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Please Consider These Points

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Planning Ahead

Chevron UK Pensioners' Association

The Department of Work and Pensions issues a very informative leaflet for survivors following a death in England and Wales. D 49 is currently 80 pages long and full of helpful information. A separate document exists for Scotland D 49S.

We have prepared a Personal Planning Worksheet which you can view / download. The sheet suggests things you should document for family. Please use the link below and the back button to get back to the website.

For the Personal Planning Worksheet click here

Wills, Inheritance Tax, Power of Attorney

Please always get professional advice.

 

Since the 9th October Budget Statement all financial comments/ numbers should be checked and are not to be taken as up to date. Please seek professional advice.

N.B. In some cases Scottish Law will result in different interpretations / actions.

Firstly write a Will, your estate otherwise may not be passed on as you require.

         A common misunderstanding is that all your estate will get

           passed on to a surviving partner. This is not necessarily true.

        If you make a Will, after all assets are accumulated, above

          650,000 for married couples or civil partners will probably incur

          Inheritance Tax at 40%. If you were married or in a civil partnership this

          still applies.

          Single person's get 325,000 Inheritance Tax allowance.

          Some Trusts, Property sell offs are being reviewed and may no longer

          be tax saving or necessary, get advice.

         Couples with assets of 650,000 or more can save

          their heirs 120,000 by providing a discretionary trust so both parties

          can use the tax-free IHT allowance.

       If you haven’t a Will and your estate would be worth over 450,000,

          then partners may only get 250,000 and the rest is shared

          between blood and marriage relatives. Tax will be paid at 40%.

       Think about what you want to leave and to whom.

 

Remember codicils to a  Will can be cheaper than getting your Will rewritten, but also document where you  file them and tell people where they are. Also the codicils highlight your most recent thoughts.

Secondly on Inheritance Tax.

     If all assets are very low i.e. less than 10,000 then things can be

        very easy.

     If all assets are below 240,000 then you need to complete forms in

        IHT205.

     If assets are above 240,000 then you need to complete forms

        IHT200 and others.

        Be prepared to specify all gifts ( property & money) given in the last

            seven years.  Note Gifts between husband and wife are exempt.

            Annual gifts to children can be 3000, and 5000 on marriage.

            You can make as many gifts of 250 as you want to different

            individuals.

        Be prepared to provide a cash flow over the last seven years to

          demonstrate gifts can come out of income.

        Be prepared to complete possibly in excess of 50 pages of forms.

     You will need an evaluation of all stocks and shares, property, and

        other assets. So get the financial pages on the day of death so

        you get the correct evaluation.

If you have made a Trust in order to avoid IHT please try and check it is still working within the allowed rules and correct yearly by seeking professional advice. The rules are changing with every budget. For example it has recently been announced that non-working spouses who did not contribute financially to building up a couple's assets could not take advantage of a commonly used device involving a loan arrangement to shield some of their wealth from IHT.

The Times has information on Inheritance Tax and other Tax planning, please click here.

Thirdly on Lasting Power of Attorney.

     Get your solicitors to prepare a Lasting Power of Attorney well

        before you feel it may be needed, you or the designated people can

        activate it at the appropriate time. Basically it allows the person/

        people you designate to control your financial affairs.

The form is over 20 pages with 30 pages of notes!!!! Also the LPA cannot be registered until the donor lacks capacity. Costs have rise substantially.

For the Office of Care & Protection (NI) please email : officeofcare&protection@courtsni.gov.uk.
For Solicitors for the Elderly, please email : jcameron@solicitorsfortheelderly.com .

It is also possible that a relative or partner may be under an EPA enacted by the deceased and that may result in making representation to the Court of Protection.

Points of General Interest.

  Please try to arrange your financial affairs so someone i.e. your

      executors, can find all the records and can interpret them.

  Remember to record where your Will and details of major assets are.

  Remember to keep at least seven years of financial history.

  In some cases having Joint Tenancy ownership means that only one  

     person can claim the allowance on property, whereas Tenants in  

     Common ownership enables each of you to own 50% of the property

     and each claim that as part of your 600,000 Inheritance Tax

     allowance. Please seek financial advice.

  You can minimise your Inheritance Tax exposure by seeking

     professional advice, but remember this should be verified annually as

     the Chancellor has a habit of trying to remove the facilities that avoid

     people paying this tax.

  Plan for the bank accounts of the deceased person to be closed, joint

     accounts can under some circumstances also be closed on death

     unless you have stated joint account and surviving spouse.   

  Remember Probate can take a number of months so you must plan to

     be able to pay bills from a surviving spouse’s account for this period

    (six to twelve months or more if a complicated estate). A limited

    number of expenses ( like funeral expenses) can in some case come

    from a closed account.

On Inheritance Tax  very helpful helplines and websites are available :

                 08453020900 is the Government Inheritance Tax and Probate

                                        help line.

                 www.hmrc.gov.uk/cto  for Inheritance Tax, Capital Gains Tax

                                                           advice and forms.

                 www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/cms for information on Wills

                                                           and the Probate Service.

Other online help sites are : www.direct.gov.uk

and                                         www.step.org

 

Are you trying to track a lost Pension?
There is a government service which can help you track lost pensions.
Or call the Pension Tracing Service on 08456002537.
 
Are you trying to find accounts/savings?
The tracing schemes of the British Bankers Association (BBA) , the Building Societies Association (BSA) , and National Savings & Investments ( NS&I) - which also covers Premium Bonds, have been combined so users can start their search. The system prepares the forms which can take upto 3 months to process.
For lost pensions try the free tracing service.
For 18 you can search the Unclaimed Assets Register for "lost" Life Policies, Pensions, Unit Trust Holdings and share dividends from many companies.
For information on "lost" company shares call 08703333636 or
If you suspect a company has gone into liquidation you may find information
 
The New Capital Gains Tax:
From April 2008 new provisions for Capital Gains will be introduced, you should seek advice. Hargreaves Lansdown has developed a CGT calculator that lets you check what the tax changes mean for you.

Click here to go to the government tax site on CGT.

Please click here to go to the top of this page.

If you wish to pass on your experience/ advice or to add more information to this page please email us at davpou@blueyonder.co.uk.