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Trusts

Protective Property Trust Will

560 315 Eleonore Bylo

A property protection will trust is for couples who jointly own the family home. With this type of trust, you can protect at least half the value of the property to pass on to your children or chosen beneficiaries.

Property Protection Trust

560 315 Eleonore Bylo

Owning your home as tenants in common rather than joint tenants provide additional planning opportunities. This can potentially protect inheritance in terms of residential care fee assessment and marriage following bereavement.

A property protection trust is put in place so that the half share of the family home belonging to the first person to die passes into the trust (also known as a life interest trust). This allows the surviving spouse to benefit from the share of the house during their lifetime. Following the surviving spouse’s death, the property can then be passed on to either children or loved ones. By putting this trust in place, you are ensuring your assets are going exactly where you want them to go and giving you total peace of mind.

The benefits of a property protection trust are:

  • Each spouse now owns 50% of the property
  • Each spouse grants the surviving spouse a ‘right to reside’
  • Allows you to pass your property to your chosen beneficiaries
  • Each spouse can gift their 50% as they see fit (both halves of the property do not have to go to the same beneficiaries)
  • Allows you to nominate your chosen Executors/Trustees to handle the property on your behalf
  • Can be used as a tool for planning for care home fees

Please be aware that should the survivor remarry, not make a new will and then die, intestacy rules would see the new spouse taking a disproportionate amount of the estate. By severing the tenancy and creating a life interest trust in your wills (for the surviving spouse), this means your assets are going exactly where you want them to go and giving you total peace of mind. To preserve the residential nil rate band, property needs to pass to direct descendants.

Visit our page on trusts and protecting your family for more information.

Festive Financial Gifts

560 315 Eleonore Bylo

Deciding on the right investments for the children in your life

As the festive season approaches, have you thought about gifting your children or grandchildren something different this Christmas? Giving them a good start in life by making investments into their future can make all the difference in today’s more complex world.

Many parents and grandparents want to help younger members of the family financially – whether to help fund an education, a wedding or a deposit for a first home. Christmas is a time for giving so what better gift to make to your children or grandchildren than a gift that has the potential to grow into a really useful sum of money.

There are a number of different ways to get started with  investing for children that could also help you benefit from tax incentives to reduce the amount of tax paid, both now and in the future. Don’t forget that tax rules can change over time so it is important to obtain professional financial advice before making financial decisions.

Ownership of the investments

Investing some money – either as a one-off lump sum or on a regular basis – is an ideal way to give a child a head start in life. There are a number of options available when it comes to ownership of investments for a child. Children receive many of the same tax-efficient allowances as adults, so it’s a good idea to consider specialist child savings accounts.

Some people prefer to keep investments for children in their name; that way, if a future need arises in which you require access to the funds, it is still available to you as it has not yet been transferred to the child.

If you retain personal ownership of the investment, it will be your tax rates that apply as opposed to the child’s. If the investment remains in your estate upon death, more taxes could be payable, so be aware of this.

Bare Trusts

You can hold investments for your child in a bare trust or designated account. Bare trusts allow you to hold an investment on behalf of a child until they are aged 18 years (in England and Wales) or 16 (in Scotland), when they’ll gain full access to the assets.

Bare trusts are popular with grandparents who would like to invest for their grandchild, because the investments and/or cash are taxed on the child who is the beneficiary. This is only the case if you are not the parent of the child. If you are and if it produces more than £100 of income it will be treated as yours for tax purposes.

Grandparents can contribute as much as they like as there is no limit to how much can be invested each year into this type of account. This can be a beneficial way of reducing a potential Inheritance Tax bill if a grandparent would like to make gifts to a child.

Discretionary Trusts

A discretionary trust can be a flexible way of providing for several children, grandchildren or other family members. For example, you might set up a trust to help pay for the education of your grandchildren. The trust deed could give the trustees discretion to decide what payments to make, depending on which children go to university, what financial resources their families have and so on.

A discretionary trust can have a number of potential beneficiaries. The trustees can decide how the income of the investment is distributed. This type of trust is useful to give gifts to several people, such as grandchildren. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that the tax rules can become complex when using a discretionary trust and the investment and distribution decisions are taken by the trustees (of which you can be one).

Junior ISAs

If you want to ensure the money you give to your children remains tax-efficient, a Junior Individual Savings Account (JISA) is available for children born after 2 January 2011 or before 1 September 2002 who do not already hold a Child Trust Fund.

The proceeds are free from income tax and capital gains tax and are not subject to the parental tax rules. They have an annual savings
limit of £9,000 for the current tax year which runs from 6 April to 5 April the following year.

A child can have both a Junior Stocks & Shares ISA and a Junior Cash ISA. From the age of 16, children can have control over how their JISA is managed, but cannot withdraw from it until the age of 18.

Child Junior SIPPs

It is never too early to start saving for retirement – even during childhood. While it may seem a little early to be thinking about retirement as the parent of a child, it’s worthwhile. The sooner someone starts saving, the more they will gain from the effects of compounding. There are significant benefits to setting up a pension for a child. For every £80 you put in, the Government will top it up with another £20, which is effectively free money.

A Junior Self-Invested Personal Pension Plan (SIPP) is a personal pension for a child and works just like an adult one. Parents and grandparents can save up to £2,880 into a SIPP for a child each year. What’s great about this gift is that the Government will top it up with 20% tax relief. So you can receive up to £720 extra, boosting the value of your present to £3,600. This can help a child to build a substantial pension pot if payments are made every year.

But while starting a pension for your child or grandchildren will benefit them in the long run, you need to consider that they won’t be able to access their money until they are much older.

Planning to give the children in your life a financial gift this Christmas?

A gift of money to your children or grandchildren at Christmas can be a wise choice, especially if you take a long-term approach. Many families want to give their children or grandchildren a head start for their future finances. When it comes to investing for children, tax can make a big difference to returns over the longer term. We can help you decide on the right investments for the children in your life. Please contact us to discuss the options available.

Information is based on our current understanding of taxation legislation and regulations. Any levels and bases of, and reliefs from, taxation are subject to change. The value of investments and income from them may go down. You may not get back the original amount invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

Estate Protection

560 315 Eleonore Bylo

Preserving your wealth and transferring it effectively.

Estate planning is an important part of wealth management, no matter how much wealth you have built up. It’s the process of making a plan for how your assets will be distributed upon your death or incapacitation.

As a nation, we are reluctant to talk about inheritance. Through estate planning, however, you can ensure your assets are given to the people and organisations you care about, and you can also take steps to minimise the impact of taxes and other costs on your estate.

In order to establish the value of your estate, it is first necessary to calculate the total worth of all your assets. No matter how large or how modest, your estate is comprised of everything you own, including your home, cars, other properties, savings and investments, life insurance (if not written in an appropriate trust), furniture, jewellery, works of art, and any other personal possessions.

Having an effective estate plan in place will not only help to ensure that those you care about the most will be taken care of when you’re no longer around, but it can also help minimise Inheritance Tax (IHT) liabilities and ensure that assets are transferred in an orderly manner.

Write a Will

The reason to make a Will is to control how your estate is divided – but it isn’t just about money. Your Will is also the document in which you appoint guardians to look after your children or your dependents. Almost half (44%) of over-55s have not made a Will[1], and as such, they will not have any say in what happens to their assets when they die.

Should you die without a valid Will, you will have died intestate. In these cases, your assets are distributed according to the Intestacy Rules in a set order laid down by law. This order may not reflect your wishes.

Even for those who are married or in a registered civil partnership, dying without leaving a Will may mean that your spouse or registered civil partner does not inherit the whole of your estate. Remember: life and circumstances change over time, and your Will should reflect those changes – so keep it updated.

Make a Lasting Power of Attorney

Increasingly, more people in the UK are using legal instruments that ensure their affairs are looked after when they become incapable of looking after their finances or making decisions about their health and welfare.

By arranging a Lasting Power of Attorney, you are officially naming someone to have the power to take care of your property, your financial affairs, and your health and welfare if you suffer an incapacitating illness or injury.

Plan for Inheritance Tax

IHT is calculated based on the value of the property, money and possessions of someone who has died if the total value of their assets exceeds £325,000, or £650,000 if they’re married or widowed. If you plan ahead, it is usually possible to pass on more of your wealth to your chosen beneficiaries and to pay less IHT.

Since April 2017, an additional main residence nil-rate band allowance was phased in. It is currently worth £150,000, but it will rise to £175,000 per person by April this year. However, not everyone will be able to benefit from the new allowance, as you can only use it if you are passing your home to your children, grandchildren or any other lineal descendant. If you don’t have any direct descendants, you won’t qualify for the allowance.

The headline rate of IHT is 40%, though there are various exemptions, allowances and reliefs that mean that the effective rate paid on estates is usually lower. Those leaving some of their estate to registered charities can qualify for a reduced headline rate of 36% on the part of the estate they leave to family and friends.

Gift Assets while you’re Alive

One thing that’s important to remember when developing an estate plan is that the process isn’t just about passing on your assets when you die. It’s also about analysing your finances now and potentially making the most of your assets while you are still alive. By gifting assets to younger generations while you’re still around, you could enjoy seeing the assets put to good use, while simultaneously reducing your IHT bill.

Make use of Gift Allowances

One way to pass on wealth tax-efficiently is to take advantage of gift allowances that are in place. Every person is allowed to make an IHT-free gift of up to £3,000 in any tax year, and this allowance can be carried forward one year if you don’t use up all your allowance.

This means you and your partner could gift your children or grandchildren £6,000 this year (or £12,000 if your previous year’s allowances weren’t used up) and that gift won’t incur IHT. You can continue to make this gift annually.

You are able to make small gifts of up to £250 per year to anyone you like. There is no limit to the number of recipients in one tax year, and these small gifts will also be IHT-free provided you have made no other gifts to that person during the tax year.

A Potentially Exempt Transfer (PET) enables you to make gifts of unlimited value which will become exempt from Inheritance Tax if you survive for a period of seven years.

Gifts that are made out of surplus income can also be free of IHT, as long as detailed records are maintained.

IHT-Exempt Assets

There are a number of specialist asset classes that are exempt to IHT. Several of these exemptions stem from government efforts over the years to protect farms and businesses from large Inheritance Tax bills that could result in assets having to be sold off when they were passed down to the next generation. Business relief (BR) acts to protect business owners from IHT on their business assets. It extends to include the ownership of shares in any unlisted company. It also offers partial relief for those who own majority rights in listed companies, land, buildings or business machinery, or have such assets held in a trust.

Life Insurance within a Trust

A life insurance policy in trust is a legal arrangement that keeps a life insurance pay-out separate from the valuation of your estate after you die. By ring-fencing the proceeds from a life insurance policy by putting it in an appropriate trust, you could protect it from IHT. The proceeds of a trust are typically overseen by a trustee(s) whom you appoint. These proceeds go to the people you’ve chosen, known as your ‘beneficiaries’. It’s the responsibility of the trustee(s) to make sure the money you’ve set aside goes to whom you want it to after you pass away.

Keep Wealth within a Pension

When you die, your pension funds may be inherited by your loved ones. But who inherits, and how much, is governed by complex rules. Money left in your pensions can be passed on to anyone you choose more tax-efficiently than ever, depending on the type of pension you have, by you nominating to whom you would like to leave your pension savings (your Will won’t do this for you) and your age when you die, before or after the age of 75.

Your pension is normally free of IHT, unlike many other investments. It is not part of your taxable estate. Keeping your pension wealth within your pension fund and passing it down to future generations can be very tax-efficient estate planning.

It combines IHT-free investment returns and potentially, for some beneficiaries, tax-free withdrawals. Remember that any money you take out of your pension becomes part of your estate and could be subject to IHT. This includes any of your tax-free cash allowance which you might not have spent. Also, older style pensions may be inside your estate for IHT.

Make Sure Wealth Stays in the Right Hands

Estate planning is a complex area that is subject to regular regulatory change. Whatever you wish for your wealth, we can tailor a plan that reflects your priorities and particular circumstances. To find out more, or if you have any questions relating to estate planning, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Source data: [1] Brewin Dolphin research: Opinium surveyed 5,000 UK adults online between 30 August and 5 September 2018.

Information is based on our current understanding of taxation legislation and regulations. Any levels and bases of, and reliefs from. Taxation are subject to change. The rules around trusts are complicated, so you should always obtain professional advice. The value of investments and the income they produce can fall as well as rise. You may get back less than you invested.