether or not you will be liable to Inheritance Tax and take action to mitigate this liability if appropriate.

7) Ensure your Executors know where your Will, other official papers (driver license, passport, title documents, Tax Returns etc) and where your lists referred to above are kept. Consider letting your Executor have copies.

8) Access to online accounts, email etc. This is a difficult one! Not having a username and password for a deceased can make it difficult for an Executor to be sure they have all the necessary information to administer an Estate. However this is information you should not make available to others during your life. Some possible options to consider are having a list of more commonly used password information in a sealed envelope left with the Solicitor who keeps your Will. This isn’t really practical if you change this information regularly. Another option is a password manager software application. At the very least ensure the lists created above are annotated to show those accounts/organisations etc that are online only access. The Executors will then at least know of their existence and can liaise with the providers direct to get access to your information.

Having carried out the above you need to review your Will and the lists regularly and update as necessary.

Taking the above action will take a great burden away from your loved ones so start the process now.

The A-Z of Charnwood Accountants

Accountants – seems silly not to start here as that’s the day to day job and fundamentally what we are!

Business Advisors – We’re not just about the numbers though – a big part of the services we provide focus around general business advisory services. We see the detail behind the scenes of your business and will always look at ways to help you improve.

Communication – this is key for a successful relationship. If you only hear from your accountant once a year then that’s not enough. We speak to all our clients before their year end, following the year end to agree the accounts and after key events such as recent budgets. All clients will receive personal e-mails on any changes that will impact their business. We also encourage our clients to call us with queries with no fear that the clock will start running as soon as we answer! (more…)

5 Ways to tell if your accountant cares about you

For many people an accountant is an expensive and necessary evil much like the taxes they pay them to calculate. But this does not have to be the case. The relationship between a business owner and their accountant should be just that – a relationship. There should be understanding, compassion and assistance available when required. Above all your accountant should care about you and your business. (more…)

THE FRIGHTENING RISE OF INTERNET BANKING SCAMS

THE FRIGHTENING RISE OF INTERNET BANKING SCAMS

There appears to be a flourishing industry of ever more complex and sophisticated scams that are designed to divert our hard earned money from our bank account into the wrong hands.

Even within our own client base we have seen a frightening increase in the number of clients that have fallen foul of these scammers. Often, because of the complex nature of the scams, and due to the clients’ own inadvertent involvement, the clients have had no way of recouping their funds.

“IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN TO ME!” (more…)

A new style of exit for the owner manager business

Dave McKeon from Charnwood Accountants LLP sets out a new style of exit to add new and exciting business opportunities to owner managed business. This “John Lewis” style of exit offers a wealth of opportunity to businesses to move forward in a new and exciting style of ownership that suits modern business. Utilising an Employee Ownership Trust can add real value to the business and it’s potential for growth. (more…)

Increasing need for business advice among self-employed as more people become their own boss

The  pros and cons of being your own boss have been highlighted by Charnwood Accountants after new research revealed that almost one in seven people in the UK is now self-employed,

Chris Hutton, partner with Charnwood Accountants in Mountsorrel, said working for yourself offers a wide range of benefits – but it also presents a number of drawbacks. (more…)

A Good Year in Business

Dave McKeon from Charnwood Accountants LLP  recently did a presentation to Network4Business. He set out what a good year in business might look like and how you need to have an expectation of what you require both in the short term and the medium term to measure and plan for this.

  The presentation walked business owners through the following annual business cycle:-

(more…)