Monday, 19 December 2016

Inheritance Tax Changes – 2017 time to Review your Wills - Save £80,000.

In April 2017 two new inheritance tax allowances are being introduced. The good news is that the Residence Nil Rate Bands could mean that you can pass an extra £200,000 to your heirs without paying any Inheritance Tax. This equates to a cash saving of £80,000 for your family.
Residence Nil Rate Band
2017 Time to review your Wills.
There is a catch, rather than introducing a simple uplift to the Nil Rate Band. The government have made these new allowances rather complex. There are rules that you need to meet to qualify for this new relief.
This could be a problem for you if you have current wills that include discretionary trusts. If you are unsure call us and we can help. 
If you made your Wills before October 2007, it is likely that your inheritance tax planning will need updating.
From January to the 6th of April we are offering a free review of your Inheritance Tax Planning. This will ensure peace of mind for you and your family.
After your review we will make recommendations for any changes that you may need to make. Ensuring that you will qualify for the new allowances.
Call us today on 01778 382723 to book your Free Inheritance Tax Review.

P.S. - If you think inheritance tax doesn't apply to you call us for a free review in any case. You might get a shock. We are all worth more dead than alive! Call 01778 382723.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Have you got that Crystal Ball Yet?

Crystal BallBrexit, Leicester City, Trump. 

If 2016 teaches us anything it should surely be that we don’t know what the future holds.

If you are anything like me, you have probably had times in the last year where you have simply stopped and asked yourself how did that just happen. 

The received wisdom was that we would never vote to leave the EU, small clubs don’t win the premier league and Americans would never vote for Trump. But these things happened.

Life is unpredictable, the big stuff proves it. At a personal level life is unpredictable too but all too often we treat life like it is never going to happen to us. People around us get sick, need care, or die. These huge events have a negative effect for a while and then life goes on. Occasionally you will think what if that happened to me, but inevitably you will move on.

A client recently decided that she was going to get things in order. That she was going to take the uncertainty out of her life. She knew what we all know – you can’t predict the future. 

We had a meeting and a few conversations later she had a plan. She knew she was covered if she got sick or needed care. Her family was protected when she died and she had even planned and paid for her own funeral.

She decided it was time to plan for the unknown, the unpredictable. Call us today and start your plan 01778 382723. 

Tuesday, 25 October 2016


A fact that never ceases to amaze me is the 53% of people who died in 2014 died without a Will. The other thing that amazes me is that almost every one of those 53% knew that they needed to make a Will. They were going to get around to it.
  • ·         53% of people who died left their family an uncertain future.
  • ·         53% didn’t tell their family who was to receive what.
  • ·         53% didn’t give guidance about their funeral.
  • ·         53% made no attempt to save tax or secure their assets.
  • ·         And 53% didn’t mean to leave things that way.

When asked people give lots of different reasons for not getting around to it – they were too young, they didn’t own enough, it was too complex, or they didn’t want to face the fact they might die.

On the other hand the 47% who died with a Will gave their loved ones clarity and certainty. They took a couple of hours out of their lives to make sure that things were simple for their family after they had passed away.

The one thing that all of our clients agree on is that making a Will was nowhere near as complex or difficult as they thought it would be.

Don’t be one of the 53% - talk to Will and Probate Services today – It’s time to make a Will. 

Call Us on 01778 382723

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

The Most Interesting Job in the World

Do You Want to Be Like Ian?

Ian has the most interesting job in the world.

father walking with son
He knows he has the most interesting job in the world because his clients tell him. Everyday.

Ian’s clients are right - he does have one of the most interesting and varied jobs in the world. Even better than that, he is his own boss.

Ian only works four days a week. He has a three-day weekend, taking off alternate Mondays and Fridays.

On the days when he is working there is no rush to the office. A leisurely walk to school with his son and the anticipation of his first appointment is how Ian start his working day.

The most interesting job in the world is easy for Ian because he’s a people person. He has some life experience and loves to help others.

Ian’s day involves talking to people. Sharing his stories and solving their problems.

The most interesting job in the world is easy for Ian to do because he has the right knowledge and it’s always very satisfying. It is also financially very rewarding. So not only does Ian have a great work life balance, he also earns good money from the work that he does.

Ian’s clients are easy for him to find. He can get a regular supply of leads when he needs them. In truth the majority of his business comes from his clients. They are happy to refer their friends and family to him.

When you ask Ian about his business. He could tell you about the five couples who are happily married because of his solutions. He might tell you about the time he saved a family £300,000 or he might just tell you about his son and how the business suits their lifestyle.

Ian's clients are interesting because they are real people. With real life challenges. The most interesting job in the world addresses their fears about things like life, death and aging. It’s big stuff.
Ian's clients are smart. They are planning for their futures and they are wise enough to know that Ian's solutions are right for them.
The most interesting job in the world has no bureaucracy. Not too much regulation. Best of all Ian doesn’t do much administration.

Ian's not the only person who has the most interesting job in the world. In fact, there are a growing band of people like him.
Are you interested in finding out more about the most interesting job in the world?

Contact us and find out if you could be the next person to enjoy a work life balance and lucrative earnings like Ian.

Call today 01778 382723 or visit and learn more.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

The Quick Later Life Checklist

The quick later-life checklist
What’s better than growing old gracefully? Staying comfortable and solvent as you do so. There’s an art to getting the later years spot-on, but with our quick list of things to remember you’ll have time to draw breath while you’re drawing your pension.
Later life checklistHere’s a startling fact: most people retiring today will spend more than half as long retired as they spent in employment. Longer lifespans mean the 30-year retirement is no longer exceptional. Whether you find that encouraging or horrifying may depend on how well prepared you are for later life.
It’s misleading to think of retirement as a single life stage. After all, a lot can happen in two or three decades. Here we run through some of the long-term plans you may need to think about – preferably at the start of your retirement when your options are most open.
  1. Where do you want to live?
Sounds like a simple question, but the implications are huge. Now you’re retired you’re no longer bound by a workplace, so the UK (indeed, the world) is your oyster. However, social ties may argue for staying put. If property prices where you live now are high, you may be able to free up a lot of money by ‘rightsizing’ – not buying a smaller property necessarily, but a similar or even larger home in a cheaper area.
On the other hand, what if you already live in a low-cost area but want to be near family in a high-cost one? One solution can be selling up and renting somewhere in the new location, if buying is too expensive, and using some of the proceeds of the old home to buy an annuity to cover the rent on the new one.
Or you may decide you want to stay put, and free up some of the value of your home by renting out rooms or through equity release. The choice is yours, but a financial adviser can help you consider all your options and find out which suits you best.
  1. Will you need a bit of extra care?
The idea of long-term care might conjure up unpleasant visions for some people, but it’s an extremely broad area – it might include anything from a warden-assisted bungalow to regular home visits, to a permanent retirement home and ongoing medical costs. By planning your financial needs in advance, you can ensure that your last years are comfortable ones while also easing the pressure on your family. Talk to a financial adviser who specialises in long-term care planning: a typical solution might be an ‘immediate needs care annuity’, which pays a guaranteed sum that can rise with rising care costs – and can also be paid direct to the provider to avoid income tax on you. Your adviser can also help you find out whether you qualify for local authority help with care costs.
  1. Have you set up Power of Attorney?
Power of Attorney is the legal authority of another individual to make decisions on your behalf. It can be temporary (e.g. for the duration of an illness or hospital stay) or lasting (e.g. if you have been diagnosed with dementia and are no longer confident or comfortable administering your own affairs.
Of course, the time to decide on who should get Power of Attorney (if possible a trusted family member) is when you are in good health and confident of your own judgement. Remember, anyone over the age of 18 can set up Power of Attorney – and may need it (as age isn’t the only thing that can affect your capacity to act for yourself). You can set up Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) quickly and easily through Will & Probate Services. If you leave your loved ones to sort it out, they’ll have to do it through the courts with a Deputyship application which is costly and time-consuming.
  1. Have you planned your estate?
Many financial advisers refer to inheritance tax (IHT) as a ‘voluntary’ tax, so it’s remarkable how many people still end up paying it. Remember too that any IHT bill must be settled within six months of your death, and if your assets are tied up in property this isn’t a great deal of time for your family to release them.
The best way to handle the IHT issue is well in advance. Talk to your financial adviser about reducing the value of your estate gradually over the later years of your life. You can give away significant amounts as gifts (though beware of what qualifies and what may not) and can also set up insurance to pay any IHT liability straight away.
Use the Inheritance Tax Primer Pack to start making your estate more tax-efficient. Even more importantly, make sure your Will is written and up to date!
  1. Who will pay for your funeral?
All right, it’s not a pleasant thought – but it’s even less pleasant to imagine your loved ones scrabbling around to find the money during a particular difficult month. Yes, ultimately the costs could come out of your estate, but even with the fastest solicitor in the west that’s not going to happen before your funeral. 
Not everybody realises that you can pre pay your funeral costs (we can help you with this via Safe Hands Funeral Plans) Otherwise, it’s worth setting aside a fund specifically for those costs, so your family has one less thing to worry about.
There is of course a sixth and most important point – which is to enjoy your retirement. With the help of the right advisors who specialise in later-life planning, you can make the most of all the good things about being older and care-free, while knowing that all the dull-but-necessary stuff has been taken care of.

This Article Originally appeared on

This article originally appeared on

Monday, 18 July 2016

Who cares about care?

Care Worries
Lasting Power of Attorney
It has been an interesting year so far, with a couple of people who I am very close to needing to go into long term residential care. The impact on the people and their families has been huge and their experience of the care system has been very different.

In the first instance, the person has moved around three different care facilities, because he was being treated, not as a paying client (despite parting with over £700 a week) but as an inmate (his words). 

He was originally in a very nice, modern facility for respite care, but was moved to an older facility when it became apparent that his needs were going to be long term. Social Services chose the second home because he didn't have a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare in place. He moved back to the original home only after we put a Power of Attorney in place and his wife was able to complain to the Care Quality Commission on his behalf.

The second person had done the planning in advance and despite having fairly advanced dementia his family was able to sit down with his Doctors and the Local Authority and put in place an appropriate care package from day one.

Recent news reports have highlighted care as the biggest fear for most people as they age, but taking the simple step of having Lasting Powers of Attorney in place will go a long way to alleviating your worries. Find out more at 

Tuesday, 2 February 2016


David Bowie DiesTerry Wogan, David Bowie, Lemmy from Motorhead, Glen Frey of the Eagles – 2016 has started with a large number of high profile celebrities passing away. The TV news has been awash with the great and the good sharing memories and condolences for the loss of people that we feel we knew because we grew up alongside them.

Lemmy DiesLots of people have commented to me on the sheer number of deaths that seem to be happening, asking me if I am surprised or shocked. But, sadly I am not – there have been a higher than normal number of high profile deaths over the past few weeks, but the sad fact is that around eight and a half thousand people die in the UK every week and almost every one of them goes unreported.
Terry Wogan DiesThat’s eight thousand five hundred bereaved families, but the statistics show that only half of them will be able to rely on a Will to help them deal with their loss. Over four thousand families will be left in a muddle without any clear direction as to what to do next or who should do it.

Don’t let your family be one of the four thousand. When it’s your turn to join the 8500 make sure that you have made your Will and given your loved ones peace of mind.

Call us today to arrange your Will appointment 0800 612 4584 e-mail or go to our site 

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

What Makes You Afraid?

For me it’s the fear of leaving my family in the shit.

Most of my clients have the same fear, I know because they have become my clients – they have made a conscious choice to avoid leaving their family in the shit.

stressed old ladyIt’s not glamorous, but it is necessary so if you want to keep your family protected you need to make a plan and act on it.

Whether you are worried about what will happen after you die, having enough money if you get sick, losing everything by going into care or being diagnosed with a degenerative disease we need to have a conversation and make your plan.

Don’t leave your family in the shit make a positive choice and take action today.

Call Us 01778 382723. 

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

10 Things You Need To Know About Lasting Power of Attorney

     1. Only 5% of People in England and Wales have Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA’s) in Place – It’s not just you.

2. Anyone over the age of 18 can make LPA’s – You are not too young.

3. Banks can (and do) restrict even joint accounts on loss of capacity of a single holder – Don’t take the chance.

4. Your Health and Welfare LPA is the only way that someone else can make care decisions for you – Don’t let social services choose who cares for you.

5. A Property & Financial LPA can be used on your instructions if you haven’t lost capacity – Get the kids to do the hard work for you.

6. A Health and Welfare LPA can let your attorneys choose to let you go with dignity – Without one you might be treated against your wishes.

7. Your attorneys are legally required to look after your best interests – They can’t spend your money on a cruise!

8. You can express your wishes in your LPA’s – Helping your attorneys make the right decisions.

9. A LPA must be registered before use – No chance of being defrauded.

10. Your LPA’s are essential for protecting your assets.

These essential documents can be made quickly and easily from as little as £200* and we offer free home visits at a time that suits you, so what are you waiting for – call us today 01778 382723.

*Single LPA £250, any 2 LPA’s £200 each, price quoted excludes government registration fees.