Posted On / 17.07.2014

Three Top Tips for Retirement

Three top tips for retirement planning

So you’ve retired, and no doubt a lot of hard work and financial planning has got you to this point. But what should you be considering now as far as your legal and financial affairs are concerned?

The first step is to review your will to ensure that it reflects your current wishes. Grandchildren may have arrived on the scene and you may wish to make gifts to them. 

Do you need to update the appointment of your executors, the people who will deal with the administration of your estate?  Since you made your last will, tax rules may have changed. If you had a ‘nil rate band discretionary trust’ in your will for inheritance tax planning purposes, it may be preferable to remove it and have a more straightforward will. 

Secondly, make sure you have the best advice on tax issues including reliefs and exemptions. For example, there is a new relief which means that if you give 10% of your estate to charity there is a reduced rate of inheritance tax paid on the rest of your estate. If you are concerned about preserving your wealth and stopping it being used up in nursing care in later life, then a ‘Life Interest Trust’ in your will could help achieve this. At the same time, consider whether you are you making the best of inheritance tax exemptions during your lifetime. Limited annual gifts can be made, along with regular gifts out of surplus income.  It is important that you take specialist advice so that you comply with the requirements of such tax exemptions. 

Thirdly, ask yourself what would happen if you had an accident or illness which meant you were incapable of managing your own affairs. To prepare for such a scenario, it is advisable to have a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in place in advance. An LPA enables you to appoint other people you trust to make decisions on your behalf. It can cover your medical treatment and welfare and also your finances and property. 

As always, the best advice is to give yourself some peace of mind and plan ahead. A solicitor can advise you on all options, looking at the full picture and advising you on what is best in your particular circumstances. To discuss the most effective way forward, please contact me, Natalie Mason, on 01305 774666 or email natalie.mason@battens.co.uk.