‘Holistic Financial Planning in Action’ seminar overview

Beaufort Financial hosted a seminar for regional professionals, mainly accountants and solicitors, presented by Mark King of Standard Life at Green Park this month.

Introducing proceedings, Beaufort Financial’s Andy Coles recalled the words of his old football manager “Control the controllable”, the theme of Mark’s interactive presentation. Participants were asked to review and interpret the financial priorities and needs from an extensive fact finding document which summarised the financial affairs of a business owner and his wife who were coming up to retirement. Joe and Fay King will both be 60 next birthday. Mr King’s father, a widower, is still alive at 82 and the Kings have three grown up children and several grandchildren. The business is a trading company set up by Mr King 35 years ago called Kings Castle Ltd, worth £1.5 million. There is a holiday home and significant portfolios of shares and savings plans. Mrs King was recently diagnosed with a serious illness which means that the Kings are in need of comprehensive financial advice.

What were the key points that could be gleaned from the fact find and what needed to be addressed, asked Mark?

Delegates worked together to suggest the answers and to consider other important points for consideration mentioned in the fact find. The aim was to calculate income and inheritance tax (IHT) liabilities (and mitigate them for their children) due on the Kings’ estate, review their wills, powers of attorney, insurance policies, investment and savings.

It was important to review Joe’s and Fay’s investments and savings. Risk profiling is key; attitude to risk is one thing, but being objective, capacity for loss is just as important explained Mark and he produced graphics to show how the two match up and the areas that needed to be considered.

From the fact finding document, participants assessed the objectives and needs of the Kings, their spending and earnings, which showed a marked disparity, meaning that Mr King’s tax liabilities were far higher than Mrs King’s and that the taxable income was far too much for their spending needs. In fact, they were earning three times the income they needed. The actions needed to adjust these anomalies were discussed at some length.

The case study was further analysed to assess what would happen should Mrs King die today and Mr King tomorrow. Key points were to precisely value Mr and Mrs King’s estate and their liabilities.

A holistic approach to financial planning means that the couple’s plan for retirement, the family business and property they own, IHT, wills, gifts and trusts and investments and pension plans are all inter-related and drawn together. The group, again guided by Mark, concluded that all pension and investment plans should be reviewed and the excess cash the couple had had been used to buy the business premises, use all capital gains tax exemptions and annual and lifetime tax allowances, including those of their children and grandchildren. The company shareholding should also be restructured. By revising Joe’s income and assets (down) and Fay’s (up) and revising the chronological order in which gifts are made, the tax position is mitigated substantially. The significance of residence nil rate band (RNRB) was also discussed at length. Lou King, Mr King’s 82 year old father, also needed pension planning advice. His position will also be relevant to the plans put in place for Joe and Fay, as well as those of their children and, in due course, their grandchildren.

The seminar concluded with a full review and analysis of Mr and Mrs King’s financial position, assets and liabilities and presented the recommendations that a financial adviser might make, based on the facts. The learning objectives were clearly outlined so that they could be applied to appropriate, individual client case scenarios.

Mark concluded that 12 hours work had been summarised in some 90 minutes!

The seminar received excellent feedback from the delegates:

Great seminar as always and good to catch up!

It was great to meet other professionals at this seminar, one of which I’ve since spoken with on LinkedIn and they may be able to pass some work my way

Excellent and thought-provoking seminar – really useful

Excellent and superb technical content

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