We often hear the term ‘exit strategy’ used in relation to business ownership. An exit strategy may involve a sale of a company or share in a company, to other investors or firms, with the hopes of the owner setting themselves up for a comfortable retirement or the next step in their career.
But what about an exit strategy for your personal affairs?
We might not like to think about our own death, but at some point, we will all make an ‘exit’! By denying this fact or burying your head in the sand, you may miss the opportunity to make preparations that would otherwise allow you to pass on your assets in the most efficient way, or leave your affairs in the order you would like.
By approaching your personal affairs as you might a business transaction, and forming an ‘exit strategy’ with the help of a solicitor, you can put the right structures in place to ensure the desired outcome.
One way in which you might do this is by creating, or reviewing, you will. We all know the importance of having a will in order to specify how we would like our assets to be distributed.
Making a will may also allow some people to improve the long-term outlook for their assets…When making a will with an experienced solicitor, every angle of your affairs can be discussed in confidence, and it may be that certain strategies are identified in order to improve a tax position or reduce potential liabilities. The legal landscape may have changed since a will was first made, and it may be that a reconsideration of a will’s contents would provide a future benefit to those that stand to inherit.
Further to making a will, one of the most important documents you can create for your personal affairs is a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). Akin to a business continuity plan, LPAs provide set out a back up plan in the event of the holder no longer having the capacity to make decisions. A Lasting Power of Attorney allows you to nominate an individual/people to become your deputy/deputies, which goes some way to seeing that any decisions that may be made will follow your best interests. As well as LPAs for your personal finances and health, it’s possible to create an LPA specific to your business, therefore allowing a transition plan in unforeseen circumstances.
Just as in business, where an exit strategy is not well considered, the situation that may unfold as a result of life events may not be what you would have hoped for. In order to create the lasting legacy you want, taking steps to forward plan is the best strategy.
Jill Waddington is a solicitor specialising in private client law at O’Donnell Solicitors. Jill and her team can be appointed to assist with wills, LPAs, or any aspect of planning for your future. Please contact Jill Waddington on 01457 761320.