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- Older Family
How the years have flown! Now could be a time to consider a move up to a bigger property to accommodate the changing priorities of your children's teenage years. Is your Will up to date? Have you made sufficient provision for their transition from school to higher education or, perhaps, put money aside in a Trust that could eventually help them get started in a place of their own? And as the prospect of your children going their own ways looms ever closer, isn't it time to think about yourselves and explore the many ways you can invest in your own future?
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 as your children get older.
- Related Documents
- Q1 Is your Will up to date?
As children in Scotland can inherit at age 16, you can delay them getting their hands on too much money too early by putting their inheritance in Trust for them until they are older. Have you made provisions in your Will to protect the rights of your children if your spouse or partner remarries after your death? You can use a Will to appoint Guardians to look after your children if something were to happen to both you and your spouse or partner. To avoid any family disputes after you've gone - especially amongst your children - your Will can specify how you wish family heirlooms to be distributed. As well as making provision for your immediate family, you can also use a Will to specify what you want to leave to others close to you such as sisters or brothers, nieces or nephews or godchildren. Making a Will allows you to express clear wishes about your funeral arrangements, taking a potentially difficult decision away from loved ones left behind. A Will also offers the reassurance that winding up your affairs after your death will be much more straightforward and far less expensive for your family than if you had died without.
- Q2 Why you should be thinking about establishing Power 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. A Power of Attorney is a straightforward legal document that allows 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 to your family 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 Powers 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 are you making for a secure financial future?
You naturally want the best for your children, and that includes making sure they have access to a first class education. We can help with expert advice on the best way to plan ahead for school and university fees. Now might be the time to set up a tax efficient Trust Fund for your children to help cover wedding expenses or give them a head start on the property ladder. Looking after a growing family brings many responsibilities, including keeping the money coming in! We can advise you on the steps you could take to protect your income if your circumstances should change - if you were made redundant, for example, if one partner takes a drop in income or if you couldn't work due to illness or injury. It might still seem a long way off, but you should never leave it too late to make sure you've made adequate provisions for your later years. We can offer specialist advice in such areas as retirement funding including maximising your pension annuity, funeral planning and care home fees.
- Q4 Time to move?
There can be any number of reasons why older families decide to move house. It could be the need to find a larger property to give the children more space and privacy as they get older, a lifestyle choice to move in or out of the city or, very importantly, the desire to move into a catchment area that would offer the best choices for your children's secondary education. Whatever the reason, your first move should be to discuss your family aspirations with our expert property team. This could also be the time when thoughts turn to possibly buying a holiday home, whether to provide a permanent place in the sun for family holidays, to provide rental income at other times of the year or as a long term investment. It's important to take specialist advice before you buy as this could affect your tax position and land you with other liabilities you haven't accounted for, especially if you're buying abroad.
- Q5 Why give your money away to the taxman when you could keep more of it in the family?
Money is always tight with a fast growing family to support, so it pays to get expert advice on how to make the most of whatever tax breaks and reliefs could be available to you. This includes making the most of married couple allowances and reorganising your assets to make sure you pay as little tax as possible and cushion the effects of any fall in overall household income. We can also guide you through the complexities of Tax Credits to make sure you get everything you're entitled to. As legislation is constantly changing, it's always a good idea to stay up to date with expert advice on such matters as Inheritance Tax or Capital Gains law in relation to married couples.