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- Empty Nest
Now the children have gone, it's time to think about yourselves. Without all the financial responsibilities of bringing up a family, you may suddenly find yourself with more disposable income to put into tax-free savings or, perhaps, to boost your retirement fund.
The family home may now appear too large, so downsizing might seem an attractive option with the opportunity to use the profits for further investment, to put money aside for the grandchildren in a Trust Fund or even to purchase a holiday home. But before you make a move, it's always a good idea to make sure your Will is up to date and to get advice on how any change in your circumstances might affect your position on Capital Gains and Inheritance Tax.
Taking our 360 Lifestage Review is the best way to discover what you should be thinking about at your stage of life. Alternatively, click on any button below to find out exactly why particular services could be important to you now your children have flown the family nest.
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- Q1 Is it time to revise your Will?
- Your life may have changed considerably since you last made a Will. Revising your Will with the help of our expert client advisors could help you reduce potential Inheritance Tax liabilities, protect against care home fees and, of course, make provisions for grandchildren not previously included or yet to arrive
- If you are in a stepfamily arrangement, it's important to remember that stepchildren do not automatically inherit if they are not specifically mentioned in your Will at time of death
- Q2 Why you should be thinking about establishing Powers of Attorney
- You may want and expect your spouse or partner to look after your financial affairs and personal wellbeing if you were no longer able to do so yourself, but without giving them legal authority through a Power of Attorney arrangement, he or she would have no right to act on your behalf whatsoever
- Powers of Attorney are straightforward legal documents that allow each of you to act on the other's behalf in such circumstances - if one of you were involved in an accident or suddenly struck down by a serious illness, for example, or if it becomes necessary to spend lengthy periods away on business. This could be crucial in such areas as gaining access to personal bank accounts or savings
- Without a valid Power of Attorney agreement in place, gaining authority to act on behalf of your spouse or partner after the event could involve a long and costly court application which might take months to settle
- Setting up a Power of Attorney is like an insurance policy which can easily be arranged for a small, one-off payment. You hope you'll never need it, but you'll be grateful you've got it to ensure minimum disruption to your family if anything unexpected should happen to you
- Q3 What plans should you be making to be sure of a secure financial future?
- It might still seem a long way off, but you should never leave it too late to make sure you've made adequate provision for your later years. We can offer expert advice in such areas as retirement funding including maximising your pension annuity, funeral planning and care home fees
- If you haven't done so already, now would be the time to talk to us about setting up a tax efficient Trust Fund for your children to help cover wedding expenses or give them a head start on the property ladder
- Now the children are making their own way in life, you may have excess income to play with. We can offer specialist advice on how to make the most of it both now and in the future, including setting up Trust Funds that will help you mitigate your Inheritance Tax liabilities and make provision for whatever grandchildren may come along to help give them the best start in life
- Q4 Time to move?
- Now the children have gone, it could be time to consider downsizing to a smaller property and benefit from the excess cash you could make on the sale of the family home
- With these extra funds and more disposable income at your fingertips with the kids off your hands, thoughts may turn to buying a holiday home. Not only does this offer the reassurance of always having a place to go and relax whenever you wish, but it could also provide rental income at other times of the year while hopefully accumulating in value as a long term investment. However, it's important to take specialist advice before you buy as this could affect your tax position and land you with other liabilities you may not have accounted for, especially if you're buying abroad
- Selling or buying, you couldn't make a better move than to discuss your plans with our leading property team
- Q5 Could you be paying too much tax?
- A major event like the children leaving home can trigger a lifestyle change that could affect your tax position. For example, one of you may consider working part time or stopping work altogether. In this case, we can advise you on how best to reallocate assets between you to make sure you pay as little tax as possible and help cushion the resulting fall in household income
- As legislation is constantly changing, it's always a good idea to stay up to date with expert advice on such matters as the spousal reliefs and other tax breaks you might be entitled to, as well as keeping abreast of Inheritance Tax and Capital Gains Tax law in relation to married couples
- Remember - a little tax planning could mean a lot - putting more money at your disposal to really enjoy your new found freedom without the day-to-day responsibilities of bringing up a family