Your Family’s Future Page

Free Guide: Estate Planning

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What is the importance of estate planning?

Estate planning is about more than just tax. It is about making sure the people left behind are financially supported, that your assets are protected and that the tax your estate pays is fair.

Wealth preservation and wealth transfer are becoming an increasingly important issue for many families today.

Your estate consists of everything you own. This includes savings, investments, pensions, property, life insurance (not written in an appropriate trust) and personal possessions. Debts and liabilities are subtracted from the total value of all assets

There are various ways to legally avoid paying inheritance tax and we have produced a free Estate Planning guide to support you with Inheritance Tax Planning:

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Preserving Wealth for Future Generations

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Start your estate and inheritance planning as early as possible and implement in stages

The UK Treasury has been receiving record-breaking Inheritance Tax (IHT) receipts. IHT receipts amounted to approximately £7.09 billion in 2022/23, compared with £6.05 billion in the previous financial year.

For individuals and families who have to pay it, IHT can be emotionally challenging, often requiring the sale of cherished family assets to settle the tax bill. That’s why starting estate planning early and implementing it in stages is essential. Also, having an open conversation about estate planning with family members is very beneficial but depends on family dynamics and wealth levels.

Minimise Tax Liabilities

However, families should take proactive measures to minimise the possibility of facing a substantial IHT bill. By planning ahead and seeking professional advice, individuals can ensure their assets are managed to minimise tax liabilities.

Creating a comprehensive wealth strategy involves considering various factors.

Lifetime Cashflow

We can help you assess your assets and income to ensure we support your desired lifestyle throughout your lifetime. By understanding your cash flow needs, we can assist in structuring investments and creating a sustainable financial plan.

Lifetime Gifting

Gifting can be a valuable tool in wealth planning, allowing you to reduce a potential IHT tax burden. We can guide you on the various gifting allowances and exemptions available, such as the annual gifting allowance, wedding gifts and gifts from normal expenditure out of income.


Most trusts offer flexibility and control over how your assets are distributed. They can also help reduce taxes on inheritance. This excludes Absolute Trusts, where control over assets is discretionary. Working closely with us, you can explore different trust options and understand how they can be incorporated into your wealth planning strategy.


Pensions are important in wealth planning, offering tax advantages and the potential for long-term financial security. We can help you navigate the complexities of pensions, including risk assessment, accessing pension funds and maximising tax benefits.

Protection Cover

Protecting your loved ones in the event of death or illness is crucial. We can advise on selecting the right protection products to provide liquidity for IHT and other associated costs.

Business Relief

Incorporating business relief into your wealth planning strategy can be advantageous if you own a business or have qualifying assets. We’ll help you understand the eligibility criteria and how to leverage this relief effectively.

Financial Control and Estate Planning

Creating a Will ensures that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. Additionally, appointing a Lasting Power of Attorney provides someone with financial control over your assets and peace of mind if you cannot manage your affairs.

Estate planning is not a one-size-fts-all approach. Although there is no requirement to address IHT, proactive planning can minimise the tax burden on families. Seeking professional advice and taking steps early can help reduce the risk of leaving loved ones with a larger tax bill than necessary.

Do you want the peace of mind of tax efficiently passing on your wealth to your loved ones?

When you’ve worked hard to build up your wealth, you want the peace of mind to pass this on to your loved ones. There’s much to consider, especially if you have a complex estate. Who should it go to? And when? Is it sensible to pass on wealth during your lifetime? To discuss how we can help, do not hesitate to contact us.

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Family Focused Financial Advice

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Often when making financial plans, it can feel like a very individual decision. What you’re actually doing is planning for yours and your family’s future. All families are different. And that’s why it’s really important to involve your financial adviser with the whole family story.

Planning For a Secure Future

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The journey to financial freedom begins with a roadmap.

To start you can outline your current financial situation and this will pave the way towards your desired destination – your financial goals. It’s time to ask yourself, what are these goals? Saving for retirement, building an investment portfolio or establishing an emergency fund? The more precise your goals, the more tailored your roadmap can be.

Charting your course: the power of goal-based planning

Once you’ve defined your objectives, the magic begins. Goal-based financial planning allows you to invest systematically and in a disciplined way. It keeps you focused on your destination, unswayed by the market’s short-term turbulence.

While everyone’s goals vary depending on their life stage, they can generally be bucketed into three categories: essential needs, lifestyle wants and legacy aspirations.


Navigating the terrain of financial success in these areas can be challenging. It demands a holistic understanding of everything from complex retirement plans and investment products to risk management strategies and tax laws.

Your financial roadmap should be your beacon of clarity. It should encapsulate every facet of your vision – your hopes, fears and goals, vividly depicting your financial future.

What are some of the questions to ask yourself?

  • Can I sleep soundly knowing my future is financially secure?
  • Do I have a clear direction for my journey
  • Will my current lifestyle be sustainable in retirement?
  • Am I financially equipped to live the life I want now and in the future
  • Have I planned adequately to ensure I don’t run out of money?
  • Do I fully understand my financial position?
  • What is my financial ‘magic number’ to secure my current and future lifestyle?

The cost of your future lifestyle: Understanding your number

Start by identifying your financial goals and the time frame to achieve them. Determine their current cost, factor in a reasonable inflation rate, and voila – you’ll know what they’ll likely cost when you aim to achieve them. This exercise helps you uncover ‘your number’ – the money you need to secure your future lifestyle without fear of running out of funds.

Your financial roadmap is your guide to making informed financial decisions, striking a balance between current responsibilities and future aspirations. It’s designed to help you sustainably achieve your lifestyle goals and objectives over time.

We have produced a comprehensive guide to help you build a more secure financial future. To download your free guide, fill in the form below:

Download your Guide to Effective Wealth Creation Strategies

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Passing down wealth

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4 considerations when passing down wealth to your family


If you are younger, there may be more time to accumulate assets. If older, you could transfer wealth sooner to maximise the amount passed to beneficiaries.

Value of estate

If your estate is large, you may consider transferring wealth to minimise Inheritance Tax (IHT) liabilities. If it is small, you may not need to worry about IHT and can afford to wait.

Age of beneficiaries

If your beneficiaries are young, they could use the money to help further their education or buy a property. If older, they may need the money to support themselves in retirement.

Types of assets

If the assets are liquid (e.g. cash), they can be transferred immediately. If the assets are illiquid (e.g. property), it may take longer to transfer them.

Start your estate planning journey

Estate planning, inheritance tax planning and wealth transfer within families requires expert advice. Please get in touch today so we can help you and your family every step of the way.

Give while you live

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What will your financial legacy look like?

April 2023 brought a host of changes to the UK’s tax regime, with some thresholds for taxes such as additional rate Income Tax being lowered while others, such as Corporation Tax, are increased.

However, the Inheritance Tax (IHT) nil-rate band has remained stagnant at £325,000 since 2009, despite the meteoric rise in property prices over the same period. This has resulted in an all-time high of £6.1bn being collected in Inheritance Tax in 2021/22.

Freezing of the nil-rate band

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced in the Autumn Statement on 17 November 2022 that the government had frozen the IHT thresholds for two more years. As the threshold was already frozen until April 2026, it means that the threshold is now frozen until April 2028.

If you own a home worth over £1 million, there is a risk that your loved ones may face a costly IHT bill upon inheritance, due to the freezing of the nil-rate band. While there is an additional residence nil-rate band (RNRB) of £175,000 that can apply when passing on the property you lived in, married couples or those in registered civil partnerships can transfer the allowance, enabling most couples to pass on up to £1 million tax-free, assuming they pass on their home to their direct descendants.

Wealth to future generations

However, if your total estate exceeds £2 million, the RNRB will be tapered. For every £2 by which your individual estate exceeds £2 million, the RNRB will be decreased by £1. Professional financial advice can help homeowners plan to mitigate the impact of IHT.

Downsizing is a popular method to manage IHT, but this presents the challenge of passing on the sale balance to your loved ones. Planning for the transfer of wealth to future generations can be an uncomfortable topic for many families. However, proper estate planning can ensure a smooth and stress-free transition of family wealth to loved ones.

Feeling financially squeezed

It’s understandable that many people are feeling financially squeezed in the current climate, and as a result, we are likely to see a rise in ‘giving while living’. This refers to the practice of lifetime gifting to loved ones, particularly adult children who may be struggling to make ends meet during the ongoing cost of living crisis.

However, it’s important to note that the extended freeze on thresholds will mean that many people will now need to seek professional financial advice more than ever to protect their wealth and ensure that it is passed on according to their wishes, without being caught out by unforeseen taxes in the future.

Your family’s financial future?

We understand the importance of addressing these issues in a calm and objective manner. We can assist you in creating a comprehensive succession plan that maximises the amount of wealth passed down to future generations while minimising tax implications. Let us help you secure your family’s financial future with careful estate planning. To find out more, please speak to us.

Source data: [1]

Important information: This article does not constitute tax or legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Tax treatment depends on the individual circumstances of each client and may be subject to change in the future. For guidance, seek professional advice. Inheritance tax and estate planning are not regulated by the financial conduct authority.

What is a trust?

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‘Ring-fencing’ assets to protect family wealth for future generations.

You may want to consider putting some of your assets into a trust for a loved one. Trusts are a way of managing wealth, money, investments, land or property, for you, your family or anyone else you’d like to benefit. You may want to consider putting some of your assets into a trust for a loved one.

Trusts are a way of managing wealth, money, investments, land or property, for you, your family or anyone else you’d like to benefit. They are used to protect family wealth for future generations, reducing the intergenerational flow of Inheritance Tax and ensuring family protection for your estate from outside claims.

The way in which assets held within trusts are treated for Inheritance Tax purposes depends on whether the choice of beneficiaries is fixed or discretionary.

There are lots of different types of trust and some will allow you to ‘ring-fence’ the money or property so that it sits outside of your estate when you die.

The most popular types of trust commonly used for Inheritance Tax planning can usually be written on either an ‘absolute’ or a ‘discretionary’ basis and the taxation treatment is very different for each. A trust is a fiduciary arrangement that allows a third party, or trustee, to hold assets on behalf of a beneficiary or beneficiaries. Once the trust has been created, a person can use it to ring-fence assets.

Trusts terms:

  • Settlor – the person setting up the trust.
  • Trustees – the people tasked with looking after the trust and paying out its assets.
  • Beneficiaries – the people who benefit from the assets held in trust.

Trusts are a complicated area and can be expensive to set up. Some are subject to other tax regimes, so you should get authorised and regulated specialist advice. Book a chat with us for further information and guidance on trusts.

Millions of married couples have no idea about their spouse’s pensions & retirement plans

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Millions of married couples have no idea about their spouse’s pensions and retirement plans, according to new research

78% of non-retired married people do not know what their spouse’s pensions are worth.

47% of non-retired married people have not spoken to their spouse about their retirement plans

85% of non-retired married people are not aware of the tax-efficiencies of planning retirement together

Pensions & Retirement Still Remain a Taboo

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When it comes to marriage and money, it’s good to talk!

Millions of married couples have no idea about their spouse’s pensions and retirement plans, according to new research[1]. More than threequarters (78%) of non-retired married[2] people do not know what their spouse’s pensions are worth.

Nearly half (47%) of non-retired married people have not spoken to their spouse about their retirement plans and 85% of non-retired married people are not aware of the tax-efficiencies of planning retirement together.

Retirement finances

Wealthy people aren’t doing much better. Mass affluent people (those with assets of between £100,000 and £500,000 excluding property) are more likely than average to be aware of the value of their spouse’s pension, but the majority (60%) aren’t going to plan their retirement finances with their spouse and 78% aren’t aware of the benefits of planning retirement together.

The research indicates that millions of married people are not talking to their partners about their pensions and retirement plans. That’s a mistake because couples who jointly plan their retirement can be much better off when they stop working.

Lifetime of saving

Most people have a good idea of what their house is worth, and the same attitude should apply to their retirement funds. After a lifetime of saving, the value of a retirement fund can be worth as much as a property so it’s important that people know how much their retirement savings are worth and the potential death benefits they offer.

The best way for people to ensure they have the retirement they want, their pension income lasts throughout their retirement and that they avoid unnecessary tax bills is to obtain professional financial advice. This is especially true for people who plan to retire within the next five years.

Pension tips for couples

  • Pay into your partner’s pension: A higher-earning partner approaching the Lifetime Allowance or Annual Allowance could pay additional contributions into their partner’s pension. The contributions will attract tax relief.
  • Don’t forget the death benefits and Inheritance Tax benefits of pensions: Pensions won’t normally form part of the estate for Inheritance Tax purposes and, on death before age 75, they can usually be paid out tax free (on death after 75, they are taxed as the beneficiary’s income). It can make sense to discuss when and how to access a pension and if it would be better to spend any other savings first.
  • Avoid unnecessary large withdrawals from a pension fund: Couples should consider how much money they need to withdraw from their pension funds. Drawing too much too quickly can lead to large tax bills.
  • Make sure your partner knows who to contact about your pensions if you die: You may have carefully arranged all your finances so that they can be passed to your loved ones in the most tax-efficient way possible. However, if your partner hasn’t been part of the conversation they may make uninformed decisions. It’s worth remembering that any adviser/client relationship you have ends on death. Data protection rules mean your financial adviser won’t necessarily know what is happening. This can lead to irreversible and costly mistakes being made.

On retirement, many people’s first instinct is to request their full tax-free cash entitlement. However, unless a large lump sum is needed
for a specific purpose, this is not always the wisest course of action. If flexibly accessing a pension, it can often make sense for couples to retain most of the tax-free cash entitlement until a later date, looking to utilise the personal allowance (and potentially the basic rate tax band) to draw tax-efficient income instead.

Successfully managing finances in marriage

When you and your spouse married, you agreed to share a financial future. It’s an important issue for most married couples. Although successfully managing finances in marriage is essential to your happiness together, talking about money may not come naturally. To discuss how we could help you plan your finances, please contact us for more information.

Source data: [1] LV= surveyed 4,000+ nationally representative UK adults via an online omnibus conducted by Opinium in June 2021. [2] Includes couples in civil partnerships. UK population stats from ONS. Total UK adult population is 52.7m UK adults (aged 18+).

How parents pass on wealth

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How parents pass on wealth

Leaving it in a Will 88%
Bank transfer/cash 67%
Consulting Financial Adviser 57%
Writing wealth into trust 56%
Putting money into investment 53%
Putting money into a pension for their children 43%
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