Protecting you and your family

 

Discounted gift trusts explained

At the recent Birkett Long inheritance tax investment opportunities seminar we covered some of the options available to help an individual reduce their inheritance tax liability.   These included a Flexible Reversionary Trust, a Discounted Gift...

Providing for your children or grandchildren

Investment bonds are a form of collective investment which, unlike unit trusts and other investment types, use an insurance policy as the “wrapper” for the underlying investments.    This has a number of tax advantages, one being that...

Don't under-estimate your value as a parent!

Most parents insure their houses, their cars and even their pets but don’t stop to consider how important it can be to insure themselves! A recent study by LV* suggested that the cost of raising one child to the age of 21 is more expensive than the...

Child maintenance

Maintenance payments often form part of a divorce settlement and can therefore be legally binding.  Whilst this provides some security of payment for a fixed period of time, what is often overlooked is that the payments would cease on death of the...

Finances on divorce the legal position

When a couple enter into a marriage they are undertaking a duty to support one another, both emotionally and financially. What many spouses do not know is that, in the event of separation, whilst the emotional duty may come to an end, the duty to financially...

Case study on Family Income Benefit insurance

Sue and Graham Smith have divorced.  They have a daughter, Millie, aged six and a son, Thomas, aged nine.  The couple have agreed that Millie and Thomas will live with Sue, and Graham will pay £900 maintenance per month (£450 for each...

Protecting your family

As a parent, you want to provide the best for your children and plan for their future.  We all know that raising children is expensive.  In 2011 the average cost of raising a child was £133,848 and in 2013 this had increased by 15% to...

How much are mum and dad really worth

As a parent, you want to provide the best for your children and plan for their future.  As we all know raising a child/children is expensive, in the last two years the average cost of raising a child has increased by 15% from £133,848 in 2011 to...

Flooding: Sink or swim

Over the last few years we have seen widespread disruption and damage caused by flooding.  The Met Office predicts that climate change will lead to an increase in extreme weather events, meaning the UK will have to learn to live with severe flooding. ...

What...or whom...do we need to protect?

We insure our homes, our cars, our phones and our holidays but sometimes we forget to insure ourselves. In a survey carried out by Bright Grey, nearly 2,000 people were asked what they insure.  Home contents insurance (84%), car insurance (78%) and...

Action for the start of new 2012/2013 tax year commencing 6 April 2012

Mike Cracknell from Birkett Long examines how you can make the most of tax efficient financial planning opportunities before the current tax year ends on 5 April 2012 and the new year commences 6 April 2012. 1. Make the most of Individual Savings Accounts...

Tax planning in general terms applicable to 2011

Employers should utilise salary sacrifice for their employees making pension contributions to an employer's pension scheme to contra rises in both the rate of Primary and Secondary Class 1 National Insurance.   Third party pension contributions -...

Action before tax year end 5 April 2011

For individuals with a "relevant income" of £130,000 or more (i.e. effected by the "anti-forestalling rules") for the 2010/2011 tax year, to make gross pension contributions to the value of £20,000 or £30,000, as...

An unusual use of equity release

Graham and Susan had been married for more than 40 years but sadly irreconcilable disagreements had led them to seek a divorce. At 63 and 62, Graham and Susan were retired and living on pension. The family home was without mortgage and valued at...

FTBs warned not to use loans to fund deposits

Using a bank loan to fund a deposit on a property purchase is effectively taking out a 100 per cent mortgage 'through the back door' and will not be accepted by lenders, a mortgage expert has warned. Louise Cuming, Head of Mortgages at price...

Firm urges clampdown on insurance cheats

Honest consumers with genuine insurance claims could be losing out as more people attempt to abuse the system amid the economic downturn, research has suggested. Gordon Hannah, Director of Claims and Operations at insurance firm esure, said fraudulent...

Top Tax Tips

The current 2008/09 tax year will be remembered for an unprecedented series of financial and economic events. With Bank solvencies, cash flow and in some instances merely financial survival in the foremost thoughts of many, it is more important than ever to...