05 November, 2010
As well as the obvious financial and pension planning that goes into retirement, it is a good time to give your affairs in general an "MOT".
For most people retirement means a significant change in their financial and personal circumstances and you should review your Will (or make one if you have not already done so) and look at whether it would be appropriate to consider inheritance tax planning or asset protection to provide for you and your family long term.
If you are retiring from or selling your own business it is worth taking good advice early to ensure that you do so in the most tax efficient way, both for you in the short term and your heirs in the long term. In particular, selling your business usually means converting shares into cash. Shares in trading companies can get relief from inheritance tax but the proceeds of sale do not. Your family could face a larger inheritance tax bill on your death.
Trusts are often a useful way of protecting assets for you and your family. They are used in many situations including providing for incapable or wayward family members, protecting assets against remarriage or divorce, simplifying financial arrangements for later life and tax planning. They can also be a good way of handing assets on to the next generation whilst still keeping some control.
It is also a fact that people are living longer. Many people need help dealing with their affairs later in life. Powers of attorney put in place early can be invaluable in providing peace of mind and allowing your finances to be dealt with and used for your benefit if the worst happens. Without a power of attorney it would be necessary to apply to the court to access your money and investments. You can also make a power of attorney appointing someone to make health and welfare decisions on your behalf