Case studies

Financial Planning following a bereavement

Deborah is 48 and recently widowed with two children in their late teens. She practised in law until her mid-30s when she stepped back from her career to look after her children. Having spent recent years focusing on the children she is very much family-orientated.

Nevertheless, her previous professional career gives her confidence in meetings and professional dealings. She is strict and organised about budgeting but does not have a strong understanding of finances.

Deborah is now unsure if she needs to go back to work following her husband’s death. She would like to maintain her family’s standard of living as well as continue to pay private school fees for her two children and future university tuition fees if required.

She received lump-sum payments from her late husband’s employers’ life insurance scheme and other insurance policies, and contacted NW Brown to discuss her options. She knows that the income she currently receives is not adequate to cover her expenditure and is unsure whether she should use the lump-sum to repay her outstanding mortgage or invest it to generate further income.

After a fact-finding session with one of our wealth managers Deborah was able to understand her financial position and the options available to her in a clear manner.

We were able to provide Deborah with a long-term investment plan for the lump-sum payments in order to provide her with sufficient income to cover her own needs, to slowly pay down the mortgage and thereafter provide long-term capital growth in a tax-efficient manner.

This involved consolidating her existing pensions into a Self Invested Personal Pension and maximising her pension tax relief by ensuring that she had utilised her pension contributions in full. We helped Deborah make full use of her tax-free ISA allowance and made a plan for future years’ subscriptions.

By looking at the wider picture we were able to suggest several additional courses of action to help Deborah have confidence that her family’s future finances would be secure. This included setting up Junior ISAs for her children and reviewing her own life cover.

For reasons of client confidentiality some of the information in this case study has been changed.

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