Everybody experiences life-changing events at some point, whether directly or through a loved one. These often require difficult financial decisions with long-lasting consequences to be made quickly and in the heat of the moment. We can show you the implications of these decisions before you take the next step and help you to find the right solution for you and your family.

Death and bereavement

When a loved one dies you are faced with an enormous amount of decisions and paperwork. These are often complicated, unfamiliar and require a clear head – which is usually missing when you are grieving for a loved one.

We understand that grief changes how people understand and relate to finances, and that a sense of loss makes it difficult to see how the future will look. We also know that decisions at this time need to be taken gently and thoughtfully, and that you may need help understanding the long-term implications. We work with you to help you through these processes, taking them one step at a time.

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Marriage or cohabitation can see the intertwining of two individuals’ finances over the long term. Unpicking these into two separate financial identities can be complicated and emotional.

To do this, we work with both partners (if you wish), solicitors and mediators to untangle your joint finances in a way that works for everybody. We do not believe that HMRC, pension trustees and other parties should benefit from the breakup of your relationship and we aim to minimise this wherever possible.

We will look at the longer-term implications of the split, forecasting the effects of each decision to see how both partners (and any children) will be affected over the rest of their lives. This way we can arrive at an outcome that both partners are happy (or equally unhappy) with, and that prevents an unexpected sting in the tail later in life.

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Dementia, disabilities and life-limiting illness

After the diagnosis of any life-shortening illness, disability or mental illness such as dementia in the family, thoughts turn to how you and your relatives will be affected. Some people worry about how to fund the care needed without affecting their family’s finances, others want to know how to best pass on assets to loved ones and charities. This is an area where taking action quickly could be essential, especially if there will be a limited amount of time before the illness causes a loss of capacity.

We want you to be able to enjoy as much time as possible with your loved ones, rather than spending it on paperwork and processes. This is why we will help the whole family to understand the implications of any decisions they make (which are likely to be difficult to change later) and the legal paperwork involved. We will also help you to find ways of communicating these decisions, which can preserve the voice and identity of whoever is suffering from the illness even after they may have lost their fight against it.

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Receiving a large sum of money

Whether it is from an inheritance, a business sale, compensation from an accident or injury, or a lottery win, receiving a large sum of money can be both exciting and daunting at the same time. This is especially true if it is a one-off payment which you plan to use for an income for the rest of your life.

Rather than becoming a slave to your money, we believe you should be able to enjoy it without worry. To do this we look at the lifestyle you want and find out how hard your money needs to work for you to achieve this. We can also work with the children in your life if you would like the money to benefit your family over many generations.

We can also help you and your family with:

  • Philanthropy  and gifting
  • Financial ethics
  • How to talk to children about money
  • How to preserve and sustain your wealth over time
  • Planning for  taxes

Planning and saving for long-term care

At some point you may find that you, your parent or other relative will need more care than friends and family can provide. This could be care at home or the move into a care home.

We can help you find the best way to save, plan and prepare for long-term care while making sure there are no unpleasant surprises further down the line. We can help you with:

  • Calculating your future care home costs and exploring the different options for paying these
  • Finding out whether you are on track to afford the fees, taking into account your other plans such as making financial gifts to children
  • Checking your eligibility for local authority funding

Many of our advisers are SOLLA accredited – meaning they specialise in care fees financial planning and follow a strict code of conduct from the Society of Later Life Advisers.

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Frequently asked questions

1. What happens if you die without making a Will?

If you don’t make a Will before you die, your estate will be shared out according to the intestacy laws instead of according to your wishes.

2. What happens to a pension when you die?

A final salary pension will usually stop paying an income when you die, unless the scheme also provides a pension for your widow or widower. However, a defined contribution pension can be passed on to your beneficiaries. If you die before the age of 75 the pension will be passed on tax-free. If you die after 75, your beneficiaries will pay their usual rate of Income Tax on any money taken from the pension.

3. How much is Inheritance Tax and who pays it?

Inheritance Tax (IHT) is a tax charge (usually 40%) on any part of your estate that exceeds your personal allowance (also called the nil rate band). This is currently £325,000 per person. Your estate normally consists of everything you own worldwide.

4. What is a pension sharing order?

A pension sharing order is often set up during a divorce. One ex-spouse is awarded a portion of the other spouse’s pension, in order to equalise in retirement the assets that were built up during marriage.

5. What is pension offsetting?

Pension offsetting is an option for splitting a couple’s assets during divorce. Each ex-spouse keeps their pension, but these are offset against other assets to ensure an equal overall split. However, reaching a fair split can be challenging as some assets are difficult to value accurately and others may change value at different rates.

6. Is Tilney authorised by Camelot to give financial advice to lottery winners?

Yes, Tilney is one of a small number of financial advisers that Camelot has chosen to look after lottery winners. We have been working with Camelot since 2007 and have financial planners who specialise in advising lottery winners.

7. Which types of funding or support are available for care fees?

In some cases the NHS may fully fund your care – this is called NHS Continuing Healthcare. The NHS will carry out an assessment to decide whether you are eligible for support.

If you aren’t eligible, you may still receive support if you need nursing care and are in a care home that offers it. This is known as Funded Nursing Care (FNC) or the Registered Nursing Care Contribution (RNCC).

If you don’t qualify for NHS support, your local authority may provide funding depending on how much money you have. However, generally if you have more than £23,250 you will not receive financial support (although the rules vary slightly across the UK).

You could also get £57.30 or £85.60 a week from the Government to help with personal care fees if you are aged over 65 and mentally or physically disabled. This is called the Attendance Allowance.

8. What is a local authority care needs assessment (or means test)?

When you are applying for local authority funding for care fees, your local authorities will look at your overall financial situation to determine how much support you could receive. They will carry out a means test on your regular income from sources such as pensions, and your capital – this includes your savings, investments and potentially your home. If your level of capital is over £23,250 you will not usually receive any support from your local authority.

9. How do you buy a long-term care annuity?

A long-term care annuity is one option for self-funding care fees. Long-term care annuities pay out a regular income in exchange for a one-off lump sum payment. The cost of the annuity will depend on your health, age and amount of income needed.

Only specialists can provide advice on long-term care annuities, and they can only be purchased through an adviser, so it pays to speak to an expert if you would like the security of a fixed income for life.

10. What is a Power of Attorney?

Many people lose the capacity or the desire to make important financial and lifestyle decisions as they get older. A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) authorises someone you trust (your attorney) to help you make these decisions, or to make them on your behalf.

There are two types of LPA. A health and welfare LPA allows your attorney to make decisions about your daily routine (such as washing and eating), medical care, moving into a care home and life-sustaining treatment. 

A property and financial affairs LPA allows your attorney to manage your bank account, pay bills, collect your pension or benefits, sell your home and sign contracts on your behalf. This type of LPA is similar to an Enduring Power of Attorney – these were phased out in October 2007.

11. What is SOLLA accreditation?

At Tilney we have financial planners who specialise in helping clients to pay for care. They hold Later Life Adviser Accreditation, meaning they specialise in care fees financial planning and follow a strict code of conduct from the Society of Later Life Advisers.

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