PM+M Court of Protection Service

At PM+M, we offer a fully integrated approach where we support our clients in all areas of accounting, audit and advisory, cloud accounting, corporate finance, payroll, tax, financial planning and private client work. Through our services, we aim to assist and support our professional connections to the best of our ability. We are delighted to introduce our Court of Protection services, read our latest blog to learn more about what we have to offer.

Introducing our Court of Protection service

At PM+M, our investment proposition, financial planning advice process and Court of Protection advice specialism has enabled us to develop a unique Court of Protection service which is tailored to suit our clients. We aim to meet your requirements and enable a more efficient process for your business whilst offering a caring and holistic planning approach for your clients.

PM+M has developed a specialism within this field and understands the sensitive nature of the work involved. We recognise the breadth of work that the appointed deputy must do for their client, including benefit assessments, managing spending sustainably, managing periodic payments and supporting everyday care needs and issues that materialise. We want to support you in the best way possible to ensure that you can spend your valuable time where it really matters.

We care about managing your clients’ finances in a sustainable manner and we prioritise their safeguarding. Here, we understand the importance of short, medium and long-term planning and will consider client retirement needs. We can work with you for the duration of the court order and continue to offer a client support thereafter if deemed to have capacity to act for themselves.

What will our Court of Protection service offer you and your clients?

  • You will work with a dedicated team who will help you meet your reporting requirements, freeing up time to dedicate to your clients.
  • We will provide you with annual review meetings and valuations in line with your reporting periods alongside the timely production and submission of a tax return.
  • You will have the choice between our proactive in-house discretionary (Managed Portfolio Service), advisory or ESG (Environmental, Social + Corporate Governance) investment offerings.
  • We will also assist with cash management to ensure security from a financial services compensation scheme perspective.
  • We will offer lifetime cashflow planning to satisfy court order requirements whilst managing wealth in a sustainable manner

Get in touch

We tailor the service to suit the needs, requirements, and processes of your practice. If you would like to understand more about this service for your practice and clients, it would be great to hear from you – please read our brochure or contact James McIntyre, using the button below.

Budgeting – how to achieve more from your money

Budgeting can be a fantastic tool to help your money go further. In our latest blog we highlight the basics of budgeting and how you can make the most of your hard-earned cash.

How to get started

  • Calculate your income after tax

Most people know their salary, but it is important to note down your take-home pay – which is how much money you take home after tax and other deductions. You should also include any means of income outside of your salary.

Knowing how much money you have after tax will make budgeting a lot easier.

  • Track your spending

You should categorise your spending to identify where most of your money is spent. This will help you determine which expenditure will be easiest to cut back on.

Start by listing all your fixed spending – things like monthly bills, rent, mortgage and vehicle payments. Knowing how much you spend on these can be helpful when budgeting.

Then, list your variable expenses – things that are likely to change from month-to-month, such as groceries, fuel, and entertainment. Typically, your variable expenses are likely to be the easiest to cut back. The best way to begin managing and tracking your variable expenses is by looking through your credit card and bank statements and categorising your spending, from most required to least required.

Make a plan

When you have a good idea of what you are earning against what you are spending – make a plan. Examine where your money is going, and whether you have the capacity to cut back on any of your expenditure.

The first things you should think about cutting back on are commodities: the things you want but do not really need. Perhaps you can spend a night watching a movie at home instead of going out to the cinema? Or produce a more budget-friendly meal at home rather than spending in a restaurant? Try adjusting your numbers to see how much you can afford to cut back.

If you are spending more than you are earning, or if your budget isn’t allowing for as much freedom as you would like, try to scrutinise your expenditure in more detail. You may even benefit from adjusting your fixed expenses – but this can be harder to do if you are in fixed contracts, for example.

Pitfalls to budgeting

At the beginning of your budgeting journey, it is easy to become overwhelmed.  Consider the possible pitfalls of budgeting outlined below:

  • Overestimating your income: it is easy to look at your income and forget about any deductions. In which case, you will overestimate the amount you earn, and you may be planning to spend money you do not have
  • Underestimating your expenses: it is important to be vigilant with your expenses. Although it is easy to ‘cheat’ your budget, this will not help you manage your money. You may benefit from writing a daily budget entry on paper or on your phone – quickly jot down any daily expenses and at the end of the month, calculate and reflect on what you have been spending.
  • Not having a strategy: when starting your budget, consider what you want to achieve, do you want to save money for a rainy day, pay off your debts or something else? Having a strategy for your budget is important to help you achieve your goals. For example, if you unexpectedly require money due to an emergency, it would be convenient to have savings which you can fall back on. As such, you may want to add savings to your list of ‘expenses’ to plan for this eventuality.  Alternatively, you may want to see some more growth from your money and be interested in investing – if this is the case, speak to an expert to find out how they can help your money go further.  Remember to keep in mind that investments can fluctuate with market volatility.

Budgeting can be a fantastic way to manage your expenditure and essentially save money. By planning carefully, and being strategic with your budget, you can achieve more from your money.

New Year’s Resolutions – how we can help you achieve your financial planning goals

In our latest blog, financial planning director James McIntyre discusses new year’s resolutions and how we can help you with your financial planning goals.

Hopefully you have had a well-deserved break over the Christmas period and have enjoyed spending time with your loved ones.

Now that the festivities are over for another year, our minds start to focus on our plans for the new year. Each year passes by quickly, so it is important to spend time focussing on yourself. New year’s resolutions are a great way to give yourself some deserved attention. For example, they can help us get back to the gym, start a new hobby or they could be used to get your financial planning needs in shape.

Now may be the time to think about your pension…

Often when I meet up with clients, the first thing that they say to me is “I have been meaning to sort out my pension for a while.”

By modelling a cashflow forecast, we can make sure that you are on track to have sufficient funds in place to ensure that you can retire when you want with a suitable amount of personal funds to sustain your retirement. We can offer a sense of direction to ensure that you know what is required to reach your retirement goals.

If you don’t understand how your pension will work from a practical perspective when you retire, we are happy to offer our advice and support to ease any worries you may have and help you put a plan in action.

What would happen if?

The New Year is a great time to implement a will to ensure that assets are smoothly passed to the individuals you desire upon death. It is also important that you have nominated someone to benefit from your pension funds in the event of death. We can help you do this through an expression of wish form.

You also have a great opportunity to make sure your family is able to cope financially in the event of death or ill health. We can use our cashflow planning model to help you understand what you, and your family, would need financially in the event of the unknown.

Personal contingency planning is something which may have crossed your mind, but you haven’t been able to do anything about it because of the bustle of life. If you would like to enquire about ways you can optimise your safety net for your loved ones, please get in touch.

Henry Ford was famously quoted as saying “whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” With your finances, the best place to start is with a plan. If you have a destination in mind, we can map out your financial journey and help you get where you want to be.

Get in touch

If your new year’s resolution is to make the most out of your financial planning, please don’t hesitate to get in touch using the button below.

Planning for care home fees – can I gift my assets?    

A common question we are asked when our clients are lifetime planning is “Can I gift my house to my children to protect it from being used to fund care in the future?”. Although this may seem like a good idea, as your children are likely to inherit it anyway when you pass away, we explore the possible tax implications which may arise from gifting assets before your death.

Gifting cash and investments

If you are thinking about gifting your cash or investments to prevent them from being used for care fees in the future, keep in mind that local authorities have the ability to challenge the gift if a person is deemed to have ‘purposefully deprived themselves of an asset’, especially in consideration of care being required.

They will consider:

  • the cost of the gift
  • the intention behind the gift
  • the age and wellbeing of the person making the gift
  • their financial standing

Gifting your home

You may also consider gifting your home to your children to protect it from being used as care funds in the future. However, gifting your home may lead to some serious inheritance tax implications, or you could be in danger of losing your home entirely. It’s important to consider the repercussions you may face in the event your child experiences financial hardship, divorces or dies.

To make an informed decision when gifting your home, take advice on the legal, inheritance tax, income tax, and practical implications of the gift.

Tenants in common

If you jointly own your home with a civil partner or spouse, you can preserve your share by holding the property as Tenants in Common. This is when the equity of the property is held by the owners as individual share, whether this be equal or unequal.

Should you pass away, you can include a provision in your Will that permits the remaining partner the right to live in the property. Once your partner dies, your share of the property will go to your intended beneficiaries.

If one owner was to go into residential care and there are no additional cash assets, the council are only able to claim against the owner’s share of the equity.

Not only does this solution protect the surviving partner, but also ringfences half of the remaining capital for your beneficiaries. This is essential if you do not want your co-owner to inherit your interest in a property and can be particularly beneficial for unmarried couples, or when a property is owned by a partnership.

Get in touch

If you need some support with planning for care home fees or would like to speak to ensure you are making the right decisions for your future, contact our financial planning team (financialplanning@pmm.co.uk) who will happily arrange a meeting at no cost to help you achieve more from your long term financial plans.

Many of us are enjoying a staycation this summer – have you used it as a time to reflect?

In our latest blog, PM+M’s wealth management director, James McIntyre, describes his moment of reflection on holiday in North Devon, highlighting the importance of financial planning, should the worst happen…

You may have already enjoyed your ‘staycation’ or be getting ready to pack the roof box in anticipation for a week in the sun (fingers crossed). I have been able to enjoy a week with my wife and little ones, in my favourite place on the planet – North Devon. It’s a time for fresh air, family, food/drink and for many; a time for reflection.

Holidays are essential and I am a great believer in making the most of your life now. However, I also believe that it is essential to plan for the future and consider the ‘what ifs.’

FAMILY TIME

On holiday, my two favourite pastimes are: being buried in the sand by my two children and building a channel down to the sea, only to see my sandcastle get washed away minutes later! I will genuinely treasure these moments for the rest of my life. This moment got me thinking – my family are ‘my everything’ and therefore I honestly believe that it’s important to make sure that they are adequately cared for should something go wrong.

That’s why I have ensured I have the following in place, should the worst happen.

PM+M have ensured that my income is protected should I be unable to work due to an accident or sickness. You could take out one of these plans personally, or as an employer, you could set up a group income protection scheme.

My mortgage will be repaid in the event that I was to die or become seriously unwell. Debt is the last thing that I want to leave to my family, should disaster strike.

As the main breadwinner in our family, I have also ensured that there would be a capital lump sum should I die or become seriously unwell. I have made the decision that I am not prepared to compromise my family, should anything go wrong. I wouldn’t want my little girl and boy to be without a Daddy and I certainly wouldn’t want them  to be without a Daddy and leave my wife in a challenging financial situation – fortunately the latter is something that I can control.

I have also ensured that I have a will in place and that my pension death nomination forms are up to date.

BUILDING SANDCASTLES

Back to the beach! I love to build  sandcastles – I must admit that on a number of occasions, when the little ones have become bored, I am likely to be seen continuing to build the sandcastle on my own;  a big kid at heart. There is a knack to sandcastle building: you need sturdy foundations, the right tools and the right sand/water blend.  How does this link to financial planning, you ask?!

Building wealth to enjoy holidays and help sustain lifestyle during later life is equally as important as living life now. I urge you to consider starting to build your sandcastle (your retirement fund) as soon as possible.

You will need:

  • Sturdy foundations – it’s important to start planning as soon as possible. We consider the foundations of financial planning to be your personalised cashflow forecast to determine how much you need to save now, to meet your objectives in the future
  • The right tools – we would ensure that you choose the right vehicle, be that a Pension, ISA or something else. We will also ensure that your contributions are managed in a tax efficient way to create the best efficiencies possible
  • The right blend – at PM+M, we can manage your portfolio on a proactive basis. This means that we can make changes to your underlying investment funds and your asset allocation (the blend of different types of investment) whenever It is deemed appropriate by our experienced team.

Once you reach retirement, we can also help you manage your fund in a sustainable way whilst allowing you to enjoy your extra time. Unlike a sandcastle, we don’t want your retirement fund to be washed away!

ENJOYING THE SURF

North Devon is notorious for great waves and therefore when the tide is right, the sea is packed with surfers who put my paddle boarding to shame. I’m probably much safer on a boat trip to visit the seals and dolphins.

Cashflow planning is rather like exploring the ocean. The Captain needs to know where she/he is going, they need to navigate rough seas and hopefully enjoy calmer waters at the destination.

Once we know where you want to go, we can determine what you need to do to reach your goal, that could be helping you understand how much:

  • you need to save now to be able to retire at a specific age
  • you can afford to gift without compromising your own sustainability
  • you need to sell your business for to retire when you desire
  • your family will need in the event of death or illness.

As part of our ongoing service, we will be there for you throughout the journey – helping you reach calmer waters.

GET IN TOUCH

I hope that you enjoy the rest of your summer. If you would like to consider any of the financial planning needs discussed, it would be great to talk. Get in touch by using the button below.