Inheritance

Guidance vs. Advice, (and hope to get the best from them)

Guidance vs. Advice, (and hope to get the best from them)

I have just completed some work for the chairman of a local charity I am treasurer of, which raised a few issues about how you research your pension options. Having contacted his pension provider, he was just about to cash his main pension in when he read the small print on the pack they sent him. The elephant in the room for Pension Freedom is the tax due to HMRC if you take your pension as cash; the bill for him could have been enough to buy a very nice, shiny car!

Politely avoiding Inheritance Tax

Politely avoiding Inheritance Tax

As time goes on more and more estates are falling within the embrace of Inheritance Tax, with central government, (flagged by the Office for Budget Responsibility, OBR), expecting the tax take to go from £4.7Billion for the years 2015/16 and 2016/17 to £5.0Billion in 2017/18 and up to £6.2Billion in 2021/22.

Why bother with Lasting Powers of Attorney?

Why bother with Lasting Powers of Attorney?

Most financial planners, ourselves included, try to persuade clients to draw up wills and “Lasting Powers of Attorney”, as these are the building blocks for any realistic strategy to protect family wealth. Whilst Wills deal with our assets on passing, Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) relate to decision making and mental capacity during your lifetime.

Planning for "Waiting for God" or how to avoid additional tax on death

Planning for "Waiting for God" or how to avoid additional tax on death

Notwithstanding politician’s promises and some jiggery-pokery around IHT on the family home the tax take on Inheritance Tax has been rising for some time. Back in 1980/81 the total IHT take was under £0.5bn, in 1990/90, it was under £1.5bn, in 2000/01 it was under £2.5bn, in 2008/09 is was over £3.5bn and in 2015/16 it was over £4.5bn. As a proportion of GDP, (Gross Domestic Product), in 1980 it was under 0.17%; in 2007/08 and 2015/16 it was over 0.25%, so its influence over government receipts has been rising significantly. (Original data from HMRC Tax & NIC receipts, monthly and annual historical record, 21st June 2016)

Have the high-pitched, whiney millennials been sabotaged by their elders and betters?

Have the high-pitched, whiney millennials been sabotaged by their elders and betters?

Now the Brexit result has been declared, we now have to deal with the consequences, which in the short term has been a devaluation of the Pound and a fall in the FTSE. Although the noise in the short term will make investments look riskier, the longer term prospects are probably not changed a great deal. Capitalism uses a process of creative destruction to move from one norm to the next, so a better question is who is likely to get damaged in the process.

Our March 2016 Budget Commentary

Our March 2016 Budget Commentary

Following much noise and fury in the press we are left with a budget with a limited number of surprises. Speculation before the budget was unveiled, included a total abolition of the existing pension structure, the withdrawal of tax free cash and its wholesale replacement with an ISA type system.