Making a Will, at whatever age, is a time for taking stock, reviewing finances and considering how family and dependants would fare in one’s absence. Is there sufficient life insurance in place to protect dependants; and should this be written in trust so as to take the value of the payout outside the estate for tax purposes? Is there adequate provision to pay off the mortgage? Should consideration be given to making gifts or setting up a trust so as to reduce the value of the estate for tax purposes and if so, what type of trust is most appropriate?
For those contemplating retirement, the sufficiency of future income is all-important, as is the availability of this income for dependants. Thinking further ahead, consideration needs to be given to the question of whether retirement income is likely to be able to accommodate the enormous additional cost of the care home fees and whether advance provision can be made. Tax and social security issues come into play when it comes to considering the relative merits of the main options, namely structured investment portfolios and immediate needs annuities, equity release of a combination any of these solutions. Immediate needs annuities are increasingly popular. These either provide for payments to be made to the care home free of tax or to be paid direct to those policyholders who prefer to remain in their own homes under informal care arrangements.
Whether the required financial advice is sought by a private client, an adviser on the client’s behalf acting under a Power of Attorney, or a Deputy of the Court of Protection, it is vital to ensure that the adviser is independent and fee-based. SIFA’s Law Society-endorsed Directory of Professional Financial Advisers is a good source and can be found at www.sifalegal.co.uk .