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Jan 112017
 

Getting married

Getting married or entering into a civil partnership is a very exciting time, but it’s also a time to start thinking about your finances and how things will change once you are married.

Whatever your situation was as a single person, when you get married you take on new responsibilities and so it’s a good idea to make sure both of you have a strong focus on your personal finances.

There are often big decisions to be made such as choosing a mortgage and deciding who’ll pay the bills (if you’re not already living together).  There are simple things that need to be done too, like changing your name on bank accounts and life assurance policies.  With the help of an independent financial adviser (IFA), you can make a structured plan that will help you cope with your finances as a couple.

We can give you expert guidance on a whole range of issues, from securing your assets outside the marriage, to helping with pension planning, or finding ways to spread to cost of your wedding.  In every situation, getting a little professional advice before you walk down the aisle is a good idea.

Questions you might like to ask us…

  • What’s the best way to organise our savings for tax-efficiency?
  • What are the implications of having our house in joint names?
  • Can we set up life assurance policies on each other?
  • How could we benefit from making pension plans together?

Wealth Preservation

 

Protection from ATTACK!

WASP

 

How to preserve your wealth for future generations….

Everyone should have a Will, but 2 out of 3 people have not yet made a Will, and those that have, may not have the correct Will in place.

A few simple strategies from MOA Estate Planning Ltd could ensure the full protection of your property and investments. MOA Estate Planning Limited specialise in asset protection, using simple but effective strategies ensuring the financial security of your home, property, savings and investments.

We can arrange to visit you in the comfort of your own home to assess your current situation, answer your questions and provide peace of mind for the future. We work in association with Countrywide Tax & Trust Corporation Ltd, who are full members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).

Have you seen the cartoon on our new website? www.moaestateplanning.co.uk

Are you sure that your family will benefit totally from the inheritance you have planned?

What would happen if they were to separate or divorce?
Half of what you intend them to receive could disappear in any settlement made.

What if they inherited from you at a time in their lives when they were having financial difficulties?
Their inheritance could be lost to creditors.

Protecting your children’s inheritance
Effective ‘Bloodline Planning’ from us will ensure that your children and grandchildren are able to benefit completely from the inheritance you want them to receive.

The strategic use of trusts will remove the risks for the benefit of your loved ones after you are gone. There are a number of ways in which your home and savings are vulnerable to attack.

• Long Term Care
• Creditors & Bankruptcy
• Taxation
• Divorce or Separation

We will safeguard these hard earned assets for you and your family.

* Source: Counsel and Care

An estimated 60,000* people per year have to sell their homes to pay for Care

You can avoid having to do the same should you have to consider Long Term Care in the future.

Act now to protect the inheritance you wish to pass on to your loved ones.

How do I protect my home and assets from care costs?

Unfortunately, the costs involved in moving into a Care Home can literally wipe out your entire savings and your home may have to be sold to pay for care fees. This could mean that your loved ones could receive very little, or even nothing at all of what you originally intended them to have.

When someone enters care they are automatically “means tested” and ALL of your assets, including your home are taken into account. Only those who have very few assets will escape the costs of care.

Further planning in difficult times….

The loss of a loved one can be a very difficult and stressful time, but even at this late stage, it’s not too late to plan step by step. In association with Countrywide Tax & Trust Corporation Ltd, our qualified team offer more than just help dealing with obtaining the Grant of Probate. We can offer independent advice on the will itself and may even recommend that the Will be varied (Deed of Variation) to ensure that the assets being passed through the will to the Beneficiaries are protected from Care, further Inheritance Tax, Divorce, Creditors and Bankruptcy.

• A friendly and sympathetic team of staff will keep you informed at all stages of the process.

• Professional Advice – in association with Countrywide Tax & Trust Corporation Ltd, whose Directors are full members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).

• Initial meeting is free of charge and arranged in the comfort
of your own home.

• Fixed Fee – Unlike most Solicitors and Legal Firms, we do not charge by the hour but offer a competitive fixed fee based on the value of the estate and which is disclosed prior to any work being undertaken.

MOA Wills & Trusts Estate Planning Team

The company’s guiding principles are to be ethical, knowledgeable and professional in all dealings with its customers. The company, in association with Countrywide Tax & Trust Corporation Ltd, and its staff, are bound by and comply with the Codes of Conduct of the various professional and regulatory bodies they are members of.

Mike Oliver MD
Dulcie Brookfield, Director
We can arrange:

• Wills Trusts Lasting Powers of Attorney
• Professional Trustees Professional Executors
• Probate Service Deeds of Variation Funeral Plans
• Conveyancing Deeds of Severance Trust of Land
• Business Succession Cross Option Agreements
• Tax Advice Estate Planning Reports
• Prenuptial Agreements

dead wasp

 

MOA Estate Planning Ltd
Preserving your wealth for future generations

Selling your annuity

 

Chancellor George Osborne took the opportunity during his recent Budget announcements to unveil yet more pension freedoms, the majority of these due to take effect from April 2015.  From April 2016, the Government will allow individuals who are already in receipt of an income from an annuity to potentially trade this in for cash or to move into a more flexible income drawdown arrangement. For clarity, annuities are a form of insurance or investment allowing the payment of an income to an individual typically for the rest of their life and have previously been very inflexible.

Mr Osborne is quoted as saying that “people should have freedom to choose how they use their savings – we will give five million people access to their annuities”. The Financial Conduct Authority will be tasked with creating a regulated secondary market with further details of how this will work to be announced in due course.

This will be a very specialist area involving the giving-up of an income entitlement for a cash sum and therefore anyone considering the sale of their annuity should seek independent financial advice from a suitably qualified advisor. If you would like to discuss this in more detail, please do not hesitate to contact Mike Oliver.

Tax Tables 2017/18

 

Tax Tables 2017/18

 

The figures contained in these tax tables are based on those announced in the 2017 Budget and may be subject to changes as the Finance Bill passes through Parliament.

Please note income tax thresholds and rates are those applicable in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

V1 – 08/03/2017

 

Income Tax 

ALLOWANCES

 

Personal Allowances 2016/17 2017/18
Personal Allowance £11,000 £11,500
Income limit for Personal allowance(1) £100,000 £100,000
Transferable Tax Allowance for married couples and civil partners (2)   £1,100 £1,150
Dividend Allowance   £5,000 £5,000
Personal Savings Allowance (3)   £1,000 £1,000
Married Couples Allowance (MCA) 2016/17 2017/18
Maximum MCA (4) £8,355 £8,445
Income limit for the MCA (5) £27,700 £28,000
Minimum MCA £3,220 £3,260
Blind Persons Allowance 2016/17 2017/18
  £2,290 £2,320

(1) Personal allowance reduced by £1 for every £2 that adjusted net income exceeds the £100,000 threshold. Reduced to zero once adjusted net income reaches £122,000. (2) Available to spouses and civil partners born after 5 April 1935. The recipient must not be liable to tax above the basic rate. (3) Reduced to £500 for higher rate taxpayer and £Nil for additional rate taxpayers.

(4) Can be claimed by individuals born before 6 April 1935. Tax relief for the MCA is 10% and is given as a tax reducer. (5) MCA is reduced by £1 for each £2 of gross income above the income limit (£28,000 in 2017/18) but can’t be reduced to less than the minimum (£3,260 in 2017/18) 

 

TAXABLE INCOME

 

Thresholds 2017/18 Savings Income Dividend Income Non-Savings Income
Starting Rate(1) £0 to £5,000 0% n/a n/a
Basic Rate £0 to £33,500 20% 7.5% (2) 20%
Higher Rate £33,501 to £150,000 40% 32.5% (2) 40%
Additional Rate Over £150,000 45% 38.1% (2) 45%

 

(1) The 0% starting rate is for savings income only. If an individual’s taxable non-savings income exceeds the stating rate limit the 0% starting rate band will not be available for savings income.

(2) These tax rates only apply to the extent that dividend income exceeds the £5,000 dividend allowance.

 

  2016/17 2017/18
Trust Income Dividends Other Dividends Other
Interest in Possession 7.5% 20% 7.5% 20%
Discretionary
The first £1,000 of income 10% 20% 7.5% 20%
Income above £1,000 38.1% 45% 38.1% 45%

 

VENTURE CAPITAL SCHEMES

 

  2016/17 2017/18
Scheme Max Income Tax relief Max Income Tax relief
EIS £1,000,000 30% £1,000,000 30%
Seed EIS £100,000 50% £100,000 50%
VCT £200,000 30% £200,000 30%

 

 National Insurance

 

 

National Insurance – rates and allowances
£ per week 2016/17 2017/18
Lower earnings limit, primary Class 1 £112 £113
Upper earnings limit, primary Class 1 £827 £866
Primary threshold £155 £157
Secondary threshold £156 £157
Employees’ primary Class 1 rate between primary threshold and upper earnings limit 12% 12%
Employees’ primary Class 1 rate above upper earnings limit 2% 2%
Class 1A rate on employer provided benefits 13.8% 13.8%
Married women’s reduced rate between primary threshold and upper earnings limit 5.85% 5.85%
Married women’s rate above upper earnings limit 2% 2%
Employers’ secondary Class 1 rate above secondary threshold 13.8% 13.8%
Class 2 rate £2.80 £2.85
Class 2 small earnings exception  £5,965

per year

£6,025 per year
Special Class 2 rate for share fishermen £3.45 £3.50
Special Class 2 rate for volunteer development workers £5.60 £5.65
Class 3 rate £14.10 £14.25
Class 4 lower profits limit £8,060 per year £8,164

per year

Class 4 upper profits limit £43,000 per year £45,000

Per year

Class 4 rate between lower profits limit and upper profits limit 9% 9%
Class 4 rate above upper profits limit 2% 2%

 

Capital Gains Tax 

ANNUAL EXEMPTION & RATES

 

Annual Exemption 2016/17 2017/18
Individuals £11,100 £11,300
Trustees £5,500 £5,650

 

Main rates for individuals 2016/17 2017/18
Basic Rate 10% 10%
Higher Rate 20% 20%
Rates on gains subject to entrepreneur’s relief 10% (1) 10% (1)
Rates for individuals (gains on residential property) 2016/17 2017/18
Basic rate 18% 18%
Higher Rate 28% 28%

 (1) Entrepreneur’s relief is available on qualifying disposals up to a maximum lifetime limit of £10,000,000.  Gains in excess of this limit are taxed at 20%.

 

Corporation Tax 

Main Rate 2016/17 2017/18
20% 19%

 

*Since 2015/16, there has been a single unified rate for all companies irrespective of the amount of profit they make.

 

*Since 2015/16, there has been a single unified rate for all companies irrespective of the amount of profit they make.

 

Inheritance Tax 

TAX RATES

 

Tax Year Nil Rate Band (1) (2) IHT due on a chargeable lifetime transfers in excess of the NRB IHT due on Death on chargeable transfers in excess of the NRB
2016/17 £325,000 20% 40%
2017/18 £325,000 20% 40%

 

(1)The NRB will remain frozen at £325,000 until 2020/21

(2) When the deceased has been predeceased by a spouse who had not used all of their own NRB on their earlier death, the unused percentage on first death can be transferred to enhance the NRB of the surviving spouse on second death. The maximum percentage that can be transferred is 100% which would double the NRB available.

 

Tax Year Residence Nil Rate Band (1) (2) IHT due on a chargeable lifetime transfers in excess of the RNRB (3) IHT due on Death on chargeable transfers in excess of the RNRB plus any available normal (‘any assets’) NRB (4)
2016/17 n/a n/a 40%
2017/18 £100,000 n/a 40%
2018/19 £125,000 n/a 40%
2019/20 £150,000 n/a 40%
2020/21 £175,000 n/a 40%

 

(1)The RNRB is only available to offset against the value of a residential property that is (or has been previously) used by the deceased as their main residence and which is transferred on death to a lineal descendant, or the spouse or civil partner of a lineal descendant.   (2) When the deceased has been predeceased by a spouse who had not used all of their own RNRB on their earlier death, the unused percentage on first death can be transferred to enhance the RNRB of the surviving spouse on second death. The maximum percentage that can be transferred is 100% which would double the RNRB available.

(3) The RNRB is only available on death – it cannot be offset against lifetime transfers of a main residence. (4)The RNRB, which is in addition to the normal (‘any assets’) NRB, is set off against any chargeable transfers of a main residence before any of the normal NRB is used up.

 

MAIN EXEMPT TRANSFERS

 

Maximum £
Gifts to a UK domiciled spouse No limit
Gifts to a Non UK domiciled spouse £325,000(1)
Gifts to charities No limit
Gifts to political parties No limit
Annual exemption £3,000
Small gifts £250 (2)
Normal expenditure out of income No limit
Gifts in consideration of marriage (see below)
Parents £5,000 each
Grandparents and bride/groom to each other £2,500 each
Any other person £1,000

(1) This £325,000 exemption applies to cumulative transfers. It is therefore necessary to consider previous gifts and transfers to a non UK domiciled spouse in order to determine whether any of this exemption remains.  It is also possible for a non-domiciled spouse to instead make an irrevocable election to be treated as UK domiciled for IHT purposes.

(2) The gift has to be outright; not a gift into trust.

 

IHT RELIEFS

Business or farming assets may attract relief at either 50% or 100%, depending on the circumstances and type of the assets concerned. The relief can apply during lifetime and on death but if the relief is 100%, the practical effect is to make the transaction exempt.

  

Pensions 

ANNUAL ALLOWANCE AND LIFETIME ALLOWANCE

 

Tax Year Annual Allowance Lifetime Allowance
2013/14 £50,000 £1.5million
2014/15 £40,000 £1.25million
2015/16 £40,000 (1) £1.25million
2016/17 £40,000 (2) £1.00 million (3)
2017/18 £40,000 £1.00 million

1) From 6 April 2015, a Money Purchase Annual Allowance (MPAA) was introduced which applies to anyone who accesses their pension ‘flexibly’ on or after this date. The MPAA was £10K in 2015/16 and 2016/17 but reduced to £4K from the start of the 2017/18 tax year.

2) From 6 April 2016, the normal annual allowance is reduced by £1 for each £2 that an individual’s ‘adjusted income’ exceeds £150K. This is subject to a minimum annual allowance of £10K for individuals with ‘adjusted income’ of £210K or more.

3) The lifetime allowance was reduced to £1m from 6 April 2016. To counteract this reduction though, individuals can apply for ‘fixed protection 2016’ to preserve an entitlement to the higher £1.25m lifetime allowance provided (broadly) they do not accrue further pension benefits after this date. Individuals with total pension rights valued at greater than £1m as at 5 April 2016 can also apply for ‘Individual protection 2016.’

 

TAX CHARGES ON PAYMENTS   FROM REGISTERED PENSION SCHEMES

 

Charges Rates 2017/18
Lifetime allowance charge 55% – if the amount over the lifetime allowance is paid as a lump sum

25% – if the amount over the lifetime allowance is taken as income

Annual allowance charge Up to 45%
Unauthorised payments charge 40%
Unauthorised payments surcharge 15%
Short service refund lump sum charge 20% on first £20,000, 50% on any amount over £20,000
Special lump sum death benefits charge No tax charge where member dies prior to age 75

Beneficiary’s marginal rate where death occurs after age 75

Scheme sanction charge 15% – 40%
PENSION CREDIT

 

Guarantee Credit 2016/17 2017/18
Single Person £155.60 £159.35
Married couple £237.55 £243.25

 

BASIC STATE PENSION

 

SPA pre 6 April 2016 2016/17 2017/18
Category A £119.30 £122.30
Category B Supplement £71.50 £73.30
SPA post 6 April 2016 2016/17 2017/18
New single tier pension if got full qualifying years £155.65 £159.55

 

Stamp Duty Land Tax 

RESIDENTIAL

 

Band 2017/18 (existing rates) 2017/18 (Additional property rates)
Up to £125,000 Zero 3%
£125,001 to £250,000 2% 5%
£250,001 to £925,000 5% 8%
£925,001 to £1,500,000 10% 13%
Over £1,500,000 12% 15%

 

COMMERCIAL

 

Band 2017/18
Up to £150,000 Zero*
£150,001 to £250,000 2%
Over £250,000 5%

* Where annual rent is £1,000 or more SDLT will be charged at 1% for commercial land and buildings on values between £0 and £150,000.

 

Individual Savings Account (ISAs) 

ISA   CONTRIBUTION LIMITS

 

Limits 2016/17 2017/18
Overall Limit £15,240 £20,000
Lifetime ISA      n/a £4,000
Help to Buy ISA £2,400 (£3,400 in year 1) £2,400 (£3,400 in year 1)

 

JUNIOR ISA CONTRIBUTION LIMITS

 

Limits 2016/17 2017/18
£4,080 £4,128

 

 

 

 

 

     

 

 

 

 

Dec 042014
 

 

Financial planning and advice is not just for the very wealthy – everyone can benefit from it. Good financial planning can help you achieve your future goals and aspirations and secure you and your family’s long-term future. Here are 10 reasons why you should speak to an IFA.

 

What is an IFA?

No 1: To protect your loved ones

Many people trying to sell insurance of one type or another but an independent financial adviser can tell you which one is best suited should the unthinkable happen. An independent financial adviser will assess your position and guide you through the best options to protect yourself and your family whether you are single, married, have children or they have long left home. Whatever your needs, an adviser can help ensure personal tragedy does not turn into financial crisis.

No 2: To help plan your spending – and saving

To secure your long-term financial future, you need to build some assets, initially to get you through the rainy days and then to pay for those holidays and luxuries. So, step one is to plan your spending so that you can begin to save – and step two is to plan to save so you can build your wealth as efficiently as possible. Regardless of whether you currently have £10 or £10,000, an independent financial adviser will look at your situation and find  the best starting point for you.

No 3: To help you plan for retirement

Once your short term saving needs have been met, you are then in a position to start thinking about your longer term goals. People are becoming more aware that they cannot rely on the State for more than the absolute basics. However, planning for retirement is a complex business and there are many different options available.

Pensions have come a long way in terms of flexibility in recent years and now offer a wide range of investment options. An independent financial adviser will not only help sift through the many rules and product options but can also help construct a portfolio to maximise your long term prospects.

No 4: To buy your home

The mortgage market was complicated enough already, with its discounts and variables, AERs and caps, indemnities and early redemption fees. Then the credit crunch hit and things have got even worse. However, buying a house is still one of the most expensive decisions we make, and the vast majority of us need a mortgage.

An independent financial adviser could save you thousands, particularly at times like this. Not only can they seek out the best rates, they can help you assess sensible levels of borrowing, make the most of your deposit and might also find lenders who would otherwise not be available to you.

No 5: Financial planning

As you progress through life, you begin to build your assets and your income begins to increase. You then start considering how you can enhance your position rather than simply consolidate it. This could mean anything from looking to retire early through to paying school fees for private schools or investing in overseas property.  However your dreams evolve, an independent financial adviser can help assess what is realistically possible – and put the best plan in place to help you achieve it.

No 6: To find the right combination of assets

Investment is as much about protecting the potential downsides as it is about targeting maximum growth. High returns are often associated with high risk – and not everyone is happy if their investment falls by a third or more overnight. An independent financial adviser will make a detailed assessment of your attitude to risk before making any recommendations. They will also ensure you don’t put all your eggs in one basket by helping you diversify not only across asset classes but also across accounts, individual funds and product providers.

No 7: To obtain an objective assessment

Every new product or investment opportunity is accompanied by hype, proclaiming it is the best ever –but that does not mean it is right for you. Investors the world over have been and will continue to be caught out by market bubbles or high charges because they don’t take a step back. A financial adviser knows how products and assets work in different markets and can outline the downsides for you as well as the benefits. Between you, you can then make a more informed decision about what hype you can believe – and what products you really need to avoid.

No 8: To save money

Once your risk and investment assessments are complete, the next step is to look at tax and even the most basic overview of your position could help. It may simply mean using ISAs or a pension plan to benefit from Government incentives or it could mean choosing growth assets over income to use capital gains allowances rather than pay income tax. Alternatively, for more complicated arrangements, it might mean moving assets to your spouse or children to make full use of their personal allowances. An independent financial adviser will always have your tax
position in mind when making recommendations and can help point you in the right direction even in complicated situations.

No 9: To keep you on track

Even when you have every product you need taken care of and your investments are set up and running to plan, someone needs to keep an eye on them in case changes in markets or abnormal events push them off course. You can ask an independent financial adviser to do this monitoring work for you. They can assess the performance of individual investments against their peers, ensure that your asset allocation does not get distorted as markets move and also help you consolidate gains as the dates of your ultimate goals approach.

No 10: For peace of mind

Money is a complicated subject and there are many things you need to think about to both protect it and make the most of it. Markets are volatile and the media is prone to exaggeration of both the risks and the rewards. Employing a good independent financial adviser can take the emphasis away from you and move it into the hands of an expert. Whether you need general, practical advice or a specialist with dedicated expertise, the money you invest in taking advice could be paid back many times over in the long term.

At MOA we believe we believe every client is altogether individual and deserves tailored independent financial solutions. If you would like to benefit from our objective, professional and personal service.

The value of pensions and investments can fall as well as rise, and you can get back less than you invested.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or other loans secured on it.

For mortgages we charge a fee of at least £600.  We will also be paid a procuration fee from the provider, if one is available.

Oct 122014
 
Still haven’t got around to writing that Will yet?…How about other members of your family?  For the sake of a free hour’s consultation with an expert is it really worth taking the risk?
Revised intestacy rules mean that spouses and civil partners will inherit more than they did before but at the expense of their children.

In summary: –

• there’s no change for estates below £250k
• no change for co-habitees (they’re still not going to get a bean unless they write a Will)
• surviving spouses/civil partners now get everything where there are no children
• life interest now abolished for married couples and civil partners with children but the surviving spouse/civil partner gets all of first £250k and half of everything else, children get half of everything over £250k at age 18, no risk of children losing inheritance if adopted after parent’s death

In respect of co-habitees and single parents, according to the Office for National Statistics there are roughly 3 million cohabiting couples with children and 1.8 million single parents with, say the National Consumer Council, something like only 17% of them having a Will let alone an LPA. Thus, it doesn’t take a great leap to work out just how badly off their survivors or children would be if they died intestate or were unable to speak or act for themselves.

Whether you are married, in a civil partnership, living with someone or simply on your  tod, this is a good opportunity to contact your IFA to write more life cover (in trust of course) as well the perfect chance to make sure that your Will is reviewed; assuming, that is, that you have one in the first place – 50% of people don’t.

It’s a perfect time to ask about LPAs and other means of protecting your assets.

Company Pensions Auto Enrolment

 

Time is running out - websiteAre you an employer?

Workplace pensions are here. Act now. It’s the law.

Even if you employ just one person, you must provide a workplace pension.

The law requires all employers to provide a workplace pension for certain staff. Find out how the change in law will affect you.

You may have seen our adverts, or been to our seminars, if you would like more expert information please contact us, we’re happy to help.

Mike Oliver Associates authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

For your free up to date guide call us on 0845 4021757

The Pensions Pensions Regulator Website Information

 

What is an IFA?

 

What is an Independent Financial Adviser?

Mike Oliver Associates used to be part of the Sesame Network until the network decided to change their business model from independent to restricted (what does that mean? See below).  We felt strongly that in the best interests of our clients, we must maintain our independence, so we became a firm directly authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in 2015.

Broadly speaking Advisers are divided into one of two types.

  • Independent Financial Advisers.  IFAs are unbiased and can advise on and arrange products from any provider right across the market. They are required by the Financial Conduct Authority to give ‘best advice’. This means that an IFA is morally and legally obliged to act as the Agent of the Client rather than that of any product or service provider.
  • Restricted advisers.  These are the type of advisers you’ll often find in high street banks, or those who have chosen to specialise in certain providers’ products or certain areas of advice.  Their ‘restricted’ status means that they can only sell and advise on  a limited range of products, or from a limited number of firms.
So, if you’re looking for an adviser, try to ensure it is an
Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) if you’re looking for an unbiased recommendation.

 

If you’re going to get professional advice, check it’s from an Independent Financial Adviser. This is best if you’re starting out with financial advice, as it is important to identify why restricted advisers are restricted – some will be by product, and some will be by provider.

This terminology is a legal distinction, so ask them, “Are you an Independent Financial Adviser?” Don’t accept any hedged answers. Key Facts about our services and Guide to Our Services documents are designed to inform you as to which category an adviser belongs. Please ensure you are given a copy of such documents prior to any decisions being made.

Nov 132013
 

Dying with no valid Will

 

According to the Office of National Statistics about 60%        (2 out of 3) people in England and Wales die intestate.

 

Who Gets What?

The Law of Intestacy – diagram

If you die leaving an invalid Will or no Will at all, then you are said to have died intestate. In this situation, the law decides who gets what.

It makes no difference what you may have wished for or promised while you were alive; if there is no valid Will, then your estate and loved ones will be at the mercy of the rules of intestacy. Here is an explanation of how they work.

If you have a lawful spouse or civil partner (i.e. you are legally married) and no other relatives

  • If your estate were worth less than £450,000 then your spouse would get everything.
  • If your estate were worth more than £450,000 and you have no other surviving relative (e.g. children, grandchildren, parents), then your spouse would still get everything.

If you have a lawful spouse, plus children

  • If your estate is worth less than £250,000 then your spouse gets everything.
  • If your estate is worth more than £250,000 then your spouse would get £250,000 and a life interest (i.e. the right to take interest on the remainder, but not the capital itself) in half of anything over this sum. Your children would get the remaining half of the sum over £250,000 immediately and be entitled to the other half on the death of your spouse. Should any of your children die before you then their children would be entitled to take their parent’s share.

If you have a lawful spouse, no children, but parents/brothers/sisters/ grandparents/aunts/uncles

  • If your estate is worth less than £450,000 then your spouse gets everything.
  • If your estate is worth more than £450,000 then your spouse would get £450,000, plus half the balance. The remaining half goes to the other relatives in this order of priority – parents; brothers/sisters; half brothers/sisters; grandparents; aunts/uncles; spouses of aunts/uncles.

If you are not lawfully married, but have had children

  • Your estate will be shared between the children. Should they die before you then their children would take their share. Your partner will get nothing.

If you are not lawfully married, have no children, but have parents or have had brothers/sisters/grandparents/aunts/uncles

  • Your estate will be shared equally amongst them in this order of priority – parents; brothers/sisters; half brothers/sisters; grandparents; aunts/uncles; spouses of aunts/uncles. If any of these have predeceased, but have living children then the children will take their parent’s share.

If you are not lawfully married, and have no other relatives

  • Your entire estate will go to the Crown.

It should be noted that these rules on intestacy do not recognise “common law” partners, and that “children” includes natural, adopted and illegitimate children, but excludes step-children.

The Importance of a Valid Will

Naturally, it would be in the interests of you and your would-be beneficiaries to have a valid Will in place, even if the rules of intestacy look likely to work in your favour anyway. Having a will can save your family a great deal of worry and stress in the wake of your death.

Equity Release Advice

 

Mike Oliver is a certified member of the Equity Release Council

Equity Release Council Consumer Brochure

Equity release can play a major role in helping older homeowners maximise their retirement income.  The equity release options available now are particularly useful, given that you have to take account of low annuity rates, the erosion of savings and poor interest rates. We need to stress that Equity Release should only be used once all other methods of raising finance have been exhausted.

Discover how equity release works, and how it could work for you. Here are five quick facts about equity release plans:

  • Equity release is safe – the equity release market has been fully regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (formerly the Financial Services Authority) since 2007.
  • Equity release is flexible – today’s products are designed to support customers in different situations, with a range of different incomes.
  • You can’t lose your home – All Equity Release Council (ERC) member providers include guarantees in their equity release plans that let you stay in your own home for the rest of your life.
  • Your children won’t be saddled with any debt – ERC approved equity release plans from providers come with a ‘no negative equity’ guarantee to prevent you owing more than the value of your home.
  • You can move house – As long as your new property meets the equity release provider criteria, you can take your plan with you to another property.

We can help you to discover what you need to know about the different types of equity release products, and how you can access and extract from the value of your property.

‘Equity Release’ includes home reversion plans and lifetime mortgages.  To understand the features and risks, ask for a personalised  illustration. 

For Equity release we charge a fee of at least £600. We will also be paid a procuration fee from the mortgage provider, if one is available.

Lifetime mortgages can quickly erode the remaining equity and as a result, there may be no value left to pass on.

Equity Release schemes may work out more expensive than alternatives such as downsizing to a smaller property.

Equity Release can affect eligibility for state benefits and grants, so always check this with an IFA who is qualified to give Equity Release Advice.

Equity Release can limit a customer’s options for moving house in later years.

One type of equity release is a lifetime mortgage, where every year interest is added to the amount you owe.  This will reduce the remaining equity in your home.  If you live a long time or house prices fall, there may be no equity left for your heirs to inherit.

Mike Oliver Associates do not arrange ‘Home reversion Schemes’.

Lifetime mortgages are complex products. To understand the features and risks, ask for a personalized illustration.

Mike Oliver is a certified member of the Equity Release Council

The Money Advice Service – Equity Release Schemes

Advice from the Money Advice Service about Equity Release

About The Equity Release Council:

The Equity Release Council has been operating for over 25 years and is the industry body for the equity release sector, which represents over 400 members including providers, qualified financial advisers, solicitors, surveyors and other industry professionals.

It works to ensure a safe equity release market for consumers, by operating rigorous Standards for the provision of advice and products which guarantee security of tenure and financial protections. 2016 marks the 25th anniversary since the first industry Standards were created for equity release in 1991. Since then, over 350,000 consumers have taken out an equity release plan from Council members, drawing on almost £17bn of housing wealth.

The Council also works with consumers, industry and policy makers to improve awareness and understanding of equity release and the potential for housing wealth to help solve many of the financial challenges facing people over the age of 55 across the UK.