"Wealth is not his that has it, but his that enjoys it"
"Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants"
"Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend"
- Laertius Diogenes
"The glow of one warm thought is to be worth than money."
"I don't care too much for money for money can't buy me love"
- The Beatles
"Simple, genuine goodness is the best capital to found the business of this life upon. It lasts when fame and money fail, and it is the only riches we can take out this world with us."
-Louisa May Alcott, Little Men
"And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing."
"Not he who has much is rich but he who gives much"
"Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans"
"I pity that man who wants a coat so cheap that the man or woman who produces the cloth shall starve in the process"
Life Planning and Financial Planning in Later Life
Life planning and financial planning are important at any age but as we get older it is inevitable that we focus more on health and mortality issues. At Interface Financial Planning we believe that it is important to complete this planning thoroughly and comprehensively and we recommend that you engage an adviser who is an expert in this area to help you.
If you wear glasses, you wouldn’t go to one optician for the left eye and a different optician for your right eye
We believe this analogy works for later life planning and you should engage someone who can help you and guide you through the whole process.
THIS STAGE IN LIFE REQUIRES A SPECIAL KIND OF ADVICE FROM AN ADVISER WHO IS SENSITIVE TO YOUR REQUIREMENTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES...
1. Lasting Powers of Attorney
- Everyone should have LPAs in place, and they should be registered at the Office of the Public Guardian.
- Attorney’s need to be carefully considered and appointed and the implications of the options within the LPA should be understood and completed correctly.
- They should be executed correctly following the correct sequence and with the proper attestation.
- The Property & Finance and the Health & Welfare LPAs should both be completed and registered.
- It typically takes up to 3 months to register an LPA and you do not want to wait until health deteriorates before registering because your Attorneys could be left with a frustrating three month wait before they could act.
- If you already have an LPA has it been registered? Have there been any changes? Have your Attorneys married and changed name? Has an Attorney died? Are there any errors? Do you want an Attorney added or removed?
We provide a free LPA review service and can arrange changes if necessary.
2. Conduct a Full Financial Review
- Fully document all financial affairs so that they are available by your Executors or your Attorneys at the time of need
- You should include a comprehensive list of all assets including bank accounts, investments, insurances, including property insurance, property, and anything of value
- The list should include details of liabilities including mortgages, equity release, loans, and credit cards
- All sources of income including state pensions, occupational or private pensions, annuities, trust income, any other source of income, and tax details if you complete a tax return.
- Identify ownership of assets and liabilities and state if held in sole name, joint, trust, or anything else.
- Funeral arrangements including prepaid funeral plans if they are in place.
- At the completion of this review your Attorneys, Executors, or your Advisers should have access to everything that is needed to fully understand and help you manage your financial situation. Your aim is to enable them to provide you with thorough and personalised advice.
3. Structure your Assets to maintain control
- Ensure that your family remains in control and assets are not taken unnecessarily by HMRC in taxation or taken unnecessarily by the Local Authority for care costs
- Complete Wills and Trusts. Trusts provide a range of options such as an Interest in Possession Trust within the Will, or Specific Trusts such as Family Trusts. We recommend the appropriate trusts for your personal circumstances.
- Consider changing property ownership from Joint Tenancy to Tenants in Common so that your ‘50%’ of your property share goes to IIP or other Trust and does not go direct to your partner.
- Structure bank accounts and assets to maintain control (Note: Joint ownership is often not the best option)
- Store all documents in a specialist facility where your Executors or Attorneys can get them when needed. Do not store them in your bank, certainly not at home under the bed, and probably not with your local solicitor either. In the worst case that we know about the Will was found 5 years after Probate had been granted. Probate was processed assuming that there was no Will and what a mess that created.
- If you already have a Will when was it last reviewed? Have there been any changes since it was prepared? Are there suitable Trusts in place to protect your assets? Does it take advantage of the current tax legislation? A Will is not a ‘tablet of stone’ and it should be reviewed and updated whenever changes take place.
4. Prepare for the inevitable – Funeral Planning
- Obtain independent advice and arrange pre-paid funeral plans and ensure that your Executors know of their existence
- Complete funeral wishes forms so that they reflect your wishes and to take the anxiety away from those that you leave behind
- The cost of these plans is a legitimate reduction of capital when considering care fees
5. Care in the Home and Long-Term Care
- If the time comes when care is needed consider legitimate ways of reducing capital so that you are not caught by the Care fees limits e.g. buy Funeral Plans, reduce debt, buy home comforts, give small gifts, arrange a family gathering, and if not too late arrange a break away.
- To ensure that you receive the correct help and support follow the procedure which is detailed on our website:
- Care needs assessment
- NHS Continuity health care assessment
- Nursing Care Assessment
- State Benefit entitlement
- Obtain help and support with your care needs calculation from a specialist who can also liaise with your Local Authority
- Consider the desirability and affordability of a care fees annuity (immediate or deferred) in order to fund care costs and preserve assets.
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Getting Help And Support
Readers should not rely on, or take any action or steps, based on anything written in this guide without first taking appropriate advice. Interface Financial Planning Ltd cannot be held responsible for any decisions based on the wording in this guide where such advice has not been sought or taken. The information contained in this guide is based on legislation as of the date of preparation and this may be subject to change.