Wealth Management Update March 2024

In today’s fast-paced world, safeguarding your Financial well-being is paramount. While homes and Investments are often considered primary assets, one crucial aspect is frequently overlooked: the ability to make critical decisions about your Finances, your Health, and your Welfare.

Kate Garraway, presenter of Good Morning Britain, shared a moving account highlighting the importance of having a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in place. In the ITV documentary “Kate Garraway: Finding Derek,” which aired on 23rd March 2021, she discussed her husband Derek Draper’s year-long battle with Covid-19 and the challenges she faced due to the absence of Legal Protection for their Financial affairs. Derek’s illness left Kate unable to access accounts or manage Finances without an LPA, hindering her ability to support his care and handle their assets.

This story serves as a reminder for everyone to consider setting up these essential Legal documents to ease practical complexities during difficult times.

Imagine a scenario where illness or injury leaves you unable to manage your affairs. How would you cover your bills, Mortgage or other Financial obligations? Who would make the right decisions on your behalf?

These questions are key and emphasise the importance of putting your LPAs in place and choosing the right person(s) as your Attorney(s).

Just as you would insure your belongings against damage or loss, think of LPAs as your Personal Insurance Policy, ensuring your interests are safeguarded even if you’re unable to speak up for yourself. Whether it’s handling Finances, making healthcare choices, or tackling Legal matters, having LPAs in place offers peace of mind for you and your family.

LPAs empower you to prepare for the unexpected, ensuring your wishes are honoured and your interests protected, come what may.

To find out more information, you can download a copy of our Attorney Guide or watch our videos on Health and Welfare LPAs and Property and Affairs LPAs.

We’re also here to answer any questions you may have, so please do not hesitate to contact us.


Stay Alert, Stay Secure: How to Safeguard Yourself and Your Finances

It’s vital to remain vigilant against the evolving landscape of scams targeting individuals and Businesses across the UK. From deceptive phishing emails to coercive fraudulent phone calls, scammers continually devise new tactics to exploit personal information and Financial assets. Here we will explore the prevalent scams and offer practical strategies to safeguard yourself and your Finances.

Among the most prevalent tactics are bogus emails posing as HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) notifications and intimidating phone calls falsely threatening Legal action. One common scam involves phishing emails impersonating HMRC, claiming that recipients are entitled to a Tax refund or owe money to the Government. These emails often contain links to counterfeit websites designed to extract personal information or install malware on devices. It’s essential to remember that HMRC never requests personal or Financial details via email.

Another widespread scam revolves around fraudulent phone calls from individuals posing as HMRC agents or other Government representatives. Using coercive tactics, these callers pressure victims into divulging personal information or making payments over the phone. It’s vital to recognise that HMRC never threatens Legal action or demands immediate payment over the phone. If you receive such calls, hang up promptly and report them to HMRC to prevent further exploitation.

We’re also seeing more celebrities finding themselves innocently entangled in scams and fraudulent schemes. One such case is that of beloved TV presenter Lorraine Kelly, who became a victim of scammers exploiting her image to promote dubious products, such as a “ridiculous weight loss product”. Despite Lorraine’s explicit disassociation from weight loss endorsements, scammers targeted Facebook users with false claims, using her image without consent.

Which? have also released a recent article outlining email scams to watch out for right now. To read what they have to say, click here – 5 email scams to watch out for right now

To protect yourself and your Finances, here are some tips:

  1. Approach unsolicited communications with scepticism, especially those claiming to be from HMRC or other Government entities seeking personal or Financial information.
  2. Verify the legitimacy of the sender by contacting HMRC directly through official channels listed on their website.
  3. Refrain from disclosing sensitive personal or Financial information online or over the phone unless you can authenticate the recipient’s identity.
  4. Before purchasing any product, especially those endorsed by celebrities, ensure the endorsement is legitimate and backed by reliable sources. Don’t trust claims solely based on a famous face.
  5. Stay informed about the latest scams circulating by monitoring updates from HMRC and reputable sources.

Safeguarding your Financial security against scams is paramount. Most importantly, trust your instincts. If it feels wrong, it probably is wrong. Fraudsters are clever, and remember for them, conning you is a full-time job.

In the last few weeks, two clients and a team member have nearly been caught out by scammers – it really can happen to anyone.


Navigating the UK Budget 2024: Key Highlights for Your Financial Planning

The recent UK Budget for 2024 has brought several changes that could impact your Financial Planning strategies. Whether you’re saving for Retirement, managing Investments, or considering Tax implications, staying informed about these key highlights is crucial. Let’s delve into the key points you need to know:

  • National Insurance Cut

A notable change includes a 2p cut in National Insurance contributions for both employees, and the self-employed.

  • Tax Threshold Freezes

While the NI cut offers potential savings, it’s essential to note that Income tax thresholds remain frozen. Any pay rise could inadvertently push individuals into higher tax brackets, highlighting the importance of wise Tax planning.

When Governments do not increase allowances, this is effectively a stealth Tax – so as the Personal allowance is staying at £12,570, it means you are likely paying more Income Tax this year.

  • Child Benefit Extension

The extension of child benefit to more families, with higher earnings thresholds, is a welcomed relief for parents. This change aims to alleviate Financial burdens and support households with growing expenses and to stop certain families benefiting, compared to others.

  • Housing Market Changes

Adjustments in housing Taxation, including a reduction in the Tax rate on profits from property sales and the discontinuation of tax breaks for holiday let property owners, could influence Investment decisions in the property market.

Seek advice, do not ‘panic sell’ your assets just on this announcement for relatively small Tax differences.

  • New Savings Opportunities

The introduction of a tax-free British ISA offers new avenues for savers to invest in British Businesses, potentially diversifying Investment portfolios.

We don’t have details yet but keep an eye on this one.

  • Business and Investment Opportunities

Small businesses stand to benefit from an increase in the VAT registration threshold and the extension of Government loan schemes. Furthermore, Tax reliefs for specific industries aim to stimulate economic growth and Investment opportunities.

Understanding how these changes affect your Financial situation is key to effective Financial Planning. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to assess the implications of these changes.

*Please note, the information provided here is a general overview, and it’s essential to seek personalised Advice tailored to your individual Financial situation and objectives.


A Guest piece by Nick Lincoln:

Cash Still Trash

Good news: savings rates are way up. That’s the end of the good news.

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