I think it’s a lovely word and I experienced it
this week. I was delivering a retirement course and was discussing health with
the attendees. What's that got to do with
money or serendipity you might ask, well let me explain.
When making financial decisions about
retirement, whether or not to take cash out of a pension fund or what level of
income you need, it would be good to have an idea about how long you will live.
The longer you live, or expect to live, the more you must consider your
increasing bills and the more attention you should pay to inflation.
We clearly can never know "how long we
have got" Research indicates that three out of every five 60 year old men
will live to 85 and its 87 for ladies. This could be a conservative estimate.
Knowing then that you will probably
need income from your capital and pension funds for a very long time, this
should influence your decisions on how you invest and how much you spend now. Is
it really a good idea to "blow" your hard earned funds on new cars and first
class travel and then struggle to make ends meet for the next twenty years or
The subject caused quite a
debate and various arguments were put forward.
These days if your
pension funds are a reasonable size you may have to get your IFA to "sign off"
any action you wish to take. This is because the government and the regulator
want you to use the new pension freedoms to your best advantage, and not make
any decision without having fully considered its outcomes or the alternatives.
Your IFA should know all there is to know
about you, your financial situation and your objectives. They can then advise
you on your best course of action.
If after having all the risks
explained to you and put in writing you still wish to proceed against their
advice you can but it is now going to be your responsibility. There will be no
redress against the IFA or your pension provider.
On returning to the office I was asked to
speak to a 56 year old client who wanted a large cash sum and a very high income
from her pension fund. This would run her fund down to nothing very quickly
Having spent a good chunk of the previous day discussing
just this subject I was well practised in explaining the situation and helping
her understand what was best for her future. We agreed on drawing a very modest
lump sum now and a level of income which should be able to increase as time
If you would like further details contact
Georgina on 01277 630873
Aside from the immediate practicalities and the
emotional strain, the death of a loved one means sorting out financial
Probate is the
result of the legal process whereby the executor winds up the financial
affairs of the person who has died and divides up their estate in accordance
with their will, paying any inheritance tax due.
In many cases where there is land or shares, a Grant of Probate will
during the process?
The executor will need to investigate the extent
of the assets and liabilities of the person who has died.
These details will need to be recorded on an inheritance tax form
(whether tax is payable or not).
Once Probate is granted, the
executor will be able to deal with the deceased’s bank accounts, pension
providers, investments companies and transfer any property.
What if the person I am acting for
died without a will?
In many cases you must prove that you can act
for the person who has died and to do this you will need to apply for
something known as a Grant of Letters of Administration.
Banks and other institutions will
need to see this document.
inherits when there is no will?
There is a strict hierarchy of who
inherits when someone dies without having made a will:
Spouse or civil partner (note that unmarried
partners are not included)
Children, grandchildren, great grandchildren
Brothers or sisters or their children
Half brothers or sisters
or their children
Uncles or aunts or their children
Half uncles or aunts or their children
Finally, if there are no known
relatives, the state will take.
Why do I need a lawyer to help?
Probate can be lengthy and time consuming.
good solicitor will not only do the practical things, such as prepare the
papers required for Probate and make an application to the court on your
behalf, but will also explain the process clearly and guide you through the
For help with probate, making a will or any aspect of
estate planning, contact Lorna Boorman on 01268 824926 or email