Make sure you both know where all your money is and what it’s doing
Most people’s financial circumstances change as they get older, from finally paying off the mortgage to managing on a pension, and it’s easy to lose track or forget what investments you have and where they are.
It is vital that you have a good understanding of your savings and other assets, not just when you are older but at any stage of your life. It gives you a sense of control, you can plan your income and outgoings, and – if for no other reason – you can mitigate the Inheritance Tax (IHT) burden on your loved ones after you are gone.
It is surprising how many couples say that they have no clear idea about how much money they have. This may be for many good reasons: one partner may have always had total control of the joint finances, one or both of them has lost any interest in the details, or ill health or other impairments have forced them to put a review of their finances on the ‘back burner’, to be discussed on another day.
For some, the sad fact is that sometimes that day never comes. An open and honest conversation could have saved families a lot of hard work trying to straighten things out, not to mention a heavy IHT bill. All it needs is a little forethought and planning.
If this is you, or if your parents are elderly or infirm and you’re concerned that they don’t have a good grasp of their financial position, then please get in touch. I have years of experience helping people and their families get their financial affairs organised. I will work it through with you, focusing on what you want to achieve and finding legitimate ways to spread your assets around so that IHT or other taxes are less of a factor. I will take as much time as you need, explaining everything as we go along and making sure you’re happy with the plan. Then, working in partnership with you I will manage the whole process for you from beginning to end.
A crucial part of this procedure is the involvement of key members of your family. I fully appreciate that these may be difficult or embarrassing conversations to have. So, if you prefer, I can have those conversations on your behalf, giving you and them the reassurance that I am acting in your best interests. This will save you time and energy trying to explain it all or remember the details. It also gives your family a chance to ask any questions.
It’s never too early to review your finances and find the best way of managing your money. Please contact me for an initial chat and to arrange a mutually convenient appointment to review your current situation. An initial meeting is free of charge and without obligation.