PLANNING… What are you waiting for?

PLANNING...

What are you waiting for?

We started the New Year by getting you think about all those grown-up things that are  on all of our to-do lists but many of us don’t get round to…that’s right, we are talking Wills, Powers of Attorney, Funeral Plans, Retirement and even dealing with the death of a loved one.

So, now that we have put all of our checklists and tips out there for you, we thought we would consolidate everything, in one place, to make things that little bit easier for you:

Let’s start at the beginning, New year, new resolutions, new you? Let’s getting planning…, when Neil gave an overview of exactly what we would be looking at over the course of our planning articles:

Here, Neil discusses exactly why he wanted to get a Funeral Plan in place and why his boys were such an important part of this decision.

A little checklist of considerations and points so that you can review your own Will and ensure that it is up to date and your wishes will be carried out when needed.

If you were in the unfortunate situation where you had lost capacity, whether that be temporarily or on a permanent basis, who would you want to make decisions for you?

Who would you trust to make the decisions that you would have if you had been able to?

As we know that being an Executor, although a privilege to be asked, can be a massive burden! We have set out a brief checklist of some of the things that an Executor should consider first when dealing with probate.

Just because saving for retirement is difficult, it doesn’t mean you should give up…Bobby Keer shares some great tips with us!

 

If you would like to have a free chat, please contact us on  info@TotalLegacyCare.co.uk or 01727 865 121

Leah Waller

Got a Question or want to book a FREE Consultation?

PLANNING…Are you able to retire?

PLANNING...

Are you able to retire?

Just because saving for retirement is difficult, it doesn’t mean you should give up; and the current reliefs and allowances on pension contributions should give cause for optimism.

If you expect to retire on a final-salary pension and with no mortgage, your perspective on retirement may well be rosy; if you are grappling with debt and worried about having insufficient pension savings, it may be a different picture.

For some, the question is not how to retire successfully, but how to retire at all, given that there may be precious little in the way of a state safety net to fall back on.

Research from the Financial Conduct Authority reveals that around 15 million individuals are not saving anything towards their retirement and will have to rely entirely on the State Pension in their later years.1

Of particular concern is the group of pre-retirees aged 55–64, only half of whom have given thought to how they will manage in retirement; and only a quarter know how much they have in their pension pot.2 These people may only have a few working years left to build their nest egg.

Why do so many people fail to plan their retirement?

This could be partly due to massively underestimating the amount of money they need to save. According to BlackRock, those who were asked to calculate how much they would need for their desired retirement income of £26,000 a year estimated they would require £233,000 in savings; and yet they would need a pot of £525,000 for this income, even including the State Pension.3

People also underestimate longevity and therefore how long retirement could last. Only 7% of people aged 55–64 today expect to live to 90, but research indicates that half of them can expect to live that long.4 The obvious implication is that many retirement pots will run out too soon.

Many experts are warning that the end of final-salary pension schemes, chronic underfunding of defined contribution pensions, and increasing life expectancy are creating a perfect storm that threatens to destabilise the financial wellbeing of the coming generation of retirees.

The solution is to plan

You have to ask yourself: how much will I need, and how much can I afford to put away? Then you need to factor in any other sources of retirement income and you can see the size of the gap you are trying to fill.

Obviously, the younger you are, the longer the investment time horizon and the most you will have to gain when thinking ahead. However, middle age is a time when incomes are at or near their peak, so there are significant opportunities to catch up; and the end of the tax year presents an ideal opportunity to do so.

Subject to limitations, people in the UK can make pension contributions of up to 100% of their earnings or £40,000, whichever is lower. While paying the maximum may seem a tall order, remember that the government rewards you for saving into a pension in the form of tax relief.

Worryingly, according to BlackRock’s research, 50% of people are unaware that the government boosts pension contributions; the research also showed that fewer than a third of people are aware of ‘pension freedoms’ changes and how these impact on their retirement prospects.6 This is further evidence that lack of awareness remains one of the key barriers to making adequate retirement provision.

It’s vital savers know and understand all their options for using their pension; but also that they make the most of the current tax breaks while building one.

The end of the tax year is often seen as a crucial time, as it provides the final opportunity for individuals and couples to take advantage of reliefs and allowances that would otherwise be lost.

Now is a good time to take advice also. You may find unclaimed allowances waiting for you.

The levels and bases of taxation, and reliefs from taxation, can change at any time. The value of any tax relief depends on individual circumstances.

1,2,4,5 Financial Conduct Authority, Financial Lives Survey 2017

3, 6 BlackRock, Global Investor Pulse Survey 2017

To receive a complimentary guide covering wealth management, retirement planning or Inheritance Tax planning, contact Bobby Keer from B&N Financial Planning Limited on 07506 706420 or email bobby.keer@sjpp.co.uk

Bobby Keer

B&N Financial Planning

Got a Question or want to book a FREE Consultation?

Valentine’s Day… What better gift to give your loved ones than peace of mind

Valentine's Day…

What better gift to give your loved ones than peace of mind

We are taking a little break from our weekly planning articles and checklists that are helping you to get all those important ‘grown-up’ jobs off of your to do list 😉 

This week we are talking about…Valentine’s Day.

So, hands up how many of us have forgotten to get our loved one a gift, or are at that stage where Valentine’s Day is just another day and gifts are a long distant memory?

Well, what about giving our loved one’s the gift of peace of mind?

What do we mean by peace of mind?

We set out below a couple of things that we know will help give you peace of mind as well as relieving the financial and emotional burden from your loved ones when the time comes:

  • Lasting Power of Attorney

Putting a Lasting Power of Attorney in place allows you to give the person you trust most the power and authority to make decision for you, in relation to you health & welfare and property & financial affairs, if you are unable to do so.

Giving your loved ones, as well as yourself, peace of mind that should anything happen and you are unable to make decisions (whether that be due to temporary or permanent loss of capacity or simply because you cannot be physically present where you are needed) that there is someone in place to take those decisions for you and make the decisions you would have, if you were able.

  • Will

Having a Will in place (and reviewing that Will!) will give you and your loved ones

peace of mind that when the worst happens all your wishes are written down and can be carried out as you intended.

  • Funeral Plan

Having a Funeral Plan in place means that you can not only take away the

financial burden from your loved ones by paying for your funeral in advance (whether in a lump sum or by instalments), you also remove the emotional burden as all your wishes will be written down and can be put into effect by the Funeral Director with minimal input from your loved ones at an already difficult time.

We have these in place as we understand just how important it is to be protected and we are more than happy to have a free chat with you too, no obligation – honestly!

If you would like to have a free chat about anything in this article, please contact us on  info@TotalLegacyCare.co.uk or 01727 865 121

Leah Waller

Happy Valentine's Day!

PLANNING…Checklist for Executors

PLANNING...

Checklist for Executors

This week we are focusing on Probate and the important role of Executors within the probate process.

So, let’s address a couple of questions first shall we…

What is probate?

Strictly speaking, Probate is proving the Will and showing that it is valid but many use the term to refer to the legal process following someone’s death. This is when someone with legal authority (the Executors, if there is a Will, or Administrators, if there is no Will) obtain a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration, and can then collect in and distribute the Estate of the deceased.

Probate is usually required where an Estate (all the property, cash, savings, ISAs, investments and any other valuables) of the deceased have a combined total of £5,000 or more.

What is an Executor?

An Executor is appointed in your Will and is responsible for collecting in and protecting your estate, including any property and assets that you own, and carry out the distribution of such items in accordance with your wishes.

Now for the tough part…an Executor is legally responsible for everything that they do, or fail to do, when administering the Estate and they are financially liable for any loss that results as a breach of their duty, even if the breach was a mistake

To make things a little easier (as we know that being an Executor, although a privilege to be asked, can be a massive burden!) we have set out a brief checklist of some of the things that an Executor should consider first when dealing with probate:

  • Obtain the Death Certificate

As the Executor you will be responsible for notifying certain people, companies and authorities of the death and so the Death Certificate will be required.

  • Find the original Will

As the Executor you will need the Will in order to apply for Probate.

  • Applying for the Grant of Probate

This is the official document giving you authority to administer the Estate of the deceased, collect in and deal with their assets and then distribute them accordingly.

  • Collect in assets of the Estate

The Will and any accompanying documents that the deceased may have left may well give specific instructions as to what the deceased has and, importantly, where it can be located, however such specifics may not be given.

As the Executor you will need to ensure that you collect in and account for all of the deceased’s assets including property, stocks, shares, bank accounts, ISAs, personal items etc.

This will also include searching for any missing assets.

  • Put insurance in place

The Executor will be responsible for ensuring that relevant insurance is in place for the assets of the deceased until they can be distributed in accordance with the Will.

  • Complete Inheritance Tax Forms

The Executor is responsible for completing and submitting the Inheritance Tax Forms.

The Estate is responsible for paying the Inheritance Tax due on the Estate and the Executor is responsible for ensuring this happens.

  • Complete

The Executor is responsible for completing and submitting the necessary Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax returns and paying, from the Estate, any tax that is due.

  • Pay debts and liabilities

The Executor is not responsible for paying these personally however, the Executor is responsible for ensuring that any debts and liabilities, including funeral costs, are paid from the estate.

The Executor should also put a notice to debtors in the London Gazette.

  • Preparing Estate Accounts

The Executor is responsible for the preparation of Estate Accounts and ensuring that the Accounts are distributed to the relevant parties.

  • Distribution of the Estate to the Beneficiaries

The Executor will then be responsible for distributing the Estate assets, following the payment of all debts and taxes, in accordance with the deceased’s wishes as set out in their Will.

A detailed record of this, and all the steps taken by the Executor, should be kept throughout the process.

REMEMBER…You don’t have to do everything alone, ask for help as and when you need it!

 

You may need to ask for professional help from solicitors, probate specialists and/or tax advisers. If the estate is relatively small and doesn’t have any complexities, the Executor may well decide that they can carry out the process by themselves and this is also fine.

 

If you would like to have a free chat, please contact us on  info@TotalLegacyCare.co.uk or 01727 865 121

Leah Waller

Got a Question or want to book a FREE Consultation?

Who do you want to make decisions for you and have they got the power?

PLANNING...

Who do you want to make decisions for you and
have they got the power?

This week we are focusing Lasting Powers of Attorney. 

Not everyone understands the importance of having a Lasting Power of Attorney in place and until the time comes, when an LPA is required, many don’t know what they are needed for.

If you were in the unfortunate situation where you had lost capacity, whether that be temporarily or on a permanent basis, who would you want to make decisions for you? Who would you trust to make the decisions that you would have if you had been able to?

Unfortunately, just because you are married it does not give your spouse the automatic right to make decisions for you, whether in relation to your health and welfare or your finances!

And…what about your business? If you own your own business, what would happen to that? Who would step in and would they have the power to?

Again, your second in command may not have the power and authority to make decisions, in relation to your business, if you are unable to do so and your spouse may not be able to either. 

So, where does that leave you?

  • If you have a business:

Check out our article, Should I have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place to protect my business?

  • To protect your finances and property affairs and ensure that someone that you trust to make the decisions that you would want to make if you are unable to:

Have a think about:

  • Who you would want to take decisions on your behalf in relation to your home, property, cash, bank accounts, investments and financial affairs if you were unable to.

Consider putting a Property & Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney in place.

  • To give you peace of mind in relation to your health and welfare:

Have a think about:

  • Who you would want to take decisions on your behalf in relation to your health, medical care, welfare, day-to-day living and activities if you were unable to.

Consider putting a Health & Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney in place.

A Lasting Power of Attorney is required during your lifetime so that someone can make decisions for you when you are unable to make them for yourself.

A Lasting Power of Attorney allows you to appoint someone that you trust to make decisions for you, if you lose mental capacity or are unable to make decisions for yourself.

 

If you would like to discuss putting a Lasting Power of Attorney in place, call us on 01727 865 121 or email us at info@TotalLegacyCare.co.uk for a free discussion on how we can help.

Leah Waller

Got a Question or want to book a FREE Consultation?