Case studies

Helping two widows rethink their finances

| Property Finance | Protect | Retire | Legacy

We’ve worked recently with two widows. Both lost their partners young – one to a road accident, and the other to cancer. Their financial situations were very different – leading to two contrasting conversations.

Our first client wasn’t married. Her partner had no will and no life insurance. She still needed to work full time, to provide for her daughter. She was waiting to see if she was entitled to compensation, but in the meantime, she was faced with the prospect of dipping into her savings or selling her house. We helped her recover financially. We found her a cheaper mortgage rate, which reduced her outgoings and meant she could carry on living near her daughter’s school. We helped her move her savings somewhere they’d earn interest. And because she was now the sole breadwinner in the family, we helped her set up an income protection policy within a tight budget – so that if she got ill herself, there’d still be money coming in.

Our second client was married. Her husband had a will written, and life insurance in place. It was written in trust, so she was able to access money quickly. That meant she was able to review her pension and her own life insurance, and start investing for hers and her children's future. Because of the arrangements she had in place, she has some much needed breathing space and she’s now able to move forwards in life with a clear financial plan

““I contacted Antony a while after my husband died of cancer at age 46. I had various pots of money come in from life insurance, death in service payments and so forth that required organisation.  I was also aware that I needed to review my own pension, life insurance, and ISA putting strategies in place to provide for myself and my children in the longer term. Antony did a complete review of my finances, spending a lot of time to explain clearly to me his advice. I now have short, mid and long term financial planning in place.”

“Dealing with your own grief, your children's grief, all the practicalities, endless paperwork, a life time of belongings, funeral, ashes, family, the shock of a sudden death if that has been your circumstances or the roller coaster of a life with cancer in our case takes its toll and it can be very hard to think straight in the early stages of widowhood. Things you normally would've easily understood are hard to get your head around. Anything you can put in place in advance will ease your way through a very difficult time””

Helping a client buy a property, improve their pension, and secure their family’s future – all in one go

| Property Finance | Protect | Retire | Legacy | Save & Invest

Our client owned two properties, one residential and one buy-to-let. They were looking to move house and were initially planning to sell their residential property to buy a new one. But talking to them, we realised that if they refinanced their two existing properties, they’d be able to raise a deposit for the new house without selling.

Towards the end of the process, our client got a full-time job, having previously worked as a contractor. Because of that, we took the opportunity to review the private pension that we’d set up for him, and the life insurance and income protection policies we’d arranged. With the benefits he was now getting from his employer, we were able to secure him a better pension, and better protection, while also reducing the amount he spent.

Finally, we gave them advice on how to structure the ownership of the properties, and helped them set up trusts to protect their children.

Because of our advice, they now own three properties instead of two. They’ve got better protection for their family for less money. And they’ve structured their finances so their family’s future is more secure.

“We exchanged last week and we’re due to complete on the 28th. Thanks to you and your team for helping us make this happen. I appreciate all the support and advice.

Thanks to you and your team for helping us make this happen. I’ve been a bit of a pain and appreciate all the support and advice. Our solicitor who is often quite dismissive of IFA’s, was quite complimentary of Providus as I’ve been so well informed and prepared for these rather complex finances.”

Unpicking a complex financial arrangement

| Property Finance | Save & Invest

Two friends contacted us for advice. Some years previously, they’d bought a flat together as an investment, intending to rent it out to tenants. Now they’d agreed to end the arrangement, and one friend was going to buy the other one out.

Several things made this complicated.

First, the friend who was buying was in quite significant credit card debt, which affected the amount the mortgage providers were prepared to lend him. His elderly mother was prepared to help him out financially, but even with her extra funds, there was a shortfall.

Second, the friend who was selling was worried about being landed with a large capital gains tax bill. She stood to profit nicely from selling her share of the property, and wanted to hang on to as much of that as possible.

Third, even though they’d originally planned to rent the property out, both of them had spent time living there, although never together and never at the same time. This had meant swapping between residential and buy-to-let mortgages in the past.

They asked us to find a way to make the transaction happen. We had to give mortgage advice to one friend, tax advice to the other, and do it all in a way that was legal and above board.

This is what we did.

First, we spoke to the buyer’s mother. We found out that she owned her house outright. So, we arranged an equity release mortgage for her. This released capital that she could pass on to her son.

Second, we advised the buyer himself. We helped him use some of the funds he’d gained from his mother to pay off his credit card, and the rest to put together a deposit to buy his friend out. This meant he had to borrow less, and meant that the mortgage providers were happier to lend to him. We also found a way to tackle the shortfall between what he could afford to spend and the value of the property. We wrote up an agreement between the two friends that kept the seller’s solicitors happy.

Third, we advised the seller on her capital gains tax liability. Even though it was an investment property, and she’d profited from her share, we knew that she would still be able to get tax relief – because either she or her friend had been living in the property continuously as a primary residence ever since they’d bought it together. This meant we could set up a bespoke trust for them, allowing her to cut her bill to zero.

Finally, we also advised her on what to do with the money she’d gained from the transaction. She’d originally planned to use it to clear her other mortgage. But this mortgage was small and affordable, and she shared it with her partner, so we advised her instead to invest it, to pay for her son’s university education.

It was a complex transaction, with lots of moving parts, and lots of potential pitfalls. We found a way to make it happen in a way that made everyone happy - from the seller and her solicitors, to the buyer and his mother.

"Having been very daunted by what we thought would be a very difficult (if not impossible) stream of financial issues to sort out between myself and a very good friend, we approached Antony for his expert advice. Immediately we were reassured by his very calm, methodical and professional approach to navigating us through a complex set of issues. The solutions he offered were supremely practical and manageable and he guided us both, with differing interests, along the way so well. We would not hesitate to recommend these services to anyone with complex arrangements, in particular.”

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