Women retirees could boost pension income by 67 per cent

The combination of the recent rise in gilt yields, positive market performance, gender neutrality changes, and the 20 per cent uplift in income levels announced by the Government earlier this year, can provide a substantial boost to the level of income available for female pensioners.

Helping you to look after and maintain your wealth in the most efficient way

If you are UK domiciled, Inheritance Tax (IHT) is currently charged at 40 per cent and is payable on your estate once your net assets exceed £325,000. For some married couples and registered civil partners, any unused percentage of the available allowance from the estate of the first to pass away may be claimed when the second spouse dies. Once the domain of the super-rich, wide-scale home ownership and rising property values have meant that more and more people need to implement an estate preservation strategy to protect their wealth.

What would you do if you lost your job tomorrow?

30 per cent of working adults think they would be able to find another job of a similar level and pay within six months Legal & General’s Job Security Index [1] asked respondents what they would do if they were to lose their job tomorrow. Nearly a third (30 per cent) of working adults said that they would find another job, of a similar level and pay, in the same sector within six months.

An opportunity to potentially improve tax-efficiency

Drawdown is the main alternative to a secure annuity income. It is more flexible than an annuity but is also more complex and higher risk. Figures from Skandia (08 July 2013) show only one third (35 per cent) of people in drawdown are actually taking their full income allowance.

New individual protection rules introduced

New rules announced by HM Revenue & Customs provide people with large pension savings the flexibility to continue to receive valuable employer contributions to their pension.

A very difficult time for your health and your wealth

The diagnosis of a serious illness can mean a very difficult time for your health and your wealth. But critical illness cover can provide vital financial security when you need it most. Most homebuyers purchase life assurance when they arrange a mortgage, but overlook critical illness cover, another form of financial protection that we are statistically more likely to need before reaching retirement.

Are you benefiting financially from your marital status?

Tying the knot does bring financial advantages. Tax and pensions are probably the least romantic reasons for getting married, but there are a number of ways to benefit from your marital status.

Financial challenges facing Britain’s young adults

Skandia’s study about the roads to wealth for Britain’s youth highlights the financial challenges many young adults experience as they move away from home to establish themselves as independent individuals.

Responsibility for paying Inheritance Tax

To arrive at the amount payable when valuing a deceased person's estate, you need to include assets (property, possessions and money) they owned at their death and certain assets they gave away during the seven years before they died. The valuation must accurately reflect what those assets would reasonably receive in the open market at the date of death.

We can help you evaluate the size of your estate

We can help you evaluate the size of your estate – which could include assets such as property, pensions, shares and personal property – and identify the opportunities that will help you avoid or reduce the amount of Inheritance Tax your family will have to pay on your estate and enable you to preserve wealth for your dependents if the worst comes to the worst.

Getting the full benefit of a gift to the total exclusion of the donor

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.

Tax-efficiently 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.

Helping you control and protect family assets

One of the most effective ways you can manage your estate planning is through setting up a trust. The structures into which you can transfer your assets can have lasting consequences for you and your family and it is crucial that you choose the right ones. The right structures can protect assets and give your family lasting benefits.

Using a trust to pass assets to beneficiaries

Trusts may incur an Inheritance Tax charge when assets are transferred into or out of them or when they reach a ten-year anniversary. The person who puts assets into a trust is known as a settlor. A transfer of assets into a trust can include property, land or cash in the form of:

Don’t leave your heirs embroiled in years of legal feuding

If you leave everything to your spouse or registered civil partner, in this instance there usually won’t be any Inheritance Tax to pay because a spouse or registered civil partner counts as an exempt beneficiary. But bear in mind that their estate will be worth more when they die, so more Inheritance Tax may have to be paid then.