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Press comment: Legal sagas can be avoided by proper planning


If you’re covering family court statistics release by the Ministry of Justice today please see the following comment from Rachael Griffin, tax and financial planning expert at Quilter:

Rachael GriffinOn financial remedy & disposal:

“Legal fees are notoriously expensive and when it comes to financial remedies in the courts people can pay hundreds of thousands of pounds trying to unwind or sort out complex scenarios. Sometimes this cannot be avoided, but there are often circumstances when people could have avoided a dispute if they had set up their estate differently.

“For instance, there are often scenarios surrounding complex families and how estates are distributed. Some of these situations sound like something from a soap opera but rare situations do happen. Just this week a court has heard how a couple died and they need to decide who died first in order to determine which family inherit the house, given that the step children were brought together by the marriage. If he died first – the wife would have inherited and her family benefits and if she died first – the husband would inherit and his family benefits.

“There are a number of financial planning tools that could have avoided this scenario ending up in the courts – a will or a trust – both of which are vital tools to prevent post death conflict, ensures the deceased’s intentions are followed and speeds up the distribution of the estate.”

On lasting power of attorney:

“The sharp increase in Lasting Power of Attorneys (LPAs) over the past number of years is an encouraging trend. However, despite the rapid incline, we should not forget that we have an aging population where dementia is, unfortunately, a high possibility. A power of attorney can give you the peace of mind that a trusted individual is going to be in a position to take control if you are no longer able to make decisions.

“There are often huge misconceptions around LPAs that stop people from setting them up. Our research with the Big Window reveals that awareness and real understanding is scant and often superficial. There is common confusion over the cost, the process, how it interacts with inheritance tax and probate among others.

“On top of these knowledge barriers there is a vast emotional weight applied to conversations around LPA. This is far more than just an administrative decision, it is an awareness that there may be a time that you can’t and shouldn’t be making your own decisions. No one wants to consider themselves or loved ones in that state.

“We need to continue to do more to raise deeper understanding of what a power of attorney is and  provide tools and structures to facilitate conversations.”

For more information contact

Kathleen Gallagher023 8072 629307990

Notes to Editors:

About Quilter plc:

Quilter plc is a leading wealth management business in the UK and internationally, helping to create prosperity for the generations of today and tomorrow.

Quilter plc oversees £118.7 billion in investments (as at 30 September 2019).

It has an adviser and customer offering spanning: financial advice; investment platforms; multi-asset investment solutions; and discretionary fund management.

The business is comprised of two segments: Advice and Wealth Management and Wealth Platforms.

Advice and Wealth Management encompasses the financial advice business, Quilter Financial Planning; the discretionary fund management business, Quilter Cheviot; and Quilter Investors, the Multi-asset investment solutions business.

Wealth Platforms includes Old Mutual Wealth UK platform; Old Mutual International, including AAM Advisory in Singapore; and the Old Mutual Wealth Heritage life assurance business.

The Quilter plc businesses are being re-branded as follows: 

  • Quilter Financial Planning (previously Intrinsic)
  • Quilter Private Client Advisers (previously Old Mutual Wealth Private Client Advisers)
  • Charles Derby Group (becoming Quilter Financial Advisers)
  • Quilter Financial Adviser School
  • Quilter Cheviot
  • Quilter Investors
  • Old Mutual Wealth (becoming Quilter Wealth Solutions in 2020)
  • Old Mutual International (becoming Quilter International in 2020)

This press release is for journalists only and should not be relied upon by financial advisers or customers.

Please remember that past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up and investors may not get back any of the amount originally invested. Exchange rate changes may cause the value of overseas investments to rise or fall.

This communication is issued by Quilter plc.  Registered office: Millennium Bridge House, 2 Lambeth Hill, London EC4V 4AJ, United Kingdom. Registered number: 6404270.  Registered in England.