Getting the full benefit

A gift with reservation is a gift that is not fully given away. Where gifts with reservation were made on or after 18 March 1986, you can include the assets as part of your estate, but there is no seven-year limit as there is for outright gifts. A gift may begin as a gift with reservation, but some time later the reservation may cease.

Passing on parts of your estate

There are some important exemptions that allow you to legally pass your estate on to others, both before and after your death, without it being subject to Inheritance Tax.

Sharing out your estate

Planning your finances in advance should help you ensure that when you die, everything you own goes where you want it to. Making a Will is the first step in ensuring that your estate is shared out exactly as you want it to be.

Keeping track of your pension portfolio pays dividends

If you’ve accumulated numerous workplace pensions over the years from different employers, it can be difficult to keep track of how they are performing. There is a danger that long-forgotten plans may end up festering in expensive, poorly performing funds, and the paperwork alone can be enough to put you off becoming more proactive.

Building a savings pot to provide income when you retire

Investing regularly from as young an age as possible, while taking advantage of various tax incentives, is the logical way to achieve this.

Investors should not delay in disclosing their assets

With the latest HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) campaign aimed at targeting investors with overseas assets, some investors could be worried about the impact this could have on their overseas investments, and others could be put off from investing overseas altogether. However, it’s not all doom and gloom. Once assets have been appropriately disclosed, there are ways in which the investments can be restructured, or new investments made, to make them more efficient going forwards.

Families are feeling the impact of benefit cuts

The cost of bringing up a child has reached £227,266, up from £222,458 last year, with the first year of a child’s life seeing the largest increase.

You need to act fast to avoid next year’s child benefit charges

Families impacted by the high income child benefit charge need to act now to limit or avoid it in the next tax year. Doing this could make them potentially up to £2,449 better off, but they only have until the 6th April 2014 to take some vital steps for the 2013/14 tax year, according to Standard Life.

How much risk are you willing to take?

It is impossible for an active manager to always outperform the market, but through the process of stock selection, active management introduces the potential of generating market-beating returns.

New data shows consumer confidence improving but worry is still strife

Data recently released by Aviva shows that over half (55%) of UK consumers worry that they will not have enough money to provide an adequate standard of living when they retire, with 18% of consumers saying they do not hold any form of savings or long-term investment products. Almost the same proportion of consumers (49%) think they will have to work beyond the normal retirement age.

Legitimate planning could save you money by reducing a potential tax bill

With tax increases the prospect for the foreseeable future, it is essential that you make the most of every available tax relief. Using the tax breaks available to you also makes good financial sense.

Tentative signs of economic growth

Tentative signs of economic growth, receding risks, plentiful nearly free liquidity and financial markets on fire – what was not to like about the investment landscape at the end of 2013? It is tempting to believe that what happened ‘yesterday’ will happen again ‘tomorrow’ (especially if momentum has been paying off, as it did in 2013). So what is the potential outlook for investors this year?

Preparing for your financial future

Britons spend more time planning their next holiday, haircut and shopping excursions than they do making preparations for their financial future, according to new research.

How much Inheritance Tax could you potentially have to pay?

To estimate how much Inheritance Tax you may have to pay, add up the value of all your wealth, subtract your liabilities and the £325,000 nil rate band allowance, and then multiply the remainder by 40%.

Arriving at the amount of Inheritance Tax payable

To arrive at the amount of Inheritance Tax potentially payable when valuing your estate, you need to include assets (property, possessions, investments and money) you own and certain assets you have given away during the last seven years. The valuation must accurately reflect what those assets would reasonably receive in the current open market.