HELP & ADVICE - Your free resource guide for all things legal and financial

 

Welcome to Help & Advice

We aim to provide you with the most helpful content across a range of legal and financial topics.  We hope that the information we provide helps to answer any questions you have.  Below you will find helpful articles on the following topics:

Legal

  • Probate
  • Lasting Power of Attorney
  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Estate Planning

Financial

  • Equity Release
  • Pensions
  • Health Insurance
  • Paying for Care

Legal Topics

Probate

When Is Probate Required?

Probate is necessary for most aspects of estate administration. Probate will normally be required for distributing the property and assets among beneficiaries where it was owned solely by the person who died.  This article will help expallain what happens in different circumstances.

How Long Does Probate Take?

In general, probate takes between six to twelve months.  However, many factors affect how long the probate process is, meaning without knowing the circumstances of the individual case, asking how long probate will take can like asking how long is a piece of string. This article will walk you through the process.

What Is Probate?

Probate is the process of sorting out who gets what after someone dies. This includes sorting out all their financial and physical assets and distributing them amongst beneficiaries. This article will help you learn more about the process and what is required.

Dealing With Contentious Probate

Contentious probate includes a variety of disputes, including a dispute over whether a will or codicil is valid, such as when you think there has been undue influence or the deceased person lacked capacity. However, there can be many reasons and this article sets out what you can do to challenge a probate process.

How To Find a Probate Specialist

After the death of a family member or loved one, you may find yourself responsible for managing the estate of the deceased person. This is why you may want to use a probate specialist to help you. This article will help you find a specialist to help you.

Probate Costs and Fees

The cost of probate varies, depending on the estate and who handles the process. The cost of probate has two main components; fixed costs and variable costs. Fixed costs are essentially the application fee. This article sets out the different costs involved of doing it yourself or using a probate soliciutor or specialist.

Using Trusts To Protect Your Assets

Property Protection Trusts

This is a trust you put in your will so that the surviving spouse can continue living in your property, but the deceased’s share of the property is kept separate.

Interest in Possession Trusts

This is a trust where the trustee must give all the trust income to a beneficiary as the income is generated, except for trust expenses.

Inheritance Tax Planning Trusts

By putting your money and property into a trust, you can maximize your tax-free allowance and reduce the amount of inheritance tax you pay.

Life Interest Trusts

A life interest trust is a trust written into a will. This means that the trustees hold the assets in the trust on behalf of the beneficiaries. Read more about them.

Asset Protection Trusts

The benefits can include reducing the care fees payable to the local authority and have tax advantages. 

Home Protection Trusts

Protecting assets in a trust is a good option for wealth management and getting control over who inherits from your estate.

Inheritance Protection Trusts

The term ‘inheritance protection trust’ could describe many different types of beneficiary trusts. However, it usually refers to a trust for healthy, capable beneficiaries in a will.

Family Protection Trusts

A family protection trust is a method you can use to ring-fence your assets from taxation, care fees, and other risks to your estate. 

Estate Planning & Trusts

Estate planning involves considering what to do with a person’s money and assets after they are deceased.

Lasting Power of Attorney

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

If you become unwell or lose capacity, you may not be able to make your own decisions about money or your own health and care. A power of attorney will let someone help you.

Health & Welfare Power Of Attorney

While you have the mental capacity, it is important to consider how personal questions will be answered when you are unable to make the decisions yourself.

Property & Financial Power of Attorney

It is a good idea to consider what will happen to your property and finances if you lose mental capacity or no longer feel able to make decisions for yourself.

Writing A Will

What Are Will Writing Services?

Making a will is an important way to ensure your wishes are carried out after your death, and your children and loved ones inherit what you want them to.

How Much Does A Will Cost?

The majority of people in the UK do not have a will. Making a will is one of the most important things you can do to protect your wishes after you pass away.

What Are Online Wills

An online will is quite simply whenever you make your will through a website. The type of services you get can vary, from a digital tool to draft your will, to an expert who reviews your will.

Financial Topics

Equity Release - What you need to know

is equity release a good idea

Many people consider equity release in later life but are unsure of whether or not an equity release product will be a good fit for their situation. This article help you understand if it is right for you.

how does equity release work?

Equity release can be confusing at times.  This in depth articles explains how equity release works, who the main providers are and the different type of products available today. We also expllain the pros and cons of taking out a scheme.

pros and cons of equity release

There are several key pros and cons to taking out an equity release product. This article examines the range of advantages and disadvantages associated with equity release. A worthwhile read if you are considering your options.

Lifetime mortgages are a popular type of equity release where you take out a loan secured against the value of your home. This type of scheme allows you to unlock money that is currently tied up in the value of your property.

equity release calculator

Most kinds of equity release calculator online are free to use.  All you have to do is fill in some basic information about your individual circumstances, and you will be shown an instant quote.

Home Reversion Plans

A home reversion plan is a scheme where you sell all or part of your home to a home reversion company in return for tax-free cash.  The money you release with a home reversion scheme can either be a cash lump sum or a regular income

Equity Release - Lifetime Mortgages

drawdown lifetime mortgage (2)

Drawdown Lifetime Mortgage

A drawdown lifetime mortgage is a type of life mortgage where you can release equity from your home in a series of small withdrawals. This is instead of simply withdrawing one large cash lump sum at the start of the mortgage term.

Lifetime Mortgage Rates

The majority of lifetime mortgages have a fixed interest rate for life. Therefore, they are sometimes called a ‘lifetime fixed rate mortgage’. The rate will range between providers and can change quite often..

Mortgages For Pensioners

If you are a pensioner in later life, you may be considering a lifetime mortgage as a way of supplementing your pension income, paying off debts, supporting family, or paying for home improvements in retirement.

Equity Release - Home Reversion Plans

Home Reversion Plan

A home reversion plan is a scheme where you sell all or part of your home to a mortgage company in return for tax-free cash. The money you release with a home reversion scheme can either be a cash lump sum or a regular income.  Click below to read more about these plans.

Home Reversion Companies

A number of providers who once offered home reversion schemes have since removed these products from their website as these plans have become less popular over recent years. However, home reversion plans are still available from certain lenders.

Home Reversion Calculator

A home reversion equity release calculator is a tool that helps you find out how much money you could receive with home reversion plans.  These are different from lifetime mortgage calculators that you often see.  Click the article below to see how much you could borrow.

Paying For Care

Paying For Care

If you feel that you need extra support around the house, or that you need to move into a residential care home,  then you may be worried about how you are going to pay for care. Unfortunately, social care is not cheap. While the exact cost of your care will depend on your personal care needs, care fees can easily run in excess of £100,000.

Care Home Costs

Most people are responsible for paying for the full cost of their social care. You will be considered responsible for paying for care home fees if the valuation of your personal assets exceeds the national threshold. The savings threshold is different in England and Northern Ireland than it is in Wales or Scotland. Therefore, the are costs can also differ.

Home Care Costs

If you are thinking about receiving care and support at home, then you may be worried about how much your home care is going to cost. While it is true that the cost of home care is generally far less than the cost of residential care, home care can still amount to a considerable sum. Indeed, it is very common for the cost of in home care to run in excess of £13,000 per year.

Avoiding Care Home Fees

It may come as surprising news to learn that many people are responsible for paying their full care home costs. A person is responsible for funding their own care if the valuation of their personal assets exceeds the national threshold. Therefore, many people look to see what options they have to mitigate future care fees.   This article exlains your options.

Immediate Needs Care Annuity

An immediate care annuity is an option that can give you peace of mind. Essentially, it is an insurance policy that covers your care fees for the rest of your life by providing you with a guaranteed lifetime income. Similar to a pension in some ways. You buy the care fees annuity upfront with a one-off premium payment to an insurance company.

Lifetime Mortgage For Pensioners

A lifetime mortgage is a type of equity release where you take out a loan secured on your home. When you take out a lifetime mortgage in later life, you release equity currently tied up in your property value. The money you release with this equity release scheme may take the form of a tax-free cash lump sum or a series of smaller withdrawals.

Estate Planning & Avoiding Inheritance Tax

Estate Planning

Estate planning involves considering what to do with a person’s money and assets after they are deceased.

Gifting Money To Avoid Tax

Making cash gifts to family and children can be an important element of estate planning. That is why you need to know what you can and can’t do.

Avoiding Inheritance Tax

Inheritance tax is a tax that is paid to the government on an estate after a person dies. However, you can legally reduce what you pay.

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