With this enforced time at home, a number of our clients are taking time to review all aspects of their finances. We’ve put together simple checklist to help you “spring clean your finances”.

 

Here are some key areas to consider:

 
 

Check your Will is up to date.
 
A will is usually the last concern and is often overlooked when we face important or dramatic events in our life and a recent study found that around 60% of adults in the UK don’t even have one. Is now the time to have a wider family discussion about wealth and inheritance planning?

 

It is also worth noting that marriage revokes an existing will unless the will was written in full anticipation of the marriage. Whereas a divorce doesn’t revoke an existing will.

 
 

Review your insurance polices.

 

Are there better deals for you than your current plans? This could include house insurance, life cover, sickness policies. Do you have that prehistoric mortgage endowment policy which you keep receiving annual statements for? Do you know what you are actually covered for and whether this is sufficient for your needs?

 

There is currently (and what is referred to in the industry as) a ‘protection gap’ in the UK. This means that a large proportion of the UK would be left financially vulnerable should they, or their spouse, pass away prematurely or suffer an illness or injury that would affect their ability to earn. Despite this apparent financial vulnerability and need for a safety net, a research study by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) highlighted that 65% of the UK adult population has no form of insurance. Among the 35% who do have some form of insurance more of them have critical illness insurance (10%) than income protection (4%) and it is estimated that from 26.7 million households in the UK, just 300,000 have an income protection policy in place.

 

Given the recent COVID-19 pandemic and the increasing levels of staff being furloughed, or made redundant now could be the time to consider your ongoing protection needs for you and your family.

 

As you review these policies, you should also check if your life assurance policies are held in trust. Ensuring these policies are written under trust will mean that when the funds are paid out they do not automatically form part of your estate on your death.

 
 

Check your budget.

 

If you are currently facing a cut in pay or income as a result of the pandemic, it might be worth checking where you could be saving money. Can you get a better deal for your mortgage, card and loan repayments or fix your outgoings so you can plan for the future?

 
 

Saving for the future.

 

Do you have a plan for the future and does this need reviewing? Are there any old pension pots that you might not have looked at?

 

Research carried out by The Association of British Insurers in October 2018 estimates that there is nearly £20 billion held within 1.6 million pension pots with an average size of £13,000 which have been forgotten.

 
 

Make the most of tax breaks.

 

Are you making the most of the tax breaks available to you with Pensions and ISA’s. Did you know you can pay into these for your children and grandchildren?

 

Each individual is able to make an outright gift of £3,000 per annum which is immediately exempt from their estate for IHT purposes.

 
 

At Evolution, we have experts that can help you across all aspects of your financial planning requirements. Contact us to speak to our team who include:

 

  • Mortgage brokers
  • Pensions specialists
  • Protection experts
  • Will writers
  • Equity release experts
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    It’s good to have a spring clean every year! If you know family, friends or business colleagues who can benefit from help with their own spring clean please mention us to them.