Government’s Increased ‘Death Tax’ To Hit 280,000 Families

Government’s Increased ‘Death Tax’ To Hit 280,000 Families

Last week’s budget received mainly positive responses from the general public and the media, but one subsequent item which the Treasury was clearly trying to keep under the radar is the proposed massive hike on probate costs, causing uproar all round.

Currently the cost of probate is £215 (£155 through a solicitor), with the IHT threshold (Inheritance Tax) having been frozen at £325,000 for the past decade. In 2017/18 the taxman took a record breaking £5.2bn in IHT and this year the amount is expected to be at least £5.5bn, with anticipated continuing increases of 3.5%-6% over the next five years.

From the increase of probate costs alone, the taxman will receive an extra £185million a year in charges from 2022-23.

Geoff Newman, Development Director of leading Hertfordshire financial planning and financial services company Lyndhurst Financial Management says

“The Government has decided to link the probate charge to the size of the deceased’s estate and the levy ranges from £250 for estates valued between £50,001- £300,000 to £6,000 above £2million.
Probate fees were meant to cover the cost of a simple service, now they are another way for the government to bring in more death duties. Although the Justice Minister said fees will never be more than 0.5% of an estate’s value, there are concerns that this is just the start of more taxation on assets that people have acquired throughout their lifetimes and justifiably want to leave to their families when they die.
There are complications as the probate fee needs to be paid upfront and there may be questions on how the money will be recovered from the estate as assets are frozen until the executors receive grant of probate.
As always, we advise people to get professional advice on all aspects of inheritance tax and how best to protect their assets for themselves and their families.”

Why Are Women Underinsured Asks Lyndhurst?

Why Are Women Underinsured Asks Lyndhurst?

There have been many discussions on the subject of female gender pay gaps and also how women are less likely to have stocks and shares investments than the safer but far less profitable cash ISAs.

Now it seems a recent study has also highlighted the fact that women are less likely to take out any kind of protection insurance (ie life, income protection, medical, mortgage etc) and, if they do, are likely to insure themselves for up to 33% less than their male counterparts.

The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII)s report on Insuring Women’s Future discovered that women tend to face different kind of risks from men, such as those from divorce or separation.

Johanna Haigh, a Financial Adviser at leading Herts-based financial management and financial planning company Lyndhurst Financial Management says

“In general, women still tend to earn less than men over their working lives and acquire fewer financial assets. However, this does not stop them needing valuable cover should the worst happen, ensuring themselves and their dependants are protected.”

The report highlighted six key ‘moments that matter’ in women’s lives

  1. Growing up, studying and re-qualifying
  2. Entering and re-entering the workplace
  3. Relationships: Making and breaking up
  4. Motherhood and becoming a carer
  5. Later life, planning and entering retirement
  6. Ill health, infirmity and dying

Johanna continues

“The insurance industry has at last recognised that women have a number of different needs to men and they are creating policies which represent this differential. We would always advise women to seek professional financial advice to help them make the best decisions for their financial future.”

Johanna Haigh can be contacted at our Hitchin office on 01462 441100 or mobile: 07896 651641

Foreign Offshore Assets No Longer A Secret From HMRC

Foreign Offshore Assets No Longer A Secret From HMRC

The Cayman Islands and many other tax free havens are probably starting to look less attractive to those Brits who are keen to hide at least some of their undisclosed wealth from the taxman.

Since Monday October 1st HMRC has new legislation that demands all UK taxpayers have to declare their foreign assets and pay UK income tax, capital gains or inheritance tax on them, otherwise fines will be swift and severe.

Geoff Newman, Development Director at leading Hertfordshire-based financial planning and financial advice firm Lyndhurst Financial Management says

“There will always be people who want to hide their wealth, whether from the taxman or an angry ex spouse and, equally, disreputable companies which will help with offshore funds or dodgy film schemes and the like.
Under this new legislation HMRC can fine UK taxpayers twice the amount of tax they already need to pay because of the new “requirement to correct” rules. Taxpayers who have declared foreign assets have a 90 day breathing space before full disclosure and subsequent tax payments.
I think that while this is good news it’s going to be hard to monitor or trace foreign assets and the money that would have to be spent on investigations may be worth more than the recovered tax. However, if it helps to stop people avoiding tax and prevents at least some criminal activity around money laundering it can only be for the good of the UK economy.
High net worth individuals don’t have to hide their wealth. If they get good professional financial advice they can actually use the money they might want to hide from the taxman by investing in the UK, thereby benefiting both themselves and the country as a whole.”

As Mid Lifers Top Divorce Rates Sorting Out Finances Can Be a Nightmare

As Mid Lifers Top Divorce Rates Sorting Out Finances Can Be a Nightmare

Although there are encouraging signs that divorce rates have fallen to a 44 year low, rather than a ‘seven year itch’ scenario it seems that the mid-life crisis generation is now topping the divorce statistics.

The rise in the so called ‘silver splitters’ is related to a number of different factors according to the ONS (Office For National Statistics)  People are living longer and, in general., healthier lives. Hitting 50 or 60 is no longer ‘old’, with many people choosing to ‘spend the children’s inheritance’ and have a ball, travelling the world and enjoying their freedom like no other older generation before them. Faced with another 20 or 30 years stuck in an unhappy union and the children off their hands, many people decide to call time on their marriages.

Geoff Newman, Development Director at leading Hertfordshire financial advice and financial planning firm Lyndhurst Financial Management says

“Later divorce is a growing trend that we are aware of at Lyndhurst. It’s now so much easier to get a divorce but for older couples, whose lives and finances have been entwined for many years, splitting the assets fairly can be a nightmare.
As well as the bigger assets such as property and pensions, there is also life insurance, inheritance and any other assets the couple may have that have to be shared legally. It’s often a complex situation because couples can accrue a lot of wealth over the lifetime of their marriage. A property that was bought in the 80s or 90s would now be worth considerably more for example.
We would always advise divorcing couples or co habiting couples who are separating to get professional financial advice. It will save them lots of time and heartache. We acknowledge that divorce can be an emotional time for both partners and we have a Focus for Women team who specialise in helping women make the best decisions for their financial future.
It’s always best for both parties to outline both joint and individual assets so that the fairest solutions can be reached. This is usually done with the help of their solicitor(s) but that’s essentially from the legal side. A financial advisor has been trained to give people the best options available based on their current financial situation so that both sides can plan for a secure future and positive retirement.”

Saving in Cash or Stocks and Shares ISAs – Which Option Will Give You A Wealthier Retirement?

Saving in Cash or Stocks and Shares ISAs – Which Option Will Give You A Wealthier Retirement?

Cash ISAs have proved very popular since they were introduced to encourage people to save money by not taxing any interest earned. They have always provided a safe nest egg but since the financial crash of 2008 record low interest rates have meant that cash ISA savers have been really losing out on their financial returns.
The fact that there is no longer any tax to pay on the first £1,000 of annual interest has been of little comfort to cash ISA savers, who have seen the value of their money depreciate year on year. Interest rates are likely to remain relatively low for a long time to come and,with inflation rising, many savers are looking elsewhere to invest their money to ensure a decent return for their retirement.

Geoff Newman, Development Director of Lyndhurst Financial Management, a leading Hertfordshire based financial planning and financial advice firm says

“We help our clients make better financial decisions and this is extremely important when planning for retirement. Although some people are reluctant to invest in stocks and shares, the average dividend yield of the FTSE All Share has been 3.42% between 1995 and 2015.
While investors could experience capital losses in the unpredictable marketplace, as retirement planning tends to involve long term activity it’s likely that over a period of time the markets will rally and the value of someone’s investments will still be greater than if they’d left their cash in a typically low return ISA.
Before making any decisions we always advise people to seek professional financial advice so that they can make the right decisions for their financial future and retirement.”

Massive Rise in Remortgaging Because of Interest Rate Increase

Massive Rise in Remortgaging Because of Interest Rate Increase

The recent rise in the Bank of England’s interest rate, from 0.5% to 0.75%, appears to have increased homeowner remortgaging activity by over 25% as compared to the same period in 2017. In July 2018, statistics show that almost 47,000 homeowners completed remortgages, representing an astonishing 23% increase from July 2017.

James Wyman, a financial adviser at Lyndhurst Financial Management, a leading Hertfordshire based financial planning and advice firm says

“A number of canny homeowners decided to remortgage to the best available rates before the projected interest rate rise in August.
With Brexit looming there is so much uncertainty in the financial marketplace that it is definitely a wise move to look at every aspect of your finances and for many people owning a property and having a mortgage is one of the biggest investments they make during their lives. Borrowing rates are still very low but there’s no guarantee that they will stay in that position for as long as they have done since the financial crash of 2008.
Even with an apparently small percentage increase of 0.25% mortgage repayments can still be a problem if families are finding money is already tight. As an independent financial adviser I give our clients the broadest possible view of the products that are available to them and to help them make the best decision for their finances, both now and in the future.
I think it’s really vital to get professional advice if you’re considering remortgaging and not be swayed by anything you read on the internet, which can be very misleading and ending up costing you a lot of money.”

A Radio Star Is Born! Geoff Newman of Lyndhurst Financial Management Makes His Debut on BBC Three Counties Radio

A Radio Star Is Born! Geoff Newman of Lyndhurst Financial Management Makes His Debut on BBC Three Counties Radio

Geoff Newman, Development Director at leading Hertfordshire-based financial planning and financial management company Lyndhurst Financial Management made his radio debut on BBC Three Counties when he joined the business panel on Roberto Perrone’s Show last Tuesday. You can listen to the show here.

Geoff, a newcomer to the panel, was sent a list of possible questions during the afternoon of the show and had no idea beforehand which questions Roberto would select. Under the pressures of live radio, Geoff had to answer a range of questions from Superdry owner Jutian Dunkerton giving £1m to the campaign for another referendum, to the dumping of 50 million tonnes of misshaped fruit and vegetables and what the Treasury should do with its £2billion tax surplus.

Geoff rose to the challenge, even when one of the other panellists rudely interrupted him to disagree with his point of view on one of the topics. He says

“I was the only ‘newbie’ on the panel but I think I held my own and made a contribution. It was very enjoyable and quite a challenge when you know people are listening in.  Some of the questions were quite thought provoking and Roberto is such a great radio presenter, he really ramps up the energy. I was particularly amused at the beginning of the business panel session when he invited listeners who knew me to text or email him with dark secrets about me.
The cheques are in the post to everyone who kept quiet!”

Cohabiting Couples Urgently Need Independent Financial Advice

Cohabiting Couples Urgently Need Independent Financial Advice

Despite the fact that it’s now the norm for so many couples to live together instead of getting married, even if they have children, there are still a lot of myths around a person’s financial rights should they split up or if they are unexpectedly August 2018

Firstly, there is no such thing as a ‘common law’ marriage. Even if you have made a considerable or equal financial contribution to the family home, without your name on the deeds of the property you have no claim on it.

The number of people getting married has steadily decreased year on year, with a further drop of 3.4% in 2017. Cohabiting couples are the fastest growing type of family unit, more than doubling to 3.3 million as compared with just 20 years ago.

Geoff Newman, Development Director at leading Hertfordshire financial advice and financial planning firm Lyndhurst Financial Management says

“Many cohabiting couples are stunned if they split up to discover by law there are no automatically shared assets and basically they have no rights no matter how long they have been together or if they have children.
It’s an anomaly that in 2018 there is no sign that the law is about to change and I can’t stress enough how important it is for cohabiting couples to get independent financial advice to protect themselves and their children. You can get some legal protection with a cohabitation agreement which can help protect your rights while at the same time safeguard your individual interests and assets.
It’s also important for couples to be aware that if the main breadwinner, usually the man, dies unexpectedly, their partner cannot claim thousands of pounds in government support, whereas married partners of people who die are able to claim three separate payments on their passing, paid for from the late partner’s National Insurance contributions. They include a bereavement support payment, a widowed parent’s allowance and a bereavement allowance.
In the face of a sudden and dramatic loss of family income, these payments are essential for widows or widowers who are left to bring up the children. It can also pay for funeral and other costs. Sometimes the partner who is left also needs to take time off work.”

A study has suggested that co-habiting but unmarried couples may be missing out on as much as £82million a year, with £15million in bereavement payments, £11million in bereavement allowance and £56million a year in widowed parent’s allowance.

Geoff continues

“There are approximately six million people in cohabiting relationships in the UK, preferring not to get married. It is always essential for couples, and especially those with children, to make financial arrangements in case they split up or if one of them should die unexpectedly.
Partners should always have wills and a Lasting Power of Attorney drawn up for the main breadwinner in case of unexpected accidents or tragedies. As a cohabiting couple you can’t even inherit your deceased partner’s pension. I think the laws around these issues need to be reviewed because such a large number of couples who have families choose not to marry, but until the law changes it is essential for co-habiting couples to get professional financial and legal advice on how to protect themselves and their families in the future.”

From Barmaid and Pen Salesman To Love Island’s Most Valuable Couple – What’s Next For Dani and Jack?

From Barmaid and Pen Salesman To Love Island’s Most Valuable Couple – What’s Next For Dani and Jack?

We won’t be seeing Dani Dyer behind the bar anytime soon, unless it’s in her real life dad’s (actor Danny Dyer) pub, as Mick Carter, landlord of The Vic, on EastEnders. With her stationery salesman boyfriend Jack Fincham, the Love Island winning couple look set to make themselves a fortune, individually and together, over the coming year.

Love Island, which drew record high audiences this year, follow the love antics of teams of young, fit and generally gorgeous male and female competitors as they couple up, split up, re couple or get ‘dumped’ from the show by public demand. Viewers were able to watch the spectacle and love life dramas over eight weeks and from the very beginning, Dani and Jack were the favourites to win.

Geoff Newman, Development Director at leading Hertfordshire based financial planning and advice company, Lyndhurst Financial Management, says

“Love Island has become a TV phenomenon and for the winners, the opportunities are enormous. They have the power of their social media following on Instagram and Twitter, plus numerous requests for media coverage, endorsements and of course we expect to see them in their own shows soon. Reality TV stars can make huge sums of money and even if Dani and Jack are only in the public eye for the next year, until Love Island 2019, they have to make the most of it.

Although they are both in their early twenties it’s vitally important that they don’t just fritter their money away. It’s hard for twentysomethings to think about pensions and long term investments- the most they tend to consider is perhaps buying a home. However, if you earn substantial amounts at no matter what age it’s vitally important to get the best professional advice so that you can make the right decisions for yourself. A secure financial future gives you tremendous freedom, even in your twenties. It’s really the best time to start so that you can retire early and do something completely different.

It’s shocking to read in the news today that Katie Price, who made so much money from reality TV, ghosted books and other options is now facing potential bankruptcy because most of her £48 million has gone. You don’t have to be wealthy to need financial advice, truly, the sooner the better.”

Paraplanner – Office based in Hitchin

Paraplanner – Office based in Hitchin

Reporting to: Adam Cook; Operations Director
Location: Office based in Hitchin
Purpose of the role: To undertake the role of paraplanner

Key tasks:
To support all our financial advisers with particular focus on our pensions specialist:

  • Product research
  • Diary management
  • Obtaining product key features using internal systems and software, provider intranets and the internet
  • Liaising with product and investment providers. Processing applications for products and investments by post or via the internet
  • Client administration
  • Producing draft reports and suitability reports
  • Administering client files
  • Documenting client meetings
  • Providing support for client meetings including schedules, valuations, key features documents and other information/documentation
  • Updating and using the back-office systems, reporting M.I. data to managers and Directors.

Microsoft Office Suite, Iress Xplan, O&MProfiler,
Knowledge of Standard Life Wrap, Aegon/Cofunds and AJ Bell Wrap would be preferred but not essential.

Although a broad knowledge is required you will be working with our Pensions Specialists. Therefore a good knowledge of Pensions and Drawdown contracts would be preferred.

Achieved or studying towards Diploma in Financial Planning. Prefer at least RO1 to be completed and an interest in Pensions, RO4 or AF3.

Our team of professional advisers offer a personal service underpinned by industry leading technology. Our purpose is to promote the financial well-being of our clients, their families and their businesses, through innovative use of investments, pensions and protection.

Lyndhurst Financial Management Limited offer our mortgage and financial advisers access to full adviser CRM and software packages, facilities to work from home or office desk space, access to meeting rooms for client appointments, flexible working hours and a structured remuneration package.

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