Protecting your home, your money and your horses

Without the right planning, even if you have a will, you might not have the level of protection that you want for your home, your investments, and even your horses.

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If you haven’t made a will then the law will decide who inherits everything from you, this includes your home, your money and anything else you own, including horses and other animals. If you have made a will, then it’s essential to keep this up to date to ensure that it’s still valid, is still an accurate reflection of your wishes, and that it offers the right level of protection for your needs.

You should update your will after any significant life event, such as the start or end of a relationship, the birth of a child or grandchild or the purchase or sale of a property.

There are different types of wills that offer different levels of protection, so that you can ensure that what’s important to you is protected, including your property, your investments and your horses! It’s important to understand your specific risks, whether it’s protecting the value of your property, protecting inheritance for vulnerable beneficiaries, or making sure your animals are taken care of.

Speak to a specialist today.

Ensuring the ongoing care of your horses

There are specific measures you can take when making your will to ensure the future care of your horse after you’ve gone. One of these is to include them in your will and leave them to a trusted individual who you would like to care for them.

If you don’t make provisions for your horse in your will, they will be treated as any other possession and will be passed on in line with inheritance laws, or they will go to whoever you leave the rest of your estate to.

You can choose who is best placed to care for your horse and you can leave your horse to them as a gift in your will. This individual might be the same person who is inheriting the rest of your estate, or it could be a specific person or charity who you feel is better equipped to provide the necessary care.

If you are leaving your horse to be cared for by someone who isn’t inheriting money or assets from you, you can choose to include a cash gift to support the financial costs of their ongoing care. It’s also a good idea to have a conversation with the intended beneficiary before you make your will, just to ensure that they are willing and able to take on this responsibility.

The value of your horse and associated equipment will also have a value which will form part of your estate. If this value is significant, you should consider whether there are any inheritance tax implications. There are steps that you can take to mitigate your liability for inheritance tax, which a will writing specialist can explain.

Taking care of what’s important if you become unwell

If you become unwell or suffer an injury in the future that means you’re unable to make decisions or manage your finances, who would be able to step in to help? In reality, no one has the legal authority to make decisions for you about your finances or your welfare, not even your immediate family.

Without putting the right measures in place, if you became unable to manage your own affairs, no one would be able to take care of things for you, such as paying your bills, buying your groceries or managing insurance policies. In addition, no one would be able to make decisions on your behalf about how you should be cared for, where you should live and what medical treatment you should receive.

This means that anything held in your name could end up in limbo, with no one having the authority to manage it. This could apply to your home insurance, stables you lease, insurance for your vehicles and payment for any daily costs.

With the right planning, you can give someone you trust the legal authority to step in and take control straight away if you need them to. This can be done with a legal document called a lasting power of attorney.

This document can only be made by you and only if you are able to understand its implications. If you wait until it’s needed it will be too late. Without this document, the only option for your loved ones would be to apply to the Court of Protection for a deputyship order, which can be a lengthy and expensive process.

To understand the risks and the best options for your individual circumstances, you can speak to an estate planning expert. They will discuss your needs with you in detail and make recommendations on how to get the right level of protection for yourself and your loved ones.

Find out more about Co-op Legal Services will writing and estate planning.