Later Life Planning – Now, Not Later | Living North

Later Life Planning – Now, Not Later


Amanda Cowie, Director at Robson Laidler Wealth shares a story, which shows how important it is to have a frank discussion with your elderly relatives about planning ahead
Amanda Cowie

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‘One of my clients contacted me to see how we could help. She was concerned about her elderly aunt’s finances. Her aunt (let’s call her Miss B) was a frail, 91 year old lady who was unable to make decisions for herself and had moved into a care home.
Thankfully, my client’s aunt had registered Lasting Powers of Attorney, which enabled my client to act as an attorney on her behalf. A single lady with no children, Miss B was in the fortunate position of being able to more or less pay for her care from fixed pension income although she would, however, have to top up the fees and have funds paid into her social fund. My client had found her a lovely care home and she was very happy there.  
Her home had recently been sold. With the proceeds of the sale and her current savings and investments she had an Estate of around £540,000. As she had no children she was unable to benefit from the new Residence Nil Rate Band and her Inheritance Tax Threshold was £325,000. Her assets exceeded this by £215,000, causing an Inheritance Tax liability of £86,000 and resulting in less passing to her family. Miss B had always been very generous to her family during her life and it would not have been out of character for her to want to pass as much as possible to them on her death.  
As she had always been keen on investing, we recommended that the excess over the IHT limit be placed in a specific investment, which meant that the funds were outside of her Estate if she survived two years. This left her with enough in cash savings to top up her fees and social fund at the care home and for her Attorney to buy clothes and other daily necessities. Based on her age, she was unlikely to run out of money but even if she did, the monies invested could be released quickly.  
Miss B was always comfortable with investing, so the attorney would not be doing anything that she wouldn’t have considered herself. She has now survived more than two years. The investment has grown by 10% and the amount will not be subject to 40% inheritance tax when she eventually dies (she is 94 now). This means that more of her assets will pass to her family.  
Key takeaways from this story that might resonate with you:

  • How important it is to have good conversations with your elderly relatives. We are all busy but try not to put this off.
  • Why having wills and lasting Powers of Attorney in place is essential for everyone’s peace of mind.  
  • Why finding a firm with a joined-up approach can really save you time/ a headache! At Robson Laidler we have both Wealth and Wills specialists in house.

For more information please give Amanda a call on 0191 2818191 or email her: 
Amanda Cowie is an accredited member of the Society of Later Life Advisers.


Published in: October 2018

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