Over the last few weeks I have been presenting the annual review of the Spofforths pension scheme to its members. This is always interesting for me, as I get to meet people outside of the usual demographic range plus the Spofforths Financial Planning clients. True, there are plenty of accountants in their 50’s and above but there are also many in their 20’s and 30’s.
I was delighted to welcome more than one hundred guests to Christ’s Hospital School on Wednesday, as they attended our free wealth management seminar. The event was a great success and we received positive feedback following the presentations from our wealth management team. The school was the perfect venue for the seminar and John Franklin, the Head Master, kindly gave us all a tour of its ancient chapel.
I recently spoke to the business editor at the Horsham Resident to help raise awareness about how beneficial having a power of attorney can be for many people. Giving power of attorney to someone you trust is something everyone should think about, it really provides peace of mind once it is arranged.
Yesterday saw the launch of the new long-term tax free savings accounts, known as Junior ISAs. These are available for children who are under 18, live in the UK and don't have an Child Trust Fund. Like an 'adult' ISA each child can have one cash and one 'stocks and shares' Junior ISA at any one time. Anybody can put money into a Junior ISA, the total being £3,600 each year. Interest and gains received in this account will be tax free.
It is important to make a will whether or not you think you have valuable possessions or much money. Why - because the rules for the distribution of assets where no will exists are complex, costly to implement and are unlikely to reflect what you want to happen.
These documents will provide you and your nearest and dearest with peace of mind by protecting your assets and allowing health decisions to be made for you should you become unwell. Life can be very uncertain and if the worst happens you should feel comforted that you have made all of the necessary arrangements to ensure your assets are not only protected but can also be accessed for your benefit and for those whom you support. Your spouse, partner or children for instance.
Back in 1978 I had just qualified as a lawyer . My first clients were Mr & Mrs Chessman who wanted wills drawn up . You can imagine my amazement, when 34 years on, the Chessman’s managed to track me down to request some updates to their wills. When I first met the Chessman's I was working with another firm in Horsham and didn’t join Spofforths until 2009. The Chessman’s were able to find me by searching online and this proves how powerful the Internet is today. It is wonderful to be reunited with my first ever clients once again and I'm chuffed to bits they tracked me down.
A very respected charity has just revealed that one in three people with a Will have admitted it is out of date and needs amending. In money terms, this means that over £1.1 trillion of assets could be at risk of ending up in the wrong hands. What a frightening thought! We remind all our clients to dust off their Wills and check that they are still up to date after as little as three years. What were you doing three years ago? The top five major life events are marriage, divorce, an addition to the family, the death of a family member and cohabitation. Have any of these occurred to you during that period? These are but a few of the major life events which might cause us all to think about updating our Wills.
This week David Cameron announced that a new fund will be set up to finance charities and social enterprises. Big Society Capital, estimated to be £600m, is a mixture of money from dormant bank accounts and the main High Street lenders. To receive funding social enterprises must prove they can repay an investment through the income they generate.
With nursing home costs on the increase, Philip Lansberry, looks at the issues we face with long-term care.
One in three women and one in four men are likely to need long-term care yet few believe in the current system, which can see a person's home and life savings turned into cash and used to pay for care costs.
Philip Wise, Managing Director of Spofforths Financial Planning, features in the August edition of Sussex Life. He looks at the tax issues you might face in retirement and provides some valuable advice on how to invest for the future.
Once again, Team Spofforths is set to take part in the annual Highland Adventure Race in aid of the Mitchemp Trust. From 8 to 9 September 2012, we will join forces with clients to compete against around 30 other teams in the Scottish Highlands. After a summer of intensive training we will cycle, hike and canoe 60 miles. It is a tough challenge and we were proud to come 4th in 2012 but we are ambitious and aim to win the race this year.
Daniel Grainge from Spofforths’ Tax Consultancy team spoke to landlords at the Worthing NLA meeting on Wednesday evening. He highlighted the Capital Gains and Inheritance Tax issues surrounding letting property. Members were particularly interested to hear how to use trusts and maximise main residence relief.
I look forward to joining other professionals at a National Landlords Association (NLA) meeting on Wednesday 28 November 2012. The event at Crawley Library is open to both members and non-members, providing the perfect opportunity for landlords to meet and discuss topical issues.
In his Autumn Statement the Chancellor announced further reductions in both the pension contributions that will qualify for tax relief and the maximum pension fund an individual can build up during their lifetime.
Philip Wise, Head of Spofforths Financial Planning, has been busy reviewing the Chancellors Autumn Statement and the proposed changes to pensions. Having analysed the measures he reports that there is no change to the amount you can pay into your pension until 6 April 2014, however the amount you can contribute is set to be reduced in 2014/15.
The National Landlords Association (NLA) meeting in Crawley, on 28 November 2012, attracted a number of members and non-members who were keen to discuss the rental market and related matters. After making a presentation about tax, I received a positive response as landlords were interested to learn more about the issues they will have to deal with when they let property. They were also keen to gain professional advice about Capital Gains and Inheritance Tax. Landlords benefitted from the event and I look forward to attending other NLA meetings in the future.
Joint accounts are rightly popular as they allow two or more people to pay into and draw out of the same account. It is widely known that if one joint account holder dies the others can carry on using the account. Accounts in one name only are frozen when the account holder passes away
We are co-hosting an educational seminar for charity trustees with Rathbones on Thursday 25 April 2013. The event at Pallant House Gallery, in Chichester, will begin with a morning of discussion followed by lunch.
UK domiciled individuals cannot benefit from the spouse exemption from Inheritance Tax where their spouse is non-UK domiciled. However, with effect from 6 April 2013 the amount a UK domiciled individual can transfer to their non UK domicile spouse or civil partner, free from IHT has been increased to £325,000 (previously £55,000).
Filing and payment dates for IHT relevant property trust charges are to be simplified. Where income arising in such trusts remains undistributed for more than 5 years it will be treated as part of the trust capital when calculating the 10-year anniversary charge. Consideration will need to be given to whether to distribute income before each 10 year charge.