Later life planning

Later life planning

Our qualified experts can advise on the best ways to plan later life ...

As “Whole of Market” financial advisers we are not tied to any one provider, so we remain entirely impartial & unbiased and work only in the very best interests of all our clients.

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Inheritance tax mitigation

Let’s be honest, no one really enjoys paying tax, but it’s an unfortunate necessity most of the time.

Most of us can accept paying tax in our lifetime, but many of us find it difficult to accept the fact that we still have to pay tax on much of our estate when we die which reduced the amount we can pass on to our loved ones.

Tax reliefs can include the likes of capital gains tax relief (CGT), and loss relief and Inheritance Tax relief, etc. Tax efficient investments include, amongst others, ISAs (individual savings accounts) and the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS).

  • Inheritance tax is paid at a 40% rate on the value of your estate which exceeds the nil rate band of £325,000
  • The current nil rate band is frozen at the level of £325,000, and remains so until April 2021 when it will be reviewed.
  • Those of us who are married or in a civil partnership, and one person does not use their full nil rate band on their death this becomes transferable to the estate of the survivor. The exact rules are complicated, but in effect this results in a combined nil rate band of £650,000 (2 x £325,000).
  • A tax break on the family home was introduced in April 2017, which allows an individual to transfer a further £125,000 to their immediate descendants. This is set to increase to £150,000 in 2020, and again to £175,000 in 2021.

The lack of effective planning could prove to be costly to your beneficiaries in Inheritance tax, however it is possible to significantly reduce the amount of IHT your beneficiaries need to pay, or even better completely remove it all together.

Let us help you plan efficiently to reduce your IHT liability, and ensure we can accommodate your changing requirements through the different life stages.

get in touch with an adviser today for expert advice ...

Estate planning

Estate planning is critical in ensuring that your wealth is protected, for you and your family. Structuring your assets in a tax-efficient way will can make sure everyone is provided for in the future.

Many people have until now considered top-tier financial advice to be only for the very wealthy amongst us. All aspects of wealth management advice are available from our Later Life Planning Service, offering expert trustworthy advice, tailored to your individual needs from our FCA authorised, and qualified advisers.

Most people usually want their assets passed to their family both during their lifetimes, as well as after death. It can be prudent to plan and make sure your wealth is passed onto the right people at the right times, and doesn’t get passed onto the wrong people. It is also common for people to minimise their tax liability, or where possible avoid it completely.

Estate planning is aimed at achieving this is aimed at achieving these goals.

  • Wills and Inheritance tax planning – ensuring your loved ones receive the full benefit of your estate
  • Trusts - to provide efficient wealth management for specific people or purposes
  • International estate planning – making sure your estate avoids taxation in multiple jurisdictions
  • Wealth management – advising on investments and wealth-holding structures
  • Succession planning – planning for the future so your business investments continue to thrive
  • Planning for care home fees – ensuring your assets are not unnecessarily depleted in later life

Estate planning is about more than just reducing tax. It’s about providing you peace of mind for the future, safe in the knowledge you’ll have enough for retirement, and your loved ones have the financial support they need.

Each family is different, and every estate is unique, and we work with this in mind to help create tailored plans that work best for you and what you want to achieve.

get in touch with an adviser today for expert advice ...

Wills, Probate & power of attorney

Getting the right Will, and understanding how probate works is important so that your wishes are met, and the distributions to your loved ones are maximised.

Will writing

A will is a legal document which stipulates how an individual wishes their assets to be distributed on death, and it names one or more people as executors who will manage the estate until it’s finally distributed among the beneficiaries.

A will is a very important document for you and your family because it ensures that your estate is distributed to your loved ones as you wish, and that they are protected along with your property and assets. Having a will in place makes things much easier for your loved ones to sort things out when you die.

In the absence of a will there are rules in place which stipulate how your assets will be allocated, and this may not be what you wished for. For example, it is worth considering that unmarried partners cannot inherit from each other, and your children may not benefit as desired where no will has been made. It is also important to remember to change your will accordingly should your circumstances change, or you re-marry.

It is important to tailor your will specifically to your personal circumstances, and assets & property so that it can be a valuable tool ensuring your estate is properly protected.

Wills can also be used as a strategic tax planning tool, in order to protect your assets for future generations and maximize what is passed on to them.

Probate

Probate is the process that deals with a deceased estate, typically involving clearing of any debts, and distributing the remaining assets to beneficiaries in accordance with the diseased will. In summary the grant or probate provides the necessary permission to administer the estate and distribute inheritance.

There are specific rules which stipulate how you should notify the necessary authorities, and distribute the estate. You will first need to apply for a grant of probate (or a grant of confirmation in Scotland). Different rules apply to those who die with no will, this is commonly known as ‘dying intestate’.

The process for settling someone's affairs will depend on whether you choose to do it yourself, or appoint a professional to act on your behalf. Appointing a professional can be a good idea and, if you are dealing with a complex estate, could be essential.

The process of settling a person’s affairs when will depend on whether you do it yourself or appoint a professional to act for you. The appointment of a professional can be beneficial, especially if you are dealing with a sizable or complicated estate, and in some cases could be essential.

The executor of a will is the person who administers probate, and in most cases this person is appointed in the deceased’s will. Usually the executor will be a family member or close friend of the deceased, but it can also be a professional such as a solicitor who has been appointed.

The process that an executor as to deal with is typically summarised by the following steps:

  • Get the full details of the deceased’s estate, all assets and debts.
  • Apply for the grant of probate
  • Complete the inheritance tax return, and pay any due tax.
  • You receive grant of probate
  • Repay any of outstanding debts of the deceased
  • Distribute the remaining estate according to the instructions of the will.

Power of Attorney

If you become unable to do so yourself, a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) allows your loved ones to take care of you and your finances.

A power of attorney is a legal document that lets you (the donor) appoint one or more people (as attorneys), to either help you make decisions, or make decisions for you on your behalf should you become unable to do so yourself. This protects you from having a stranger, or someone you may not trust yielding power over your welfare decisions.

This will safeguard your interests giving you more control how your affairs are handled in the event of an accident or an illness that renders you unable to make your own decisions due to a lack of mental capacity.

In order to put an LPA in place you need to be over the age of 18 and retain mental capacity. It is important to have an LPA in circumstances where you lose mental capacity and must be put in place while you still have mental capacity. If you don’t have one in place, your family would be required to apply to the Court of Protection to have a deputy appointed who can deal with everyday financial matters. This can be costly, especially when a solicitor is required

There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney, of which you can chose to use one, or both types:

Health and welfare LPA

A Health and Welfare LPA concerns decisions regarding your health and care, and where you live. This can only be used if you become incapable of dealing with such things yourself. It can be used as soon as it’s registered, with your permission.

You should use this type of LPA to give an attorney the power to make decisions about things like:

  • your daily routine, washing, dressing, eating, etc
  • medical care / treatment
  • coordinating care providers or moving into a care home
  • life-sustaining treatment
Property and financial affairs LPA

A Property and Financial Affairs LPA allows your loved ones authority to deal with financial matters on your behald, such as paying your bills, buying and selling your property, or managing bank accounts and investments etc. It can only be used when you’re unable to make your own decisions.

You should use this type of LPA to give an attorney the power to make decisions about your property & finances:

  • managing a bank, savings, or building society account
  • paying tax and bills
  • collecting benefits or a pension
  • selling your home
  • managing medical and care fees
get in touch with an adviser today for expert advice ...

Long-term care planning

As we live longer these days many of us will eventually face the challenge of funding care costs for ourselves or our loved ones.

This may involve a residential care home, or having care providers within our own homes. You may also find yourself in a position that requires you to care for someone who is no longer able to look after themselves. Here we will endeavour to provide an overview of what kind of long-term care is available, who pays for the care, what options are available, and how to make the best choices ...

Your first steps

If you or a loved one are struggling with everyday living due to poor health, illness, or disability, you may need to consider long-term care. Your first step in arranging care is to enquire with your local authority and request that they carry out a care needs assessment. This will be required to work out:

  • What type of help you require
  • What types of care are available?
  • How much of it you’ll be required to pay for yourself, and
  • How much funding you are potentially eligible to receive

Most types of care can generally be provided either in your own home, or in a residential care home. Preparing for long-term involves important decisions, and these will be influenced by your personal circumstances and personal preferences, including:

  • What type of care you require
  • Where you want to live, and
  • How much money you will have to pay for care

Regardless of your current state of health and independence the time will come when you need to consider these factors and what type of long-term care is most suitable for you. These options commonly involved the following:

  • Home care or domiciliary care
  • Sheltered housing and extra care
  • Care homes
  • Intermediate care
  • Respite care
  • How much is it going to cost?
  • Care services at a glance

Your main considerations will be centred around your own well-being and your independence. So for example, will you require specialist nursing care, or help with simple day-to-day tasks. You should also consider the needs of your immediate family or the people who live with you.

Who funds long-term care?

If your local authority considers that you have eligible care needs they will carry out a financial assessment to calculate how much you will have to pay towards your care costs.

How much you will need to pay depends on your financial circumstances, your income, your savings and your assets. Should you go into residential care, the value of your home may also be taken into account.

Should you be required to contribute towards your long-term care costs there are a number of ways to pay for it and it is important to consider each one, to see what is best for your circumstances.

As mentioned. how much you’ll need to pay will depend on a number of factors including your health and mobility, the level of support you need, and the value of your saving, assets and income etc. Depending on all these, you could end up paying nothing at all yourself, a percentage of it, or all of it.

In addition to self-funding, there are a number of options available such as Local Authority funding, or NHS continuing healthcare funding, and you may also be entitled to claim some benefits which are not means-tested, such as:

  • Attendance allowance
  • Disability living allowance
  • Personal independence payments

There are also other benefits available which you may be able to claim for depending on your circumstance.

Getting advice to plan for long-term care

You may be planning for your future long-term care, or you may require a solution urgently, regardless it’s always a sensible idea to seek advice from a specialist financial adviser. Our specialist advisers can help you work out:

  • The best ways for you to fund care
  • Which care options best suits your needs & preferences
  • How much you might need to fund yourself for your care

Getting good professional financial advice can enable you to:

  • Make better informed choices about the best ways to fund your care
  • Make sure that you and your dependents future care needs are provided for
  • Make the best use of your income, savings and assets, including your home
  • Have access to a wider choice of care finding options that you may not have known about yourself
  • Get assistance with claiming benefits that could help towards your care costs
  • Get valuable help with understanding the sometimes complex care system
get in touch with an adviser today for expert advice ...

Succession planning

Effective succession planning can help make sure this can be achieved with the best outcomes for all parties involved.

Navigating the transition in business ownership can be daunting when you have spent your life working hard to build your business.

Succession planning is the process used for identifying and developing new key members to succeed others when they leave, retire or die.

It can help increase the availability of the right people, usually experienced and capable employees that are prepared to assume the roles as they become available.

  • plan your exit strategy
  • consider the different options available for you and your business
  • consider the benefits of a management buy-out, management buy-in, or employee ownership trust
  • get advice on pursuing an exit strategy
  • find out how to best structuring the sale of your business
  • understand the best opportunities to pass your business onto loved ones

We are now living longer and healthier lives than ever before – and we are working for longer too. With over one million UK employees over the age of 65, and a quarter of Britons expecting to work into their 70s, organisations must strive to maximise senior talent and ease the transition into retirement at the same time. There are more people who semi-retire, or simply wish to work less hours and not fully retire straight away and this can be helpful to succession planning providing time to make sure experience and knowledge can be passed on effectively. Succession planning can help you:

get in touch with an adviser today for expert advice ...

Equity release

Lifetime mortgages (or Equity Release) allow you to release money tied up in the value of your home tax-free.

They are available to those of us over 55 years old, and can be received in a tax-free lump sum as an income and can be used for many purposes, such as home improvements, managing debt, or supplementing your retirement income etc.

Difference between lifetime mortgages & equity release

The basic difference between equity release and a lifetime mortgage is that with the latter you still own your own home. With many equity release schemes or reversion plans a share in your home is actually sold. Both can a provide lump sum of money or a lifetime of regular income.

This is a long-term loan that is repaid from the sale proceeds of your home once you either pass away or move into long-term residential care. Until this time, you will remain as the homeowner with no need to sell your house and move out. The interest rate and the amount that you can borrow are based on individual circumstance which include your age, your health, and the value of your home..

There are two basic types of lifetime mortgage, as follows:

An Interest roll-up Lifetime Mortgage is one where you receive a lump sum or a regular income. You get charged interest only on the amount you withdraw which is then added to the loan, and you are not required to make monthly interest payments.

An interest paying Lifetime Mortgage also provides you a lump sum amount, or a regular income, but you will make monthly interest payments to service the loan. This helps reduce or completely removes the impact of interest roll-up as it is not added to the loan, but paid by yourself.

How much equity you can release from your home is dependent on a number of factors, including your age, property value and the type of property you live in. To qualify for a lifetime mortgage you will need to meet this basic criteria:

  • You will need to be 55+ years old, and for couples both applicants must be over 55 years.
  • You must own your own home in the United Kingdom, which must have a minimum value of £75,000
  • You will be required to borrow £15,000 or more
  • The property must be your main residence, in which you live permanently. The property should not be unoccupied for more than six months at a time.
  • Whether you have a remaining mortgage or not doesn’t matter, you will still be eligible if you meet the other criteria. If you have any outstanding mortgage this would be required to be paid out from the money you receive from the lifetime mortgage.

Typical uses for the equity released with a lifetime mortgage include:

  • Pay for adapting your home so you can continue living independently
  • Make property renovations or refurbishments
  • Top up your retirement income
  • Pay medical bills or the costs of ongoing care at home
  • Help younger family members with education costs or house deposits, etc
  • Pay off existing mortgages, including shortfalls on interest only mortgages
  • Pay for hobbies, holidays, a new car, or more days at the spa or golf course

The costs of setting up a lifetime mortgage typically range between £1,500-£3,000. It is important to be aware of these costs associated with setting up a lifetime mortgage, which will typically include fess such as:

  • Building insurance costs
  • Property valuation fees
  • Solicitors legal fees
  • A lenders arrangement fee
  • Adviser fees for their advice and assistance in helping set up the mortgage
  • A completion fee (which can be paid when you receive the funds or be added to the loan)
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