What is estate planning?

Estate planning sets out how your assets will be distributed, who they will go to, and when. Without making an estate plan or a Will, the Intestacy rules will be used to decide what happens to your assets.

Financial advisers and estate planners are available to support you with your planning; talking about the difficult topics, helping you understand the options you have, and implementing your plan according to your wishes.

What’s the difference between financial planning and estate planning?

It may seem that there is some overlap in the duties of a financial planner and estate planner. After all, both are concerned with helping you manage your money. So where do they differ?

  • A financial planner’s aim is to help you grow your wealth and achieve your financial goals.
  • An estate planner supports the distribution of your legacy according to your wishes.

Anyone can set up a trust or write a Will, but it is possible to make mistakes – which is why we have estate planning partners who can ensure your wishes are carried out, while we concentrate on financial planning (providing advice on such topics as retirement, investments, protection needs and tax planning.)

Do I need to make a Will and estate plan?

Too few of us know what we’re worth and may believe that our assets don’t amount to enough to make a will. But this isn’t the case. Record amounts of Inheritance Tax (IHT) was paid in 2017/18, reaching £5.2bn. Despite this, over half (60%) of UK adults don’t have a Will, according to research from Unbiased.co.uk. Even if all you have to distribute is your house and car, it’s a good idea to have a Will. The larger and more complex your financial affairs are, the more you might be able to benefit from talking to a financial planner or estate planner about your legacy.

How can a financial adviser help me with my estate planning?

In your first meeting with a Wren Sterling adviser, your adviser will get to you know you and discuss your situation. We can then help you value your estate, consider scenarios which can affect your financial plan (now and in the future) such as poor health or support for your beneficiaries. Using details from our discussion, your adviser can design a plan to meet your financial goals, predicting how much your pension might be, and calculating any potential IHT bill to avoid any unnecessary tax.

All our financial advisers are qualified to discuss matters relating to estate planning – but some are SOLLA (Society of Later Life Advice) members. This means they have taken additional qualifications to prove they have the knowledge and personal skills to discuss the difficult topics around death, inheritance, and financial issues.

Can IFAs help with corporate succession planning?

If you own a business, you may need to consider succession planning to reduce the impact your death could make. Aside from the emotional impact of losing a family member, friend or colleague, consider the effect losing their boss will have on your employees. What will happen to their careers when you’re no longer able to help manage the day-to-day running of your business?

Do you have a question about your estate planning?

If you have a question about estate planning you’d like to discuss with an estate planning expert, please get in touch using the form below. You can also arrange an appointment to speak to one of our local advisers, face to face or over the phone, to discuss your situation.


The Financial conduct Authority does not regulate taxation and trust advice