The Future of Estate Planning

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APS Legal & Associates

In the UK
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A public consultation launched by the law commission suggests that a reform of the estate planning and will writing sector might come sooner than once thought.

Many of the laws surrounding this sector now rarely relate to many modern day family situations. A good example of this is the Banks V Goodfellow case study, a study that was used to specify the capacity of a testator which has been in place since 1870.

The societal changes we have seen in the last 100 years alone are phenomenal. Not only have we seen a huge development in the technology we use on a daily basis, but the developments we have made in medicine are also profound. Ultimately, this has caused the will writing industry to be left in the Victorian era and there are various areas that are now open to be reviewed.

These areas include:

  • Dealing with the older generation – approximately 18% of the UK population are 65 and over and this projected to increase to approximately 25% by the year 2036. This could change how we assist vulnerable clients.
  • Capacity testing – we have made major developments in the understanding of diseases, disorders and conditions. For example, dementia affects a large proportion of the UK and we can still help clients in the early stages of dementia.
  • Digital technology – we have an increasing reliance on technology such as smart phones, online storage and emails. This could change how we write our wills.
  • Family life – the nuclear family is becoming a thing of the past with the majority of families not conforming to this. This affects the trusts we might typically put in place for a client.
  • Assets – we are seeing changes in spending habits and the younger generations are less likely to hold assets such as properties or investments.

Although changes in these areas will be designed to make understanding this area of law easier for clients to grasp, at the moment the sector remains somewhat of a grey area for them. As professionals, we can really help clients by continuing to prompt them to make their wills and put other measures in place, and by ensuring they have all the information they need. As an adviser, you are in the best position for this.

To find out how you can join APS and assist clients, simply click the button below!

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