What to consider when Inheriting

What to consider when Inheriting

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Mandy Rodgers is a Wealth Manager with St. James’s Place Wealth Management and has kindly put together the following considerations that you should have a think about when receiving an inheritance…

Mandy Rodgers

Receiving an inheritance can generate mixed feelings – sadness that a loved one has passed away, possibly relief that maybe some debts can be paid off, or uncertainty over how best to make use of your inheritance in your lifetime whilst ensuring there’s something left to pass down to future generations.

Receiving an inheritance may be the first time you’ve had to worry about investment options and can be quite daunting if that’s not something you have experience of. There is no one right answer as everyone’s circumstances are different, but some things to consider are…

  • Paying off any expensive credit cards & store cards first
  • A lot of mainstream mortgages today are at very competitive interest rates, around the c. 2% mark, so it wouldn’t necessarily make sense to pay down a mortgage as your money could be put to better use depending on your attitude to investment risk & return. 

For some people, they just want to know the mortgage is gone and paid off. For others, if the mortgage payments are affordable and they’re happy the mortgage will be paid off before retirement they might prefer to invest their inheritance elsewhere to potentially  generate capital growth… or maybe a middle option would suit, where they could pay off a lump sum (to reduce the monthly mortgage payments or reduce the mortgage term) and invest the rest (take proper advice on your situation, and check with your lender first to see whether early repayment charges apply)

 

  • One thing’s for sure, with cash savings interest rates at a fraction of 1% and inflation at c. 2%, money held in cash will go backwards in real terms, so that’s probably not the answer
  • Many people have in the past opted for ‘bricks & mortar’, and have bought Buy to Let properties. Whilst property has been a good performing asset class the tax rules around second properties have become particularly punitive and so on its own, residential property is becoming less attractive. Coupled with the fact that it brings with it the hands on hassle of dealing with tenants, and managing repairs & maintenance (which are often underestimated), it’s not always the ‘passive’ investment it’s thought to be

 

I work with clients to provide professionally managed and well diversified investment options that suit their personal circumstances and objectives. These are tailored to their attitude to risk and regularly reviewed and managed by me to form part of their overall financial life plan. Using the most appropriate investment tax wrappers is also important, to ensure everything is as tax efficient and admin easy as possible during your lifetime, and will pass down to the next generation as tax efficiently as possible too. If you’ve had to pay Inheritance Tax on your inheritance, you’ll understand the importance of timely tax planning!

The key point is to get some proper financial advice and look at options that work for you and your situation. Unless you’re familiar with the financial industry there’s every chance you 

‘don’t know what you don’t know’

and a professional can inform you and guide you through the options to make the best decision for you and your family.

If you would like to discuss your financial situation / inheritance, contact…

Mandy Rodgers 

07824 408990 


mandy.rodgers@sjpp.co.uk

The value of an investment with St. James’s Place will be directly linked to the performance of the funds you select and the value can therefore go down as well as up. You may get back less than you invested.  An investment in equities does not provide the security of capital associated with a deposit account with a bank or building society.

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. 

The Partner Practice is an Appointed Representative of and represents only St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) for the purpose of advising solely on the group’s wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on the group’s website www.sjp.co.uk/products. The ‘St. James’s Place Partnership’ and the titles ‘Partner’ and ‘Partner Practice’ are marketing terms used to describe St. James’s Place representatives.

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TLC talks to…A PROFESSIONAL ORGANISER & DECLUTTERER

TLC talks to...A PROFESSIONAL ORGANISER & DECLUTTERER

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Last week we were joined LIVE on our Facebook Page by the amazing, and very knowledgeable, Tracy Ross of Blissfully Organised.

Tracy is a Professional Organiser and a member of The Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers (APDO). ⠀

Tracy started her company – Blissfully Organised in 2011, following an 18 year Marketing career working for brands such as ESPN and ITV. 

We had a great chat with Tracy and wanted to have a look at the different people she works with and also the different aspects that she can work on and then answered lots of questions that were posted by those watching live.

Below we set out some of the questions and responses, but if you want to catch up with the video CLICK HERE!

Tracy’s contact details are below should you have any other questions, please do get in touch with her, she is very helpful and knowledgeable.

So for the questions and the all important answers (I have paraphrased some of this ;))…

A lot of the comments that we have received so far refer to Marie Kondo and her series on Netflix. Specifically about the way she folds clothes. Is this part of what you do? 

If you could also give us a little brief outline of who she is and what she does.

Marie Kondo is a Professional Organiser and she has her own technique of organising with client and has a specific way of working through a space and this never changes per client. The thing that she is most well known for is her way of folding, clothes, towels and that is her big thing. Marie doesn’t work for everyone although most houses I go to, have her book but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can organise independently. Marie Kondo is FABULOUS for our industry, although she is not right for everybody as sometimes you need to be more adaptable for some clients.

The FOLDING is amazing and I do show some of my clients how to do this, if they think they can maintain it.

LIVE COMMENT: I loved reading her books but then couldn’t put them into practice until I met you!

Often, the thing I find is that some clients just need some time booked in with someone else to feel motivated and I can guide them through the session. If you are working on your own it is a different strategy and make sure you don’t get overwhelmed, especially when the space can look a lot worse than when you started.

Is it usual for people to feel ashamed or embarrassed about inviting someone into their home when they are in a position where they really need support organising and decluttering?

I completely understand that and in the telephone consultation, I will talk about that and understand that they have taken a big step. When I arrive, I know exactly how they’re feeling and have dealt with this for nine years so I know what to expect and know how they will be feeling about it.

Some people won’t sleep the night before I arrive because they are anxious or nervous but the relationship is all about building trust and eventually their guard will go down and they will let me in further into their space and how they are feeling.

I am completely confidential, I don’t arrive in a branded van. I am as good a listener as I can be and am not bossy at all. It has to be a completely personal service and trust is built very quickly. I get to understand all the things that the person is feeling, as they may not have invited anyone into that space for years.

It is not just getting rid of things and organising, it is also talking about feelings rather than just just packing things up and moving them into another room.

What do you find clients are looking for (other than the obvious) what are some of the other common benefits that you find come out of what you do?

People call me for a whole variety of reasons, sometimes I just go for one or two sessions because people are moving or downsizing whereas some clients I have worked with on and off for the whole nine years. Some people will just take longer because we go at their pace and work through the space. 

The number one thing that I think people want from is being patient, a good listener – we chat about all sorts of things whilst I am with them for 4-5 hours. The client will feel relaxed, knowing that we will get there and that I believe in them and add that sense of belief in the person.

LIVE COMMENT: Decluttering my home with Tracy has changed the way I run my home, my buying habits, how I view the ‘stuff’ in my home and how much more relaxed I feel when it’s organised.

There are various things that I do, firstly, I will declutter and decide what stays and what goes, then we will organise so that things can be maintained and stop the clutter building up again. One of the biggest things that I do is speaking about purchasing behaviours so that the client is aware of what they are buying and bringing into the home because if that doesn’t change then there will also be stuff coming into the home and cluttering the home.

I have tips that I can give to the client and one of those is going through the wardrobe and making the client aware of what they have. I use the hanger technique where you hang everything in your wardrobe the wrong way and once it is worn you put it back into the wardrobe the right way and then you can quickly see, over a three-month period, which items you are wearing and which ones you never choose. You can then look at why you are not wearing them, maybe wear them for a day and decide whether to keep it or not.

What stage do people get to before coming to you and asking for help. 

Is it always the individual that comes to you or is it sometimes the children that come to you about their elderly parents?

When I am dealing with those with Dementia, especially in the early stages, it is often their partner or  their adult children that contact me because things have got a little bit out of control and their focuses have changed but they would like some support in helping their parent or partner live independently for longer. I will then go and meet with the person living with dementia and their partner or adult children and discuss with them what can be done.

In most circumstances though, it is the person that wants the help that will contact me. The person needs to be ready, it is a very personal service and so they need to be ready to buy into it. Usually, it is a very positive experience for my clients and they will see the value of what we do once it has been started.

If I go into a home and there are several people living there, I will only work on those things that belong to the person that has contacted me. Anything else is left to be dealt with by the person that it belongs to.

Do you have a typical client, that takes a specific length of time?

I can tell people, when I start, how long it will take to work through a space but what I cannot tell is how long that person will need to let go of things and work through things. It will depend on the pace of the person and how long it takes them to go through the process and understand the reasons why they may be feeling guilty or anxious about letting things go.

Often cleaning and decluttering causes tension and arguments, do you find this when you are working with individuals or families?

I can often come in as a mediator and take the friction away.

Although it is often the case that each person thinks that their possessions are necessary but their partner’s may not be as much. Sometime, I will begin working with one client and have been engaged without them discussing this with their partner and their partner will begin to see the changes and may even get on board and I will start working with both of them.

LIVE COMMENT: What are your favourite types of clients?

I just love working with the variety, every client I see is different and every house is different.

I love seeing when clients ‘just get it’. It can vary in time but sometimes I will go back to houses and there is new furniture, it has been redecorated and I know how it was before and how it has transformed and feel that I have really helped and seen the change that has been made.

It is the feeling that I get from helping and learning from each client rather than a specific type of client because each of them are so different.

Some of the times and milestones that people will decide to get you involved must be common and one of those that was common question was preparing for a baby and having all those new and very necessary things coming into the home. Are you able to help and give guidance on this?

Yes, I work with a variety of people at this stage, sometimes this can be a couple expecting their first baby because even just bringing in the core essentials can be overwhelming and so look at their routine and where things can be kept that is most useful.

I have also supported people at the other end, where they are having their third or fourth child, that are overwhelmed with the amount of things already in the home to adding even more things for babies. We know that little babies come with an awful lot of stuff!

This is similar to preparing for a family that may be having an elderly family member come to stay with them and having a whole new amount of possessions coming into the home and organising this in to the most useful space.

Another aspect that we wanted to take a look at is working from home…it can be difficult to have that separation between a work space and your home space, and finding that balance.

This can be a real challenge. I have a few clients that have young families and have the flexibility to work from home but with that comes with different challenges and when they are working and are looking around and appear to be surrounded by chaos and so find it difficult to work.

I help a lot of these clients with time management and space management. Perhaps creating a space that is screened off from home life or having systems in place to help stop the distractions. 

I would also say that most of these clients need help with paperwork management. This could be going through historic paperwork and getting back to point zero or just getting systems in place to deal with ongoing paperwork and setting up a filing system and having daily habits in place to stop it getting out of control. 

We are often involved where there is a death of an individual, or where an individual moves into a Care Home, there is a whole family home full of possessions but they are either no longer around or no longer have the physical or mental capacity to deal with everything. This can therefore bring grief as well as all the other challenges that this type of work can bring. How can you deal with this?

This is quite a challenging situation and one thing that I work with is talking openly and speaking with people before this becomes and issue and downsizing as well as talking about the legacy that they are leaving to their children.

Where this is not possible then I usually work with the adult children and I will do a lot of the sorting work and sort things that I think are valuable and this can take a lot of time as I cannot possibly know what is important but I can try my very best to pick out those things that I feel will have sentimental value to the client. A lot of this work is to do with assumptions but I do work closely with the family and can send photos through and work through everything.

What do you feel is the most rewarding part of your job?

The support, physically, but often the informal counselling that my clients really value as I am not judgemental and genuinely care. I really like that my clients are able to share so much with me.

LIVE COMMENT: In your great article you wrote for us, you touch on increased anxiety and well being. How do your clients feel after you start them on the process? We can see Eileen raves about you and feels great about using your techniques you’ve given her

I see the clients often start by feeling quite scattered, anxious and overwhelmed but as we start to work together and clear the spaces, their decision making improves, their desire to be more sociable improves and they will often invite someone round for coffee when perhaps they haven’t done this for many years.

I can come in and work with them and get a lot off of their to-do list and clear a space and often there is a great sense of relief. Most people are really happy to maintain but just need some coaching with how to organise and get things in order and systems in place. It is lovely when you go back and see the systems that you have suggested, really work.

I like to speak to people about what their pressure points are and what is causing them stress during their day and then work through that. I look at how they move around their space and what they use so that things can be in correct places. This can then enable other people in the home know where everything is and where things are kept, to help the household as a whole have things organised in a logical manner.

Thank you so much Tracy!

Tracy also prepared a great article for us on:

Decluttering to Create an Organised Home for Independent Living

Tracy Ross

Professional Organiser

Blissfully Organised

tracy@blissfullyorganised.co.uk

Tel: 07818 423 376

www.blissfullyorganised.co.uk

If there are any other topics that you would like to hear about or to ask an expert on, please do get in touch!


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Will my Will be disputed?

Will my Will be disputed?

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A recent survey by Direct Line Life Insurance found that almost a quarter (24%) of people are prepared to fight for their inheritance in relation to a loved one’s Estate.

We tell you quite a lot about how important it is to have a Will in place, but even with the best will in the world and with a Will drafted by professionals (rather than a DIY Will) could arguments still be raised?

Unfortunately, as we all know (and probably have experience of!) where there is money involved, arguments are not far behind! In 2018, the HM Courts and Tribunals Service evidence a 6% increase to the number of claims in relation to probate disputes.

So, although there are steps we can take (and we will have a look at those!) to ensure your Will is as water-tight as can be, here are a few of the common reasons that a Will is disputed:

 

Lack of mental capacity

In order to make a valid Will, the Testator (the person making the Will) must understand what they are doing, the effect that the Will has and the consequences. The Testator must be of sound mind and free from any disorder of the mind that may prevent the exercise of natural mental faculties.

A person may dispute a Will where they believe that the Testator did not have the mental capacity and ability to do so at the time that the Will was made.

 

Legal Requirements

There are certain requirements that must be met in order for a Will to be valid and if these are not met then the Will could be disputed.

Undue Influence

Undue Influence would occur where someone is forced to sign a Will, or has unreasonable pressure placed upon them to sign a Will, that they do not agree with or would not have made had they had control of the decision.

Although this is the most common dispute when loved ones want to contest a Will, this is the least successful claim as the burden of proof is extremely high and requires the person making the claim to prove that  undue influence was present.

 

Rectification and Construction

This claim may exist where there is an error made in the drafting of the Will or the actual intentions of the Testator were not reflected by the person drafting the Will.

Failure to Provide

You can bring a claim against an Estate if you believe that the deceased should have provided for you within their Will and they have not done so. This would be a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, and in order to claim you would need to be:

    • a child of the deceased;
    • any person who was not a child of the deceased, but was treated as a child of the family by the deceased, within a marriage or civil partnership;
    • the spouse or civil partner of the deceased;
    • a former spouse or former civil partner of the deceased, that has not subsequently married or formed a new civil partnership;
    • a person who had, during the whole of the period of two years ending immediately before the deceased’s death, lived in the same household as if he or she were the husband, wife or civil partner of the deceased; or
    • any person who immediately before the death of the deceased was being maintained, either wholly or partly, by the deceased.

Having a Will prepared by a professional cannot eliminate the risk of claims being brought in the future but this does increase your protection and a professionally prepared Will means that it has been prepared by someone outside of the family that has taken the necessary steps to eliminate as many risks as possible and to satisfy themselves that the legal requirements are complied with, that the Testator had capacity and was free from undue influence.

 

If you would like a FREE chat to discuss putting your Will in place, get in touch on info@TotalLegacyCare.co.uk or 01727 865 121

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What happens without a Lasting Power of Attorney?

Court of Protection:
What happens without a Lasting Power of Attorney?

So, we tell you all the time how important WE think it is to have an LPA in place and it is never too early (once you’ve hit 18 of course!) to get one in place, BUT WHY?

Well, put simply if you don’t have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place and you lose capacity or are unable to make decisions for yourself (whether temporarily or on a more permanent basis) then you will need to have a Deputy appointed by the Court…as you can imagine, this is not a quick process nor is it cheap!

So, let’s take a look at exactly what is involved in obtaining a Deputyship Order, what it means and how you can ensure you are covered.

Just in case you have missed our other articles on Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs); there are two types of LPA, one to cover your property and financial affairs and another that will cover your health and welfare decisions. An LPA can only be put in place by you when you have capacity to do so to allow someone to act for you, step into your shoes if you like, when you are unable to do so. The property and financial LPA can be used by your Attorney (if you want them to) at any time after it has been registered, not just when you lose capacity!

However, what happens when you haven’t yet got around to putting an LPA in place and you lose capacity? 

Well let’s take a look at what happens to your property and financial affairs first…

An application will need to be made to the Court of Protection to appoint a Deputy to look after and manage your finances and property, once you have lost capacity and are unable to do so, BUT…

Once you have lost capacity, you also lose the THE CHOICE of who you want to handle your property and financial affairs.

Once you have lost capacity, it is for the Court of Protection to decide who is best to handle your affairs for you…this may not be the person that you would have appointed.

The Court of Protection will choose a Deputy that they think is suitable to manage your affairs and although your past and present feelings may be taken into consideration this is difficult once capacity is lost.

It will be down to your loved one’s to apply to the Court of Protection for the Deputyship Order and this can be a huge burden that you wouldn’t want anyone to endure, let alone those closest to you.

The list of those eligible to apply for a Deputyship Order is quite extensive and includes one of your relatives, a close friend, a professional or anyone that has an interest in you and your affairs. However…this doesn’t change the fact that you have no control over this and that you are leaving it up to one of your loved one’s to make the application and for the Court to decide whether they are deemed suitable to act as your Deputy.

The power that the Court appointed Deputy has will be limited to what is stated within the Deputyship Order. This may not be as far reaching as an LPA would allow and so it may well be necessary to return to Court to have this extended.

An LPA allows you to set out any restrictions, preferences and guidance that you want to leave for your appointed Attorneys, you will be unable to do so in a Deputyship Order.

To make the application to the Court of Protection, a fee of £385 (current rate in 2019) is also payable to the Court. 

This does not include any legal fees and so if you seek legal advice or assistance in completing and submitting application, this will be an additional cost.

There may also be fees that are payable to the professional that has to verify that you no longer have capacity and thus require a Deputy to be appointed.

In addition to this, there are annual fees payable to the Court of Protection for Deputyship Orders.

As you can imagine, some of the decisions in relation to your financial affairs are pretty time sensitive. However, an application for a Deputyship Order usually takes 3-4 months to be made, from the date that the application is submitted. This is where there are no objections to the application, this can be much longer, and very different, if any objections are raised.

Where objections are raised and the matter has to be heard before a Judge, the process can take nine months or longer to conclude

For Health and Welfare matters, things are a bit more complex.

If you have not made an LPA in relation to your Health and Welfare prior to losing capacity then it is quite rare for the Court of Protection to appoint a Deputy for you in relation to these matters.

An application can be made, again to the Court of Protection, in much the same way as it is made for a Deputyship Order in relation to your property and financial affairs but are usually only appointed in complex circumstances.

Again, meaning that you lose the control and choice to appoint who you want to be able to make those decisions on your behalf and also lose the ability to put preferences and guidance in place for your Attorneys to take the decisions that you would have made had you been able, and had the capacity, to do so.

THE PROCESS…

Let’s take a brief look at the process for applying for a Deputyship Order for those situations where an LPA hasn’t been registered prior to losing capacity.

We briefly mentioned (above) that the list of those that are eligible to make the application for a Deputyship Order is quite extensive, but in order to be successful, the applicant will need to show that they have a good knowledge of your finances and property affairs and will also have to demonstrate, with verification from a professional, that you no longer have capacity to make decisions in relation to your own financial and property matters.

Upon making the application to the Court of Protection a Court Fee of £385 Present 2019 rate) is also payable, whether successful or not. An additional fee may be charged by the professional that verifies your capacity. If the applicant seeks legal advice and assistance in completing and submitting the application to the Court of Protection, this will incur additional fees. 

There are also ongoing fees, paid annually, to the Court of Protection in relation to Deputyship Orders that are made.

The application will then be accepted and issued by the Court of Protection and the applicant will need to serve a copy of the application on all those that they believe have an interest in the application being made and those directed by the Court and within the Court Guidance (known as the Respondents).

The Respondents are then given an opportunity to respond to the application.

If no objections are received to the application from any of the Respondents then the Court of Protection will make a Deputyship Order and this is usually done within four months of the application being submitted.

However, if any objections are received then a Hearing will be listed in front of a Judge to consider the matter and the objections. This will not only delay the Deputyship Order being made but will also increase costs as it is likely that legal representation and advice will be required. The time and expense will differ depending on the number of parties involved and the number, nature and complexity of the objections.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch for a FREE consultation.

If you would like a FREE chat to discuss your options, get in touch on info@TotalLegacyCare.co.uk or 01727 865 121

Leah Waller

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want to book a 

FREE Consultation?