Blog Archive

 

Think carefully before securing debt against your home, your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

The FCA do not regulate commercial and buy to let mortgages.

Commercial mortgages are available via referral to a master broker only.

Equity release will reduce the value of your estate and can affect your eligibility for means tested benefits.

Heide’s Blog – 27th November 2020

Well, it’s hard to believe the new academic year has almost come to the end of its first term and Christmas will be upon us before we know it.

Family life seems to feel a bit more normal with the teenager doing his A levels. We are so proud of him! He’ll be finished and leaving home for Uni before we know it.  Or maybe he won’t want to do Uni.  Who knows?

 

When your child reaches an educational milestone, you can’t help but think back on your life. I remember when we bought our second property so that we had room for a family and how we scrimped and saved to get there.

Many people are willing to give up nights out and holidays so that they can move up the housing ladder.  What would you be willing to give up? If you were to save the cost of a bottle of prosecco* every week, you would save an extra £468 every year towards your deposit. If you were to save this into a lifetime ISA, the government would further increase your savings by £117, meaning you could actually save £585 in one year! 😊

 

It is fairly common knowledge that the economy is in recession and the economic outlook in UK is uncertain.  It may seem surprising, then, that both demand and house prices are rising.  The stamp duty holiday introduced in July has certainly contributed to this and home movers, whose purchases tend to be more expensive, have benefitted most as first time buyers are exempt from stamp duty on purchases up to £300,000 in the majority of England currently.

It is also clear that the ongoing pandemic has resulted in many people rethinking how they live their lives and what they want from their homes; whether that’s more space for a home office or just to spend more time at home.

So, what’s the situation for home movers financing a move?

There are often special deals with low deposits for first time buyers but, as a “next time buyer”, it can seem more difficult to get the credit you need with a higher deposit usually required.  Typically at least 15% equity (deposit) is common in onward purchases.

According to the Financial Conduct Authority, the share of mortgages which completed in quarter two with loan to value (LTV) ratios exceeding 75% fell on the quarter to 36.5%, which is 3.2 percentage points lower than a year earlier.

Don’t despair, there is still help available.

The equity loan scheme, also known as Help to Buy, is still available to home movers buying a new build home, providing they complete on the purchase before 31 March 2021. You pay 80% of the purchase price with a mortgage and at least 5% deposit (your mortgage can be 60% in London) and the equity loan makes up the difference.

A myth is that the  Help to Buy scheme is only available to first time buyers but that’s not true!

The loan is interest free for the first 5 years. In addition, if you complete on your home before April 2021 you won’t need to pay stamp duty if your purchase is under £500,000.

And don’t forget that next time buyers often have enough equity in their current property to fund the deposit and other costs such as solicitor’s fees.

If you are thinking of moving and want to have a chat about your current situation to see whether a home move is financially viable, please get in touch.

There is no obligation and the initial discovery session to find out what you can afford is complementary.

*based on a £9 bottle of prosecco available from Tesco’s in November 2020.

Get in touch:

Heide Swift DipFA, CeMAP, CeRER

Swift Mortgages

heide@swift-mortgages.com

 

Heide’s Blog, 20th November 2020

Is an Offset Mortgage right for YOU?

If you’ve read some of my previous blogs, you may know we have a holiday home by the sea in Spain.

I’m looking out of the window at home right now, as I write this, and the weather is miserable.

I mean not just raining but the dull, grey and wet kind of miserable.

 

 

I find this time of year so depressing.  And it is NOT helping that right now, I don’t even have any heating! 🙁

To cheer myself up, I thought I would write this blog about how we financed our holiday home with an offset mortgage, to remind me that it won’t be long until spring.

 

We had always dreamed of buying a holiday home in Spain but it was just that, a dream, until we went on holiday last year.

We had a look around and found a house we wanted to buy and needed to finance it in a hurry!

We raised the additional money we needed against our house in the UK by increasing our residential mortgage and bought the property outright. Because it was a further advance on our current mortgage, rather than a re-mortgage with a new lender, the money was available really quickly which helped ensure we had the funds ready when we needed them .

We have an offset mortgage.  “What is that, exactly?”  I hear you ask!

Many people find offset mortgages confusing to begin with but they are actually pretty straightforward. The idea is that your savings and your mortgage are combined into one.

Mine has a separate mortgage account and an associated savings account.

Any savings in the account are offset against the mortgage.  In other words, the savings could be considered to be a temporary overpayment of the capital (because we have access to the savings at any time).

Interest is only charged on anything which is NOT offset against savings.

So my monthly mortgage payments (which assume I’m paying interest on the whole balance) will used to overpay some of the balance.

As an example, if you have a mortgage of £100,000 and have savings of £20,000 in the one account, the savings are offset against the mortgage and you would only pay interest on £80,000.

The mortgage payments assume (in my case) that I have no savings so interest is charged on £100,000.  Because I don’t need to pay interest on the £20,000 (because I have the savings offsetting this amount of my mortgage) the surplus interest is used to overpay the balance.

And because savings are considered to be a temporary overpayment (unlike conventional overpayments to your mortgage account), I still have access to my savings if I need them.

Although I don’t earn any interest on the savings, I SAVE interest (ie interest I would pay on my mortgage) at the interest rate charged on my mortgage.

Pretty cool, eh?

 

Offset mortgages can be really useful for people who get varying levels of overtime, commission and bonuses, for the self-employed or for landlords receiving rent.

You can put all the surplus money into the offset account but it’s easily accessible at any time. Potentially, you can make a big saving on your interest and, in general, the savings you make are way more than you would make if you left the money in a normal savings account. Especially, at the moment.

Remember though, that your savings are only offsetting the interest.

You still need to repay the loan in full.  Also, offset mortgages tend to have a higher interest rate, so if you don’t have savings, it may not be the best option for you.  A mortgage advisor can help you to work whether an offset mortgage would be a benefit.

Anyway, I digress (again!)

We took a further advance on our residential mortgage and put it into the offset account until we needed it.

That meant, for a few weeks, we were only paying interest on the original part of the mortgage.  The interest that we would have paid on the extra borrowing, we used to reduce the capital.  The additional borrowing was offsetting itself.

Win, win!

All we need now is some sunshine and relaxing of the travel restrictions and we are set for the summer!

Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

 

Get in touch:

Heide Swift DipFA, CeMAP, CeRER

Swift Mortgages

heide@swift-mortgages.com


 

Heide’s Blog, 25th September 2020

Are you prepared for your new mortgage? 

Mortgage Preparation can be started way in advance of your application, particularly if you’re self-employed.

  • If you’re a first-time buyer, start saving EARLY and KEEP RECORDS of your savings statements, savings books etc – at least one year’s worth of savings evidence required for anti-money laundering purposes.
  • Make sure you’re registered on the electoral role at the address you live at!
  • Make sure your passport is up to date. Make sure your Driving Licence shows the correct address.
  • If you’re recently married, get a copy of your marriage certificate to verify the change of surname.
  • Make sure you have bank statements (even if you do on-line banking) that show your current address.
  • Ideally don’t take out any hefty new credit commitments prior to a new application.
  • Check your credit report (Experian or Equifax) if you are:
    • Worried about any past credit blips
    • Don’t know exactly what finance you have open – sometimes if your mobile contract includes the cost of the handset, this will show as a LOAN
    • Unsure of whether you’re on the electoral role
    • Hazy about your previous address history
  • If you’re in a fixed mortgage term, KNOW when the end date is.
  • Start looking at alternatives 4-6 months before the end date.
  • Research the value of your property. Most will be easy to estimate comparing other, similar properties listed on Rightmove and Zoopla.
  • If you’re employed, start saving your payslips (3 most recent months are needed) and your most recent P60 in safe and easily accessible place.
  • If you’re self-employed, ensure you have up to date tax return data in the form of SA302s and tax year overviews. 3 years are required.
  • Depending on the lender, if you’re a Limited Company, accounts may be used instead of SA302s but have both fully up to date!
  • Also, 3 x months’ bank statements are required so keep them there too.
  • If you have any properties in the background (holiday homes or Buy to Let properties in the UK) – have the information about those available too:
    • Mortgage details if applicable
    • Rental income details
    • SA302s and tax year overviews showing your income being declared
    • Tenancy agreement if applicable
  • Make a note of your income (other than earned income) such as:
    • Pensions (annual statement required)
    • Child benefit (confirmed by bank statements)
    • Maintenance payments (are they court ordered? If not, at least6 months’ bank statements required to verify regular receipt)
    • For all the above your bank statements should show these being credited.
  • Know your outgoings – most people under estimate their monthly expenditure:
    • Council tax?
    • Standing orders for utilities?
    • Mobile phones?
    • Insurances?
    • Travel costs?
    • Childcare costs?
  • If you are buying a new property (ie raising funds from a re-mortgage for the deposit), some lenders will need to know more details about the property you’re intending to buy.
  • If you’re raising any capital (from a re-mortgage) to do any home improvements, make sure you have some quotes available if there is building work to be done.

Make sure you realise the value of a re-mortgage if that’s what you’re planning to do.

I saw a post recently about someone saving £300 in the year on their car insurance.

Re-mortgaging to a new lender may save you significantly more.

Most people will scour the internet looking for savings on their car insurance or mobile phone tariff. But when it comes to their mortgage, it may seem like “too much hassle”.

Why not let a mortgage advisor search on your behalf? 

Your home may be at risk if you fail to keep up the repayments on your mortgage.

Phone: 01525 309300
Mobile: 07903 302895
Email: heide@swift-mortgages.com
Twitter: @SwiftMortgages1
Linked In: Heide Swift
Instagram: Swift Mortgages
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SwiftMortgages/

Use the hashtag: #SwiftMortgages to keep in touch

Your home may be at risk if you fail to keep up the repayments on your mortgage.
The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate Buy to Let mortgages.

Click here for my blog archive: https://www.swift-mortgages.com/blog/

#SwiftMortgages

 

Heide’s Blog, 18th September 2020

Why Choose a Mortgage Broker over your Bank?

People often ask why they would choose to use a mortgage broker rather than go to their bank.  Or, indeed why they couldn’t go through the mortgage process themselves rather than asking for help.

The answer is, you are free to choose whichever option you wish … as long as you make an informed decision as to which route you choose.

There are many reasons people would just go back to their existing lender or bank when looking for a re-mortgage or if they are making an onwards purchase.  Inertia is a common reason – it would appear to be the easy option and to a certain extent, you know what to expect.

 

In a nutshell you have 3 options:

You could choose to go directly to a bank

The bank (subject to affordability and credit check) may be able to offer you a selection of mortgages but they will be from their own range of mortgages.

You could choose to arrange your mortgage yourself

You may decide that the bank doesn’t give you enough options and you’d like to shop around.  You could use the internet to help or you could visit a number of other banks or building societies. You will only have access to the lenders who deal directly with the public.

You could use a mortgage advisor or broker

A mortgage advisor will carry out the research on your behalf.  They will search for the most appropriate mortgage to suit your requirements, circumstances and affordability.  They may have access to lenders who don’t deal directly with the public and they may have rates which are exclusive to intermediaries.

When you choose a broker, it’s important to know whether they are offering mortgages from a “panel” of lenders or whether they search the “whole market”.

Although lenders may have similar interest rates, they will have different criteria when it comes to the applicant and/or the property.

They may also have different ways to assess the affordability of the mortgage applicants.

– Does your lender take child care costs into consideration when assessing affordability? 
– Does your lender take travel to work costs into consideration?
– Does your lender have a minimum income requirement for a buy to let mortgage?
– Does your lender limit the size of your buy to let portfolio?
– Does your lender take your pension contributions into consideration when assessing affordability?
– How does your lender view you as a self-employed applicant?

There are many factors involved when considering a mortgage if you are applying for your own mortgage: your income, expenditure, family circumstances, property value, pension contributions and credit rating to name a few.

Lenders view these factors slightly differently and each will have their own affordability calculator. So, you may be able to borrow significantly more (or less) when you try different lenders’ affordability calculators.  If you are applying for your own mortgage you will need to do all of this research yourself.

A mortgage broker will help you consider all the options available to you with a range of lenders across the whole market and tailor the most suitable and cost-effective mortgage to your needs and circumstances.

If you are re-mortgaging, it may be that staying with your existing lender is the most appropriate course of action, but if you have searched the whole of the mortgage market for alternatives you will at least have ruled out all the alternatives and generated a fully-informed decision.

And your broker may even be able to help you with the re-mortgage anyway!

For a complementary and no-obligation initial discovery session around your new mortgage, contact me today!

This information illustrative purposes only and does not constitute advice.

If you have any questions or would like to review your current mortgage arrangements please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Phone: 01525 309300
Mobile: 07903 302895
Email: heide@swift-mortgages.com
Twitter: @SwiftMortgages1
Linked In: Heide Swift
Instagram: Swift Mortgages
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SwiftMortgages/

Use the hashtag: #SwiftMortgages to keep in touch

Your home may be at risk if you fail to keep up the repayments on your mortgage.
The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate Buy to Let mortgages.

Click here for my blog archive: https://www.swift-mortgages.com/blog/

#SwiftMortgages

Heide’s Blog – 30th July 2020

What is the Shared Ownership Scheme?

The shared ownership scheme comes under the government’s affordable housing initiative.

Applicants purchase a percentage of the property and pay rent for the remaining share.  The rent is normally paid to a Housing Association.

The deposit requirement is only against the value of the share that is being purchased rather than the value of the whole property.

The shared ownership scheme is available on new build properties as well as existing properties.

Once an applicant has purchased a share of a property, they may buy some or all of the remaining share in the future by “staircasing” when they can afford to do so by increasing their mortgage.

 

Who can utilise the Shared Ownership Scheme?

Often first-time buyers who are not able to afford to buy a property.  Otherwise someone who may have previously been a homeowner but whose circumstances have changed, and they can no longer afford to buy a property.  For example, someone who has split up from a partner.

To qualify for shared ownership, the combined household income must be less than £80,000 per year (£90,000 if living in London).  Applicants must be 18 or older.  And they must be able to purchase between 25% and 75% of the value of the property when they buy it.

 

How do I get the finance for a Shared Ownership Property?

There are many lenders who offer shared ownership mortgages.  The Housing Association or equivalent will give you the details of the property you’re interested in.

You’ll need to know the percentage you’re buying, the value of the percentage you’re buying and the rent you’ll be paying for the share owned by the Housing Association.

You’ll need to have a deposit: at least 5% of the share you’re buying.

You’ll need to be able to pay the rent for the share that belongs to the Housing Association.

The mortgage lender will factor the rent into your mortgage affordability.

 

Example of Shared Ownership

A property valued at £300,000

Purchasing 50% would mean you finance £150,000 and pay rent on £150,000

Annual rent is calculated at around 2.75% of the remaining share. In this instance, £4,125.  Which results in a monthly rent of around £344.

At least 5% deposit would mean you’d need £7,500 (5% of £150,000)

Resulting in a mortgage requirement of at least £142,500

The mortgage lender will factor in the rent payments to your mortgage affordability.  It’s therefore important to know what the rent is going to be, before you speak to a mortgage advisor.

 

How can I get onto a Shared Ownership Scheme?

Many shared ownership schemes are in new build developments as there is a requirement for new developments to include a cross section of properties to accommodate all types of buyer.  So it may be worth going to a new build development to see what they have available.

However, shared ownership properties do appear on the re-sale market.  Perhaps the original buyers can now afford to buy outright but have decided to move somewhere else rather than re-mortgage and buy the remaining share.  So you may also find shared ownership opportunities in estate agents or on other selling sites.

You will be given a financial assessment to ensure you qualify before being able to proceed.

Check out this link for all things shared ownership: https://www.sharetobuy.com/

 

What are the costs of the Shared Ownership Scheme?

You will need to provide the deposit of at least 5% of the share you’ll be buying.

You will be responsible for the legal (conveyancing costs) of purchasing the property.

You will be responsible for the rent to be paid on the share owned by the Housing Association.

You will be responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the whole property.

At the point you want to re-mortgage to buy a bigger share (known as stair-casing) you will need to pay for an independent survey.  This is the value the Housing Association will use to confirm how much you will need to pay, to buy additional shares.

Depending on the value of the share you purchase you may be subject to stamp duty charges at the prevailing rate.

 

Is there anything else I need to know about Shared Ownership?

Make a note of the value of any improvements you make to the property (for example, a conservatory).  Disclose these to the Housing Association and it may be possible for them to “ringfence” any potential increase in value.

In other words, if you make improvements that in crease the value of the property by £25,000, this could mean you would pay an increased amount based on the value of the property at the time you want to stair-case.

When you’re looking for a shared ownership property, be aware of anything that is called “premium”.  This is an additional cost and it cannot be added to the mortgage.

There are some rules that protect mortgage lenders, buyers and landlords when it comes to the Shared Ownership scheme.

The property must be used as your main residential home – it can’t be purchased for you to rent out to others.

It must be subject to Mortgage Protection which protects the mortgage lender – allowing them to claim losses to the whole value of the property rather than just the percentage being lent against.  This comes into effect in the event of repossession of the property by the lender.

The applicant must be aware of the way rent is reviewed so they can budget for any future increases in rent.

The applicant must be given the opportunity to buy additional shares (stair casing) in the future as and when they can afford to do so.  Meaning they can eventually own 100% of the property.

 

If you are interested in the Shared Ownership scheme and you would like any help, please get in touch!

 

Telephone: 01525 309300

Mobile: 07903 302895

Email: heide@swift-mortgages.com

Web: www.swift-mortgages.com

Facebook: Swift Mortgages Facebook Page

YouTube: Swift Mortgages YouTube Channel

Twitter: @SwiftMortgages1

Linked In: Heide Swift

Instagram: swift.mortgages

#SwiftMortgages

If you know of anyone who is considering buying or re-mortgaging in the next 6 months, please feel free to pass them my contact details.  Thank you!

Heide’s Blog – 24th July 2020

Home Ownership: Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common?

When you buy a property with another person or persons there are 2 ways in which you can own the property.

These are as Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common.

But what is the difference between them?

Property ownership types: Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common

 

Joint Tenants

Joint tenancy is a legal arrangement in which two or more people own a property together, each with equal rights and obligations. When one of the owners in a joint tenancy dies, that owner’s interest in the property passes to the survivors, without having to go through the courts.

When you own a property as a joint tenant, each of the joint tenants (each owner) owns the whole of the property and nobody has a specific or identifiable share.

On death, the surviving joint tenant(s) will own the whole of the property, regardless of any wishes you may have made in your Will regarding the property. This is known as Right of Survivorship. This is commonly the situation with married or co-habiting couples who what the property to be passed to each other on death.

Bear in mind if you have children from a previous marriage and you enter a joint tenancy ownership with a new partner, your children will not automatically inherit a share of the property.

 

Joint Tenants

Tenants in Common

Tenancy in Common is a legal arrangement where two or more people share the ownership rights in a property or piece of land. When a tenant in common dies, the percentage of the property owned by that individual passes into their estate.

If you co-own a property as tenants in common, each co-owner owns a specific share of the property. This is often a 50% share (if there are 2 owners), however it is possible to hold unequal shares.

One reason you may wish to own unequal shares in a property is for tax purposes. For example, if you own a buy to let property and one of the owners does not work or perhaps is a lower rate taxpayer then they might own the majority share in the property. For example, 90%. This means the lower rate taxpayer would be responsible for paying 90% of the income tax due on the rental income – rather than the higher rate taxpayer. It is imperative you speak to your tax advisor or accountant prior to taking any decisions regarding your tax affairs.

As you each own a separate share in the property you are all entitled to leave your individual share to your chosen beneficiaries in your Will. This may be considered by people who own property together but wish to leave their share to another beneficiary. For example, those with children from a previous marriage to ensure their children will benefit from their estate when they die, provided they have written a Will.

Without a Will, your share of the property would be passed to your nearest living blood relatives according to the Rules of Intestacy (law).

Tenants in Common

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you currently own property jointly as joint tenants, it is possible to change it into tenants in common. This is called a Notice of Severance.

As most properties are registered at the Land Registry, the change in ownership will need to be registered against the title of the property.

Your conveyancer (property solicitor) will be able to advise you further.

Need to know anything else?  Get in touch! xx

 

Telephone: 01525 309300

Mobile: 07903 302895

Email: heide@swift-mortgages.com

Web: www.swift-mortgages.com

Facebook: Swift Mortgages Facebook Page

YouTube: Swift Mortgages YouTube Channel

Twitter: @SwiftMortgages1

Linked In: Heide Swift

Instagram: swift.mortgages

#SwiftMortgages

If you know of anyone who is considering buying or re-mortgaging in the next 6 months, please feel free to pass them my contact details.  Thank you!

Heide’s Blog – 16th July 2020

Today, 16th July, is #GetToKnowYourCustomer Day!

Generally, I need to know quite a lot about all of my customers.

Not just because I’m nosy (although I am! 🙂 )

But because quite a lot of information is required by lenders to allow them to make a decision about whether or not to lend to somebody.

So, how about I tell you something about me?

So you can get to your broker better?

  • I’m 51 years old
  • I’m married
  • I have a 16 year old son (Covid GCSE year! 🙁 )
  • I have a dog
  • My daily routine starts with walking the dog at around 6.30am
  • I’m self-employed
  • I’m a bit scatty – but I have employed an apprentice who does a wonderful job of looking after me and making sure everything runs smoothly
  • I left school after doing 3 A Levels
  • I joined the army and served 8 years
  • I was medically discharged
  • I had my first hip replacement at 23
  • I had my most recent hip replacement in 2015
  • I’ve had 6 blood transfusions so am no longer allowed to give blood (thank you to ALL of you who donate – you are awesome x)
  • We own 5 houses and rent 3 of them out
  • There are mortgages on 4 of the properties (and I did them! 😉 )
  • I have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linked In and YouTube profiles: let’s connect!

Need to know anything else?  Get in touch! xx

 

Telephone: 01525 309300

Mobile: 07903 302895

Email: heide@swift-mortgages.com

Web: www.swift-mortgages.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SwiftMortgages/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtXeVk0Mdk4D5H2AX1kKhZg

Twitter: @SwiftMortgages1

Linked In: Heide Swift

Instagram: swift.mortgages

#SwiftMortgages

If you know of anyone who is considering buying or re-mortgaging in the next 6 months, please feel free to pass them my contact details.  Thank you!

 

Heide Swift CeMAP, CeRER

 

Heide’s Blog – 10th July 2020

What is Critical Illness Cover and Do You Need it?

What is critical illness cover?

 Critical illness cover is a type of insurance that pays out a tax-free lump sum if you’re diagnosed with a serious illness, such as cancer, or suffer a heart attack or stroke during the term of your policy. It is not the same as life insurance, which pays out if you pass away.

 

Critical Illness can be insured against

Why do I need it?

A critical illness, including heart attack or cancer, strikes 14% of men and 12% of women before the age of 65.  In other words, for a couple, there is a 24% chance of at least one of them suffering a critical illness before they reach 65.

The good news is, with today’s medical advances, you have a reasonable chance of surviving the critical illness or even recovering from it.

 

In these circumstances, the benefit from your critical illness insurance can offer financial support – particularly if you have to stop working.  It offers a tax-free lump sum which could be used, for example, for:

  • paying your mortgage
  • paying for private medical treatment
  • paying school fees
  • covering every day expenditure which you may, in other circumstances, have to find from your hard-earned savings

What’s the difference between critical illness cover and life insurance?

Critical illness cover is designed to benefit you, during your lifetime when you need it most, after you’ve been diagnosed with a critical illness.

In most cases, life insurance only pays out if you die during the term of the policy. It’s designed to help your family to maintain their lifestyle after you’ve gone.

Helping to protect you and your family

What type of cover do I need?

Critical illness cover can be bought as a standalone product or as combined cover with life insurance.

  • Stand alone: having separate critical illness cover means you’re insured for a payout if you’re diagnosed with a critical illness. This is a separate policy from your life insurance plan which pays out when you pass away.
  • Combined cover: a combined life insurance and critical illness policy will only pay out once, either when you die or if you’re diagnosed with a critical illness.

You should consider whether you’ll be buying the policy just for yourself or for your partner too – you are able to take out joint life insurance with critical illness cover.

However, you should keep in mind that these policies will usually still only pay out once – for whomever on the policy is the first to be diagnosed with a critical illness.

It is a good idea to speak to a professional adviser to ensure you have the right level of cover.

Swift Mortgages in an independent adviser with access to a wide range of insurances and protection policies.

Please contact us if you are considering taking out critical illness insurance or any other kind of protection.

We can help find a suitable protection for your own situation.

Call on 01525 309300 or 07903 302895 or send us a few details and we will be happy to talk through your options with you.

#SwiftMortgages

#CriticalIllness

#ProtectionMatters

Heide’s Blog – 3rd July 2020

What does it mean to put Life Insurance “In Trust”?

 

 

Writing life insurance ‘in trust’ is a great way to protect your family’s future in the event of your death. By putting life insurance in trust, you can manage the way your beneficiaries receive their inheritance.

 

What is a trust?

Trusts are a simple legal arrangement that let you leave assets to your chosen beneficiaries. A trust is managed by one or more trustees of your choosing – these can be family members, friends, or a legal professional. A trust can stay in force until it pays out to your beneficiaries. This can occur upon your death, or on a specified date of your choosing.

The benefits of writing life insurance in trust:

Here are three of the ways you can benefit from a life insurance trust:

  1. Protect your beneficiaries from Inheritance Tax – using a trust means the money paid out from your policy should not usually be considered as part of your estate.
  2. Control over your assets – putting life insurance in trust gives you greater choice, as you can decide who to appoint as your beneficiaries and trustees. This is especially important if you’re not married or in a civil partnership. Otherwise, your assets may not transfer to the intended recipient.
  3. Faster access to the life insurance benefit – without a trust, your beneficiaries would need to wait for probate after your death, which can cause lengthy delays.

 

 

How does putting life insurance in trust work?

You will need to decide which type of trust is right for you. There are three options:

  1. Absolute Trust. The beneficiaries are named individuals who cannot be changed in the future. This includes, for example, any children born after the trust is written so this could be considered a fairly inflexible trust. The advantage of an Absolute Trust is that the pay-outs can be made quickly without long legal delays.  Your beneficiary can get access to the trust at the age of 18.
  2. Discretionary Trust. The trustees have a degree of control as who will benefit from the contents of the trust when you. Your ‘letter of wishes’ outlines your intentions as to how trustees should administer the trust.
  3. Survivor’s Discretionary Trust. This form of joint life insurance in trust pays out to the surviving policyholder; here the surviving partner is entitled to inherit your estate before your beneficiaries. If both policy owners die within 30 days of one another, your beneficiaries can benefit on the same basis as a Discretionary Trust.

 

Your chosen trustees need to be happy with the responsibility of controlling the policy and the proceeds in the event of a claim by the beneficiaries. It is advisable to have more than one trustee but no more than four so that decisions about your policy can be made swiftly.

Putting your policy in trust can be done at any time. You can put your life insurance policy in trust when you take it out, or at any time after that – you simply need to own the policy.

Once your trust is set up, your trustees legally own the policy and must keep the trust deed safe as this will be used to make a claim to your insurer when you die.

 

 

Is there an extra cost?

There is usually no added cost to putting life insurance in trust.

It is always advisable to speak to a professional adviser to ensure you have the right level of financial protection.

Swift Mortgages has access to a wide range of insurances and protection policies and the expertise to help put your life assurance policy in trust.

Trusts are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Please contact us before making any decisions and we will help you find a suitable protection for your situation.

Call on 01525 309300 or 07903 302895 or send us a few details and we will be happy to talk through the options with you.

 

Heide’s Blog – 11th June 2020

Income Protection Insurance

Income protection is a type of insurance to provide you with a regular monthly benefit to replace lost income when you are not able to work, either long-term or short-term, due to sickness or disability. It gives the policyholder some security over the future to cover necessary expenses if they are unable to work.

How does income protection insurance work?

Income protection will only protect against illnesses or injury that prevents you from working. It does not cover redundancy. If you are unable to work due to illness or disability then the policy will allow you to claim until either:

  • You are able to return to work.
  • You retire.
  • You die.
  • Your policy ends.

There is no limit to the amount of times that you can claim during the lifetime of the policy, subject to any limitations of the policy which will be identified from the outset. It will not entirely replace your lost income and generally you would receive between half to three quarters of your pre-tax earnings since all the money you receive is tax-free.  A policy can’t make you better off claiming the insurance than you would be if you were working as there would not be an incentive for you to return to work!

How much does it cost?

Each policy is tailored to an individual’s specific needs and circumstances so can be quite complicated. There are various factors that will affect the cost of the policy, including:

  • Your job. The riskier your job, the higher the premiums.
  • Most policies are available to those aged between 18 and 60 years. The younger the applicant, the cheaper the policy payments are likely to be.
  • Length of cover. If you choose a shorter policy length then the premiums will be lower.
  • Income required. You can either be paid a set amount or a percentage of your annual salary. The more you require, the higher your premiums will be.
  • You will need to fill in a medical questionnaire and this will affect your premiums (for example, if you are a smoker or have a pre-existing condition or family medical history).
  • Increasing the waiting period before payments start will also reduce the amount you have to pay each month.

Do I need it?

Before taking out such a policy, you need to consider whether already have income protection (possibly as an employment benefit through work).  It may be that you have another type of illness insurance (perhaps associated with your mortgage) which would cover you if you were to become ill.  It is also worth considering your savings and how long these would cover your expenses or whether another family member could financially support you if you were unable to work. Consider as well whether early retirement would be possible if you were unable to work. Bear in mind any benefits you receive since these could be affected by any payments that made through the insurance.

If you do have a policy through your current employment, it’s important to note that this cover would stop if you were to move to a new job.  If your new employer didn’t offer the same cover you would either need to take out a private policy (likely to be more expensive the older you are) or remain un-insured.

When does it pay?

There will usually be a specified waiting time or deferred period associated with the policy, which is the time between making a claim and when you start to receive payments. It is generally much more expensive to take out a policy whereby you could claim as soon as illness or disability occurs.

Usually there is a period of 4 weeks or more before the payments will start. It is possible to be able to claim as soon as you are unable to work, but these policies will be more expensive. However, other factors can delay when payments will be made. For example, if you initially receive sick pay from your employer or can claim statutory sick pay, then the waiting period associated with your policy can be tailored to start at the end of this time during which you’ll be receiving full pay in any case.

It is always advisable to speak to a professional adviser to ensure you have the right level of cover. Heide from Swift mortgages is an experienced and professional whole of market mortgage and protection adviser. Please contact us if you are considering taking out income protection insurance or any other kind of protection. We can help find the most suitable protection for your own situation.

Call on 01525 309300 or 07903 302895 or send us a few details and we will be happy to talk through your options with you.

Find more details here: https://www.swift-mortgages.com/insurance-and-protection/

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