Who needs a financial adviser?

The short, and simple, answer is: everyone at some point in their life. Some people, if their finances are especially complex, will need a long-term adviser offering regular meetings and updates. But for the majority of us, financial advisers are there for to help with the big decisions and the complexities that often accompany them.

These big decisions can also be one-off decisions - meaning you are facing them with little or no experience with which to evaluate your choices. That's why it's almost always a good idea to seek independent financial advice at these critical points, to ensure you get it right first time.

One major area of complexity many of us will have to deal with at some point is inheritance tax - either as the recipient of a significant inheritance, or in planning precisely how we handle our own assets when the time comes to pass them on. Laws in this area are in a constant state of flux. For example, have you heard of the Main Residence Nil-Rate Band (MRNRB)? From April 6, 2019, this increased to £150,000 per person, will increase again in 2020, and has major implications on Inheritance Tax (IHT). This is just one example of an area of IHT law in which a qualified, well-versed financial adviser can offer help and assistance.

Another area many people consider looking into is the stock market. Of course you can do it yourself. But what are your goals? What is your level of expertise, of confidence? Can you afford to make mistakes?

When weighing up the question 'do you need a financial adviser?', it's wise to bear in mind the cost of an adviser's fees against the financial and emotional cost of getting it wrong if you proceed without advice.

If you have any questions, or wish to discuss these matters further, please call Whiting and Partners on 01945 581937.

- Richard Franks Based in St Ives, Cambridgeshire.

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