Financial Planning

When you are thinking about your finances, you need to consider how best to protect yourself and your family against all risks that you face.

We will review your existing arrangements and help you decide on the right level of protection and the appropriate types of cover, including life assurance, critical illness and payment protection, to meet mortgage repayments if you suffer an accident, sickness or unemployment.
 
If you are in business, we can also advise on appropriate protection, including cover against the death or illness of key staff, which could otherwise cause major difficulties.
 
To find out more about Financial Planning in Essex and the Home Counties , please contact us or complete the enquiry form.
 
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Disclaimer: Information on this website is current and based on UK legislation at the date of publication. It cannot be relied upon as advice. We will not be liable for any action or inaction you take resulting from the content on our website.

Financial Management

 

You work hard for your money, so you want it to work hard for you, to help you achieve your goals, both short-term and in the future. We will create an investment strategy designed to do just that.

We start by assessing your attitude to risk. This enables us to construct an investment portfolio that will endeavour to meet your expectations as to the level of return you are aiming for.
 
By matching your investments with your attitude to risk, you can be sure that the products and funds chosen are right for you. We will aim to build a long-term relationship with you and review your investment strategy on an ongoing basis, tailoring it to suit any changes in your circumstances.
 
•  Investment Management – Offering a range of risk graded portfolios.
 
•  Discretionary Portfolio Management – Suitable for larger portfolios offering exposure to
   direct equity, collective investments and other financial instruments.
 
 
To find out more about Financial Management in Essex and the Home Counties , please contact us or complete the enquiry form.
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Disclaimer: Information on this website is current and based on UK legislation at the date of publication. It cannot be relied upon as advice. We will not be liable for any action or inaction you take resulting from the content on our website.

Mortgages

 

 

Your home is a major financial commitment for many years, so when you are buying a property – whether it is your first or you are a few steps up the property ladder – it is vital that you find the best mortgage for you.

 
We will take time to find out about what you are looking for, and make sure we understand your individual circumstances before we start searching for the right deal for you. We have access to products from dozens of lenders so we can choose from a wide range of mortgages to find the product most appropriate to you.
 
Once we have found the right mortgage, and you have found the property you want, we will make the application to the lender. Then we will keep in touch with the lender, your solicitors, surveyors and estate agent, to make sure that everything goes smoothly, right up until the purchase completes and the keys are in your hands.
 
We also have access to lenders operating in specialist mortgage sectors, including 
buy-to-let, commercial mortgages, lifetime mortgages and equity release.
 
We could save you many thousands of pounds by remortgaging at a lower interest rate or by consolidating other debts.
 
Your home is at risk if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or other loan 
secured on it.
 
To find out more about independent Mortgage Advice in Essex and the Home Counties , please contact us or complete the enquiry form.
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Disclaimer: Information on this website is current and based on UK legislation at the date of publication. It cannot be relied upon as advice. We will not be liable for any action or inaction you take resulting from the content on our website.

Pension Fund

 

 When it comes to retirement planning, it is never too early to start thinking about your financial security in later life. Retirement planning is different for everybody, because no two people and their circumstances are the same.

We would all like to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle in retirement but the State pension alone can only provide the absolute basics. We can help with the complexities of pension planning and construct a plan for a sound financial future.
 
We will look at your current pension arrangements to assess if these are suitable, 
taking into account the charges and the funds into which you are invested. Then we will assess the level of income you would need to provide for your desired lifestyle, 
the level of contributions required to give you that income and your options.
 
The good news is that pensions are more flexible than ever before, from simple 
individual pensions to more complex schemes such as income drawdown and self 
invested personal pensions (SIPPs). 
 
We can also identify other saving and investment opportunities to supplement your retirement income. All our recommendations will be based on our knowledge of you, your circumstances, your goals and your attitude towards risk. Alongside your pension planning, if you are in business we will help you to plan your exit strategy – whether you wish to pass on the business to the next generation, sell it as a going concern or wind it down – and make sure that the process is tax-efficient.
 
We will also help you to think about issues such as long-term care and medical insurance, to give you peace of mind in case of ill health. We can work with you long-term to make sure that your portfolio keeps pace with your changing needs and advise on new opportunities.
We can show you how to maximise your pension contribution allowances and also discuss alternative saving and investment options, should your finances permit.
 
To find out more about Pension Fund advice in Essex and the Home Counties , please contact us or complete the enquiry form.
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Disclaimer: Information on this website is current and based on UK legislation at the date of publication. It cannot be relied upon as advice. We will not be liable for any action or inaction you take resulting from the content on our website.

Estate & Trust Planning

 

Most of us want to know that when we are no longer around, we will be able to help the people we love by passing on the wealth we have worked hard to accumulate.

The last thing you want is for the taxman to take any more of your assets than necessary but when organising your affairs in the most tax-efficient way, you also need to make sure that you take good care of your own financial needs in retirement and old age.
 
That is why more and more people are turning to Financial Advisors such as 
French & Associates for expert help with estate planning, including inheritance tax planning.  Estate planning includes drawing up a well-drafted, tax-efficient will and taking advice on opportunities to minimise inheritance tax, including lifetime gifts.
 
Other estate planning solutions include whole of life insurance policies, which can help to offset significant inheritance tax bills in the future. Trusts are another useful tool for protecting assets to be handed on to future generations in a tax-efficient way. We can also show you how to pass assets down to beneficiaries whilst still providing access to capital and/or income some arrangements can remove assets for assessment after only 2 years.
 
Whatever the size of your estate, we can advise on opportunities to help you pass on your assets more effectively.
 
To find out more about Estate and Trust Planning advice in Essex and the Home Counties , please contact us or complete the enquiry form.
 
Disclaimer: Information on this website is current and based on UK legislation at the date of publication. It cannot be relied upon as advice. We will not be liable for any action or inaction you take resulting from the content on our website.

Taxation

Taxation in general has never been a simple matter, in recent years it has been more complex as successive governments have chosen to tax different sources of investment income in different ways, mostly with the aim of adding to the Exchequer’s coffers.

On top of this the whole tax system has grown increasingly elaborate, thanks to 
revenue-raising tweaks such as the phasing out of the personal allowance and the 
taxation of child benefit.
 
Expert advice is necessary if you require more information or a greater insight into how to cut that tax bill.
 
There are many ways in which the burden of tax on your investments and estate can be eased, but you should always take professional advice before acting.
 
Which taxes you have to pay and how these can be mitigated will depend on a number of factors, including the way your personal and business affairs are organised. Examples of areas where tax savings can be made include: 
  Personal Taxes 
 Maximising the benefits of your, and your spouse or civil partner’s personal allowances and basic rate bands.Tax efficient investments and pension contributions.
•  Capital Gains Tax
 Maximising allowances, Entrepreneur’s Relief, Roll over relief and acquisition and disposal of chargeable assets.
•  Inheritance Tax
Maximising Life Time Gifts and Allowances, Tax Efficient Will, Trusts and Deeds of Variations.
Current allowance is £325,000, plus residence nil rate band (RNRB) of £100,000 increasing by £25,000 per annum up to £175,000 by year 2021. Providing a total of £1m for a married couple/ civil partnership.

There are certain exemptions whereby you may gift up to £3,000 in any tax year and if this is not utilised it can be carried forward in part or in full to the following tax year. Other gifts of up to £250 can be made to any number of individuals without giving rise to an inheritance tax charge.  Other gifts between family members can be made of varying amounts on the occasion of a wedding/civil partnership ceremony.

An unlimited amount of gifts can be made in the form of a Potentially Exempt Transfer (PET) and providing you live for seven years after making the gift it will be free of inheritance tax.

•  Income Taxes
There are a number of personal allowances available and means of reducing potential income tax liability through pension contributions and gifts to charity.
Married couples and those in civil partnerships should consider their overall position by managing their affairs so as to maximise each person’s allowance. This is a specialist area so you should seek professional advice. Please contact us for guidance.
•  Business Taxes

Establishing the Right Business Set Up Structuring

Shareholdings and Borrowings correctly, Tax Efficient

withdrawals and qualifying capital expenditure.

•  Civil Partnership

The Civil Partnership Act 2004 is now in force with the first registrations having taken place in December 2005.  A registered civil partnership is very much equivalent to a marriage for same sex couples.  It attracts the same legal and tax protections/disadvantages as a traditional marriage.It is imperative that financial advice is sought when entering into a civil partnership as a number of arrangements in place prior will become obsolete.  A civil partnership registration will automatically revoke any Will, except those written in Scotland and therefore Wills should be reviewed particularly where children are involved or if the Will reflects any inheritance tax planning.  For example any single life policies that were in place to meet the first death IHT liabilities will no longer be necessary.  There will also be new opportunities involving Trusts and insurance based plans.  Transfers of assets can be made between partners to take advantage of capital gains tax exemptions and income tax positions.

Whilst there are lots of positive opportunities please be aware that potentially there could be loss of capital gains tax exemption on the home of one of the partners, as you may only declare one principal residence and that has to be made within two years of registration.

 

To find out more about Capital Gains, Inheritance Income Tax and Civil Partnerships in Essex and the Home Counties , please contact us or complete the enquiry form.
Disclaimer: Information on this website is current and based on UK legislation at the date of publication. It cannot be relied upon as advice. We will not be liable for any action or inaction you take resulting from the content on our website.

Long Term Care

 

 

The cost and demand for long term care is increasing with a higher percentage of the population requiring care at some point in their lives. This may initially start within the home and may later develop to more intense care as provided by Nursing Homes.
Planning for long term care is now an essential part of financial planning as the 
average cost can be in excess of £30,000 per annum. French & Associates advise 
individuals, and their families, how to fund the cost of long term care. Our team can provide expert advice on long term care planning.
 
This is a specialist area of financial planning especially as many of the prefunded 
arrangements have been withdrawn from the market.
 
Although we are susceptible to accidents, physical or mental illness or loss of 
capacity which could result in the need for long-term or permanent care at any age, we know this becomes more likely as we get older. 
 
To find out more about Long Term Care in Essex and the Home Counties , please contact us or complete the enquiry form.
Disclaimer: Information on this website is current and based on UK legislation at the date of publication. It cannot be relied upon as advice. We will not be liable for any action or inaction you take resulting from the content on our website.