Reeves – Wills & Trusts Service!

Wills & Trusts  

The vast majority of people know they should have a will, but put it off because they believe that the people they would wish to inherit will automatically do so, or that it isn’t important right now.

In the absence of crystal balls, leaving it until it’s too late poses all sorts of problems. Not only does dying “intestate” involve a lengthy and sometime complex legal process, some of your estate could go to the wrong people, including Her Majesties Treasury!

Making a Will enables you to plan exactly what will happen to your assets when you are no longer here to enjoy them, and removes the constant niggle in the back of your mind that comes from not having one!

Will Structure  

“Mirror” wills are quite common. These generally provide for 100% of an estate to pass to a surviving spouse, and subsequently on second death the assets pass “absolutely” (directly) to your chosen beneficiaries. Whilst this is better than having no Will, it exposes your wealth to numerous risks.

Where there is a remaining spouse –

  • Care Costs – If the surviving spouse needs nursing care then the whole estate, including the family home, would be susceptible to the cost of that care.
  • Marriage After Death – On first death all of the assets become solely owned by the surviving spouse. What if the surviving spouse remarries? Half of the inherited estate could be lost in any divorce settlement, or even worse, all of the estate could be lost, disinheriting your children.
  • Creditors or Bankruptcy – if the surviving spouse was subject to creditor claims / bankruptcy then the whole of their estate is fully at risk (including the inherited assets)
  • Inheritance Tax (IHT) – IHT would have to be paid on any amount inherited in excess of the current ‘Nil Rate Band’ and so there is the potential to pay IHT on the same assets twice.

Where there is no remaining spouse -

  • Protection Due To Divorce – If your children/grandchildren/chosen beneficiaries are subject to divorce proceedings after inheriting, then half of the inheritance is often lost to divorce settlements.
  • Creditors or Bankruptcy – If any of your beneficiaries was to be subjected to creditor claims/bankruptcy then the inherited estate is fully at risk.
  • Inheritance Tax – If the assets are passed directly to children or grandchildren, then the assets would be classed as being within their estate. So as estates grow through the generations, they are repeatedly subject to Inheritance Tax which can be avoided with sensible planning.


At the same time as making a will, you should consider trusts to address the risks mentioned above and protect your estate. Contrary to what many people believe, Trusts need not be complicated, nor do they restrict access to your estate to the people meant to benefit from it. With the use of a simple trust you can ensure that your home, savings and other assets can be protected for the benefit of future generations, eliminating some of the major risks to your assets.

Reeves Wills and Estate Planning

Once we understand what you have in place already and your present arrangements and wishes, our specialists will make a recommendation on how best to protect the wealth you acquire during your lifetime. We work in partnership with a S.T.E.P (The Society for Trust & Estate Practitioners) registered company to make sure we provide you with expert advice on how to comply with the often complex law and tax rules surrounding trusts, estates and Inheritance.

Speaking to someone to ensure your Wills & Trusts are in place to preserve your welfare and estate for you and future generations is easy with Reeves Independent, just use our contact form or call us on 0191 281 9862 for a FREE initial conversation!

Case Study – Life changing Pension Review!

What would you do with an extra £100,000 in your pension plans that you didn’t know you had?  That is exactly the sort of problem that David, a new client at Reeves, found himself WITH when he came in for a Pension Review with us.

David was referred to us by a long term client AND was approaching 55 believing he had well under £100,000 to look after him in retirement. Imagine his surprise when he found out what he actually had in his pension pots – to say he was overcome is putting it mildly.

His goal was to see if he had enough money if he took his 25% tax free entitlement to clear the remaining debt on his mortgage. David believed he had one ReAssure pension worth approximately £30,000 & a Final Salary Scheme, which would give him an income of £3,000 a year.

However, once we received the information on these plans from the providers, our client actually had 3 ReAssure pensions worth £77,000 & a Final Salary Scheme with a transfer value of £147,000!

So what does this mean for David?

David can now clear his mortgage debt of approximately £16,000 which in addition gets rid of his largest monthly expense. This still leaves him with £40,000 of tax free cash in the bank. The rest of his money, which comes to £168,000 has been placed into a Drawdown account, which he can take when & if he requires any further income.

David has actually decided to take £1,000 a month from his drawdown account, which gives him plenty of money for his essentials as well anything else he wants to spend his money on, as well as the surplus £40,000 in the bank if he wants to spend more than this.

Furthermore using our pension calculator when David starts to receive his state pension at 67 (12 years’ time) it shows he will still have approximately £60,000 left in pensions that he can use to top his income up if he needs it.

This leaves David with one final thing to think about! Does he retire in full now or does he continue to work as he enjoys the social element? Certainly a scenario he had not considered when he approached us to look at his pensions!

What service will David now receive?

David has become a Portfolio Management Client & therefore receives regular reviews to ensure his pension is being protected from investment risk, as well as ensuring he takes any further income in the most tax efficient manner.

Does this case study sound like you? Do you know what your pensions are worth?

“A Standard Life report from last year actually found that 63% of the people researched did not know the value of their pension pots!”

Reviewing your pensions regularly is vital! Why not do that with Reeves – The Pension Specialists, just email or call us on 0191 281 9862

Pension Awareness! Do you fully understand your pensions?

PENSIONS awareness is a real concern for the UK and the statistics are worrying. Here are a number of interesting stats in respect to pensions

  • Only 27 per cent of people say they feel “very informed” about pensions, according to new research by Towers Watson.
  • Last year, a government report discovered that 11.9m people in the UK are “saving too little”. Almost half of these people are not far off their target, and could reach it with “modest changes”
  • According to a YouGov survey for the People’s Pension, only 11 per cent of pension savers in the UK are aware that their current provider is charging them and how much they are being charged.
  • An alarming 51 per cent of people do not know if their current pension provider is charging them at all, and lack of awareness is disproportionately high among women (63 per cent).
  • An alarming 51 per cent of people do not know if their current pension provider is charging them at all, and lack of awareness is disproportionately high among women (63 per cent).
  • A survey by Old Mutual Wealth indicates that only 43 per cent of people understand how tax relief on pensions currently works. “This ‘free money’ should make putting money into a pension one of the most attractive ways to save,” explains Adrian Walker, retirement planning manager at Old Mutual Wealth.

Some absolutely incredible stats there I’m sure will you agree!

How comfortable are you with your knowledge on your pension arrangement?

Speaking to someone about your pensions is imperative! Why not do that with Reeves Independent, just email or call us on 0191 281 9862

If you aren’t sure what terms such as annuity or drawdown mean, this should help!

As always we try & educate you here at Reeves Independent.

If you aren’t sure what terms such as annuity or drawdown mean, this fantastic article from Your Money should help ease the confusion.

Jargon buster: pension terminology explained

Do you fully understand all the definitions in the article? If not, then please do seek advice & speak to a pensions specialist.

It is imperative you speak to someone to ensure you make the right decisions with your respect to pensions in the build up to & throughout your retirement!

Speaking to someone about your pension is easy with Reeves Independent, just use our contact form or call us on 0191 281 9862 for a FREE initial conversation!

Do you fully understand what your options are at retirement?

Today I read the Scottish Widows Retirement Survey for 2015. It was an interesting read but I picked out a couple of alarming figures!

  • Only 22% of the 60-64 year old fully understand what an annuity is & only 14% fully understand income drawdown
  • Only 13% of 50-59 year olds fully understand what an annuity is & only 9% fully understand income drawdown

These figures astound me as choosing how you take your pensions at retirement is one of the most important decisions in your life!

Do you fully understand your options?

It is imperative you speak to someone to ensure you understand ‘ALL’ the options available to you to enable you to make the right choices when planning for your retirement!

Speaking to someone about your pension options in retirement is easy with Reeves Independent, just use our contact form or call us on 0191 281 9862 for a FREE initial conversation!

For further information please do read our Blog – Your four-point checklist for investing for retirement

What happens to your pension when you die?

One of the most common questions we get asked here at Reeves Independent by clients is what happens to my pension when I die?

There are of course a number of different scenarios when answering the above question. One thing is for sure is that the new rules since April 2015 now make it possible to pass pensions on to loved ones in a more tax-efficient manner.

If you’ve money in your pension but you haven’t retired

If you die before you take anything from your pension, it will usually be paid as a lump sum to your beneficiaries tax-free.

As long as it is less than the lifetime allowance (£1.25million in tax year 2015/16) it will be paid tax-free, unless you die at age 75 or older.

The Government has announced changes to the way death benefits from pensions are taxed:

  • If you die before age 75 – your pension can be paid to your beneficiaries tax-free, either as a lump sum, an annuity, or through flexible drawdown.
  • If you die age 75 or older – your pension can be paid as a lump sum which will initially be taxed at 45%. Or your beneficiaries can use flexible drawdown and will then only pay tax at their marginal rate.

There will normally be no inheritance tax to pay.

If you’ve money left in flexible drawdown

If you die before age 75 with your money in flexible drawdown your spouse, partner, dependant or beneficiary can:

  1. Stay in the flexible drawdown plan and take income tax-free
  2. Take the pension as a lump sum tax-free
  3. Buy an annuity, where income will be paid tax-free

If you die after age 75 with your money in flexible drawdown your spouse, partner, dependant or beneficiary can

  1. Stay in the flexible drawdown plan and take income subject to tax at their marginal rate
  2. Take the pension as a lump sum tax-free which will be taxed at 45%
  3. Buy an annuity, where income will be subject to tax at their marginal rate

If you have an annuity

If you chose a guaranteed period and die within this period then the annuity will continue to be paid until the end of the guaranteed period.

If you bought a joint life annuity the annuity payments will continue to be paid to the second person, at the level you chose, until they die. If you die before age 75 the annuity payments paid will be tax-free, if you die after age 75 then any payments will be taxed as income at their marginal rate.

In all other cases your money dies with you so no further payments are made.*

Speaking to someone to ensure your loved ones don’t lose out after your death easy with Reeves Independent, just use our contact form or call us on 0191 281 9862 for a FREE initial conversation!

* Scottish Widows Fact Sheet –

Reeves Independent– 10 most read articles this month!

Here are the 10 most read articles from our social media mediums over the last month

As always we have included a range of articles on different financial matters to provide you with as much information as possible;

Stick or twist? Why you might trade in a final salary pension!

Your four-point checklist for investing for retirement

Can you afford NOT to work your Investments?

Tax-free savings: Double up your pension relief

Understanding Pension Tax Relief!

‘My wife passed away in 2005. What will my IHT allowance be under the new rules?’

Two million cohabiting couples at risk of leaving finances in legal limbo!

Will your pension be big enough for you to retire at 55?

8 steps to Inheritance Tax Planning heaven

The insurance that can pay the bills if you can’t work – experts warn too many people still lack a safety net!

We hope that you find some of the above useful. If there are any areas that you would like more articles on please let us know as we welcome any feedback

If you would like to discuss any of the above articles & how they may affect you then please contact us NOW on 0191 281 9862 or e-mail to arrange a FREE initial appointment

Additionally please have a look at our core services document or visit our website for further information

Your four-point checklist for investing for retirement!

I’m sure you are aware pensions changed in April this year. As result of these changes people now have more choices about how & when they can access their pension pot from the age of 55.

People can take cash, a flexible income (drawdown), or a fixed income (annuity), or indeed a mix of these. Drawing from our experiences since April we can say that drawdown has become a lot more popular as a choice due to the flexibility of accessing funds for the plan holder & their family after the plan holder’s death.

So what should you be thinking about when it comes to the money in your pension?

1. Think about your pension early - this allows you choose the investments that suit what you’re planning, whether that’s buying an annuity, taking a flexible income, taking your cash as a lump sum or a mix of all three. You can find more about this in our Are you ready for the pension freedom changes? blog.

2. Once you’re retired – stay invested – for example if you’re taking a flexible income from your pension it can be tempting to leave all your money as cash – but this may not give you the best results. Obviously cash is less likely than other investments to fall in value, however on the other hand it’s growth potential is also less. Therefore careful planning is required with respect to your investments during your retirement.

3. Balance your income goals – life expectancy is rising & therefore this means you will have to fund your retirement for much longer. One of the biggest challenges is making your money last over time; taking the income you need to today as well as making your money last through your retirement. In addition the new rules that reduce tax when inheriting pensions, reducing it to zero in some cases means you may want to make sure you have enough left to pass onto your loved ones. All these different goals need to be looked at & taken into account.

4. Take care of the early retirement years – If you’re taking an income, you need to ensure you manage & analyse how much your investments move up & down in value. A pro-active management of these funds is vital as it becomes much harder for your pension to recover its value after any early falls in the stock market.

Here at Reeves Independent our service is designed to help you make the right decisions at & during retirement. Please take a look at our Retirement Options Service Proposition

Speaking to someone about your pension options in retirement is easy with Reeves Independent, just use our contact form or call us on 0191 281 9862 for a FREE initial conversation!

Reeves Independent Market Outlook

Recent news 

  • Consumer Price Index (CPI) hits zero again but Wages growth up
  • UK wages accelerated from 2.7% to a five-year high of 3.2%.
  • Euro still weakening against the pound’
  • Bank of England Governor Mark Carney commented that ‘the point at which interest rates may begin to rise is moving closer with the performance of the economy’.
  • British unemployment rose unexpectedly from 5.5% to 5.6%
  • Reduction of pension life time allowance to £1million is a massive change and will impact on a surprising number of people. Anyone with a significant amount of time in Final Salary schemes should seek advice.
  • Volatile equity markets continue, especially in China which has seen significant loses

Key Matters

Bonds – What do we do with clients that hold bonds within their portfolio? Traditionally an asset class that is held as a more cautious holding, however they are now under pressure with the threat of rising inflation and interest rates. We will be emailing clients with proposed changes.

Greece – Where now for our European equity holdings? Last few weeks has seen significant movements downwards & now upwards again. We are currently monitoring our portfolio position and will continue to recommend appropriate changes.

Property – Corporate action announced for Threadneedle, and we will be assessing the impact on our portfolios and recommending change if appropriate.

Are there any opportunities right now?

Oil – There are options. The price of Brent Crude continues to fall as some of our clients will know. Is this the time to add or start investment in this area?

ETFS Brent 1mth (OILB) is designed to enable investors to gain a total return exposure to movements in the price of ICE 1 month Brent crude oil futures contracts plus a collateral yield. The exposure is obtained through fully funded uncollateralised swaps with Shell Trading Switzerland AG, a member of the Royal Dutch Shell Group. Basically if prices rise you will make money.

What Next?  Look out for our specific advice emails to follow.

If you would prefer a chat now about your portfolio please contact us now on 0871 271 1280 or e-mail to arrange an appointment!


We gain our information from a range of sources including seminars, webinars, industry publications and general media comments.

Disclaimer: This email is not intended as advice and no investment decisions should be made solely on the back of this email. Past performance is no guide to the future. All investments carry the risk that you will not get back what you have put in.

Case Study! Life Changing Advice – Life Changing Decisions – Life Saving Solutions!

An old Blog but I thought I would share it with you again

I know the title of the Blog sounds particularly ‘cheesy’ but it is a genuine response from a new client after the service we provided her in the last few weeks.

What was the client’s position when we met?

  • 58 year old single female
  • Has had a varied career history
  • Due to economic downturn is facing no regular job for the first time in her life
  • Had been looking forward to retirement at 65 when she could start drawing her occupational pensions
  • Last 18 months has seen a decrease in job prospects & savings
  • She was desperately worried about her income & her lifestyle had become restricted

What was the result of Reeves Independent’s Advice?

  • She now faces a ‘certain’ financial future were she does not have to work unless she want to
  • Stress & worry has now been removed
  • Happy & able to pursue open ended life time opportunities through a secure financial situation
  • Accessibility to significant cash that she didn’t have before which she can use for any purpose – whether it be fresh investment or to subsidise luxury travel
  • Adequate & secure income for the rest of her life
  • Significantly reduced running costs

How has Reeves Independent achieved this?

  • Reviewed all the options on her property assets & unused pension funds
  • Produced solutions which she previously didn’t know were possible
  • Helped her step by step through all the issues to enable her to make the best decisions for her

This has resulted in one very happy secure client!

If you would like to speak to someone about the Reeves Independent Retirement Planning Service please contact us NOW for a FREE initial chat on 0191 281 9862 or e-mail your enquiry to