Most of us have heard of Life Assurance and appreciate that it is a policy that pays out either a lump sum or a series of payments when you die. These payments are normally paid without the deduction of any personal income tax.
It is however worth considering that any proceeds from a life assurance will be added to the deceased’s estate. If this takes the overall estate above the nil band threshold for inheritance tax, this tax would be payable for any amounts in excess of the threshold. This can be avoided by placing the Life Assurance in Trust and therefore separating out these proceeds from the ‘estate’ and keeping them tax free.
The proceeds of a Life Assurance policy are commonly used to pay off a debt such as a mortgage or to provide an income for your dependents.
You pay regular premiums to a Life Assurance company for either a given time span, or in the case of Whole of Life Assurance, normally through to death.
Life Assurance policies can be combined with other forms of insurance, such as Critical Illness insurance so that you receive the lump sum if you are diagnosed with a specified critical illness or on death.
Simply Life is a new and innovative type of Life Cover from Aegon promising a low cost and easy to understand protection product.
There are various ways of calculating how much life cover you should have. You will need to consider all of your debts, including mortgage, credit cards, car loans etc and also the ongoing monthly costs that will continue after death.
If you have a repayment mortgage, it is quite likely that you protected your mortgage with a decreasing term assurance policy.
This type of plan provides protection over the term of your mortgage, with the level of cover reducing in line with your decreasing mortgage liability.
The advantage of decreasing cover, as opposed to level cover, is simply that the cost is lower.
However, this approach could turn out to be a bit short sighted and not necessarily the best type of plan for you, so please read on.
After a long career dealing with other people’s money (often major six figure sums on a daily basis) I considered myself to be pretty numerate. However, facing retirement the whole pensions jungle filled me with dread as I knew it was a task I would neither relish nor easily absorb. Having taken the decision to get some help I decided I didn’t want my bank involved nor any corporate suit.
From everything I’d read and heard it was clear that I personally needed someone who could guide me through the process, having first understood our needs and to then explain each step simply without all the uniquely incomprehensible language so often encountered in this industry.
I wanted a local Financial Adviser with a good track record and I initially used a website to draw up a shortlist of suitable candidates. Barry stood out as just the kind of bloke we could do business with and, having appointed him last year, we are delighted with his service.
It’s been quite a “journey” sorting it all out these past few months but we now feel we have fully optimised our pension options and at last really enjoy our retirement. We can therefore thoroughly recommend Barry to anyone seeking such a Financial Adviser.
Mr Peter Seabrook-Harris