Empowering the Self-Employed: Navigating Mortgages with Expert Advice

In an ever-evolving economic landscape, the rise of self-employment has become a defining feature. As entrepreneurs carve their paths and embrace the freedom of being their own bosses, one crucial aspect often poses a challenge – securing a mortgage, or so many believe. This is where our expertise comes into play.

Tailored Solutions for Self-Employed Clients

Company Account Mortgages

Navigating the financial intricacies of self-employment requires a tailored approach. Our commitment lies in understanding the unique needs of self-employed clients and the way their income is set up. We have lenders that can accept company net profits (at times operating profits) and Directors salaries as opposed to personal drawings (salary and dividends). For many limited company directors this works well…. We believe you shouldn’t be penalised for not taking every penny from your company and providing options where the income is assessed on company profits often works well and is a truer reflection of earnings in some cases.

Salary and Dividend Mortgages

For those who choose to compensate themselves through a combination of salary and dividends, our advisers will provide mortgage solutions tailored to your individual circumstances. We will generally review the last 2 years income… but don’t worry if your income has dropped there are plenty of lenders that are amenable to this.

Sole Trader/Partnership

As above, the use of net profits for sole trader and partnership is common practise. We will review your track record and put you in the best light possible when presenting your mortgage to the proposed lender.

Our advisers are trained to fully understand the complexities of self employed income and are fully familiar with the different ways income is received. We are experts in providing tailored mortgage options from the best lenders and keep fully up to date with the ever changing criteria changes.

Liaison with Your Accountant

We believe in a collaborative approach. Our team are happy to actively engage with your accountant to gain a comprehensive understanding of your financial situation. This ensures that every aspect of your self-employed income is considered when structuring your mortgage. Through this collaboration, we aim to provide a seamless and efficient mortgage process that leaves no stone unturned.

Why Choose Us?

Expertise and Understanding

With a dedicated focus on mortgages for self-employed individuals, our team brings a wealth of expertise to the table. We understand the nuances of varying income structures and business models, allowing us to tailor mortgage solutions that align with your unique financial landscape.

Personalised Guidance

Our commitment extends beyond securing a mortgage; we are dedicated to providing personalised guidance throughout the entire process. From the initial consultation, to providing protection options, to the finalisation of your mortgage, our experts are with you every step of the way, ensuring clarity and peace of mind.

Streamlined Processes

We value your time. Our streamlined processes are designed to make the mortgage application as smooth as possible. By liaising directly with your accountant, we aim to minimise paperwork and expedite the approval process, allowing you to focus on what you do best – growing your business.


At Everystep, we recognize the unique financial landscape of self-employed individuals. Our specialised mortgages cater to the diverse needs of business owners, providing a pathway to homeownership that is both comprehensive and tailored. Empower your journey of self-employment with a mortgage adviser who understands your needs.

Helping you prepare for your mortgage application

Whether you’re a first time buyer, home mover or professional land lord there are many areas that will require consideration…. Unfortunately having the deposit is only the first of many requirements.
In order to help you understand what you may be required to evidence when the time comes to apply, we have come up with a generic list of items that may be requested from you as well as some tips to aid your mortgage eligibility, as affordability, credit scoring and income all play as big a part in your application as the deposit.Boost your eligibility by:

  • Checking your credit file and boosting your score- no credit can have the same effect as poor credit! Check for errors and tie up loose ends.
  • Address – make sure your address on your bank statements, credit file and payslips is current. Also, ensure you are on the electoral role – this can also boost your credit score and allow the lenders to verify your address.
  • Manage your payments and spending- Missed or default payments, CCJ’s (County Court Judgements), payday loans and a clear betting patterns that show on your credit file and bank statements can all decrease your chances of getting a mortgage.
  • Pay off your credit cards in full each month and close any unused cards.
  • Stay out of your overdraft.

Before considering/ applying for a mortgage it is important to establish whether you will be able to provide evidence of all types of income, residential history, bank statements and much more. Unfortunately, during any part of the mortgage application process a Lender holds the right to request any further documentation to support your case, therefore, by ensuring from the outset that you have everything you may need can keep the application to offer process, as simple, fast and efficient as possible.
Examples of what a lender may ask you to provide:

  • Your latest 3 months’ payslips/evidence of bonuses and commission
  • Your latest 3 months’ bank statements from business and personal accounts, please be aware many lenders won’t accept internet banking statements and will require original copies from your banking branch
  • Your latest 3 years’ accounts, tax returns, tax calculations and Accountant’s Certificate
  • ID documents (ensure your licences/passports are in date!)
  • Proof of address documents (bank statements, utility bills etc.)
  • National insurance number
  • Proof of your deposit – including any bank statements or a gifted deposit form to be completed

All of that being said, a mortgage is not a ‘one size fits all’ sort of deal. Other than the above, you may encounter different requests or hurdles during your application. However, once you’ve got all on the above in place you should be ready to get in contact with your Broker and start the exciting process of purchasing or remortgaging a new home/ property.

Are you sitting on a mortgage timebomb?

Don’t let your interest only mortgage blow up in your face!
An interest only mortgage is exactly what it says on the tin – a home loan that enables the borrower to service the interest only, never bound to pay off the mortgage capital until the end of the term.
Interest only loans are a popular choice for those wishing to purchase a buy-to-let property as an investment, people with long term savings or investment plans or those who just simply feel it’s an affordable option when buying.
Still owing the lender the capital of a property at the end of the term can be incredibly risky for those that aren’t using the property as an investment or do not have another repayment vehicle in place.
So how do we make sure that we are not left looking at a repossession at the end of term?
Below we have some tips for ensuring that Mortgage time bomb doesn’t blow up in your face…

  • Cold hard cash – This will need to be kept in a savings or investment account you will need to calculate the amount that you will need to save over the term of the loan including any interest you may earn (bearing in mind that interest rates fluctuate) and don’t ‘dip in’ to it!
  • Lifetime mortgages/over 55 mortgages– Switching to a lifetime mortgage could be an option for the more mature borrowers, releasing some of the equity from the property could pay off the existing mortgage providing there is enough equity in the property to meet the lenders criteria.
  • Switching to repayment mortgage – This could be an option if you still have some considerable time left on the term, remortgaging to a repayment option would be considered if you are finding yourself with additional income due to changes in circumstances etc. Maybe you now find yourself in a position whereby you could comfortably afford the monthly payments on a repayment mortgage.
  • Switching to a new interest only lender with a more flexible end date – With people living longer it makes sense that lenders are looking to extend lending for older people. For example, Aldemore are currently offering later-life mortgages, these mortgages offer multiple product options including products with no early repayment fees and opportunities to extend repayments into the future, so you can borrow what you need and pay it back at a manageable rate. With lending up to 85 years old, this could be a viable option for many!
  • Stocks & Shares ISA’s – These are brilliant for those who don’t need to access their money and want to keep it invested for a few years so that’ll be you ‘interest only mortgage candidate’! Currently you can pay up to £20,000 a year into an ISA and majority of the income you make will be tax free, but hang on a minute… there’s a clause, because the money is invested into the stock market, the value can fluctuate, the best way to ensure you are investing correctly is to keep a regular eye on your ISA’s.
  • Pensions – With a pension you cannot access the money until you are 55, the idea is that the funds that you build up will give you an income during you treasured twilight years, its often used as a great way to pay off your mortgage also. Many pension’s offer a guaranteed lump sum if you continue with the agreed payments for the term. However, with the tax-free lump being 25% you need to be aware that the pension fund will essentially need to be 4 times the mortgage borrowing.
  • Investment Bonds – An investment bond locks away your savings into a fund of your choosing normally for a fixed term, you can generally access small amount each year. They require you to invest a minimum amount of money to start which is tied up until the bond matures. If you are risk averse then these are a great option as many do guarantee that you won’t get back less than you invested, however you will pay tax on the income these bonds generate.
  • Shares – Buying and selling shares on the stock exchange are where the money is at but bigger returns generally mean bigger risks. If you know what you are doing and enjoy a fission of adrenaline when it comes to your finances shares could be the choice for you. Financial advisers would not generally recommend that you rely solely on these shares to fund the payment of your mortgage loan due to the risks involved.
  • Unit Trusts – Are managed share funds that pool resources and are managed by a competent professional. They are a great choice if you want to invest in shares but aren’t really savvy or confident in the financial risk factors, you can choose the level of risk that you are happy with and need to make regular contributions.
  • Sale of the property – Confirming that you are prepared to sell the property at the end of the term can be another option especially with buy-to-let properties. The risks involved are minimal as property generally increases in value over the term.
  • Downsizing – This is a great option for those who bought a family home interest only and now the family have Grow up they no longer need such a large property, downsizing makes sense. There may be enough equity in the property to buy a smaller property?
  • Rent a room – The Governments ‘Rent a Room Scheme’ lets you earn up to £7,500 per year tax-free by renting furnished accommodation in your property, this is halved if you share the income with a partner or someone else, you can let out as much of your home as you want. This income could be used to over pay on your mortgage, helping to reduce the capital on the mortgage.

Adverse Credit – Can I still get a mortgage?

For families and individuals on low incomes, it can sometimes be challenging trying to keep up with the cost of living and maintaining a good level of savings. With this in mind it is understandable how people can rapidly fall into debt or end up with outgoings that are out of control.
One option is to remortgage your property to release some of the equity tied up in it, using this equity in some cases can ease the monthly financial pressure helping to keep your outgoings to a more affordable level by paying off some/all liabilities (please consult with a fully qualified adviser before committing to any more debt).
There may be other circumstances for which you may want to remortgage, for example, some home improvements. If you have had bad debt in the past it’s not necessarily a problem and the right broker will take the time to research the right lender for you to ensure you aren’t paying higher interest fees than necessary.
The trouble with being in debt is that some lenders will look at you adversely and view you as ‘high risk’ or a ‘mortgage misfit’, this is where a good adviser will come into their own, finding you a lender that will not necessarily dismiss you using their automated scoring system because you don’t instantly fit neatly into their criteria.
A good broker will know the market well and probably have dealt with thousands of cases just like yours, knowing the lending criteria of each lender will aid them in placing you with a lender who can look at your case on a more individual basis.
Having bad credit isn’t always an instant ‘NO’ sometimes it just means jumping a few hurdles with the right advice and support behind you, it is possible to get you back on track again financially and start enjoying the freedom of knowing that your debt is being managed or you are not paying higher than necessary costs and penalising you for having debt in the past.
Everystep Financial know the market inside out, we know our lenders criteria well, we are whole of market and specialise in ‘quirky’ lending.
We are available to visit you at a time convenient to you, in the comfort of your own home. We have offices in Weston-super-Mare and Hanham in Bristol and telephone appointments are also available if you prefer.
Call us to book a free no obligation initial review and let us take the stress out of remortgaging!

Zero Hours Contract – Need a Mortgage – No Problem!!

It seems zero-hour contracts are here to stay, the number of people employed on zero contracts is rising rapidly over the last few years. According to the ONS Labour Force survey 34% reported working full time and 46% having been with their employer for over two years.
Despite these figures lenders still feel anxious lending to people on these types of contracts due to the uncertainty of the regular income level they could receive long term. Lenders must act responsibly ensuring a borrower can afford their new mortgage payments not only at the time of application but also in the future.
However, all is not lost, even though some lenders may shy away from this nature of employment other lenders are happy to take the ‘risk’. Before applying for a mortgage when on a zero-hour contract it is even more important to have your finances in order. By using trained mortgage underwriters, lenders can assess the ability to pay a loan back by understanding the applicants circumstances on a more personal level, assessing their finances more accurately in person as oppose to using an automated scoring model.
Preparing yourself in advance is imperative, the following key points will help you ensure the best outcome:

  • Evidence of employment history. Most lenders will want to see 18 months employment history
  • A P60 (End of Year Certificate) issued 5th of April annually, this proves how much you have earned during that tax year.
  • Payslips, bank statements and levels of expenditure, balances of loans and credit commitments.
  • A good history of paying your bills on time will certainly be an advantage to any borrower.

Benefits of letting an adviser help you find the right mortgage?
Good mortgage advisers will be qualified and experienced. There is so much information out there to process and using someone highly skilled in this area can be hugely beneficial, it takes the strain out of searching through endless options on the internet, being baffled by the jargon and the sheer number of banks and building societies offering mortgages.
Some brokers charge little or no fee’s (depending on the services offered and your individual circumstances) and choose to get paid by the lender for bringing in the business, saving you even more money.
A good adviser should be able to quickly source a relevant product that fits your needs and budget. They can talk to lenders on your behalf, presenting your application in the best possible light and increase your chances of acceptance. In addition, some lenders will only work with brokers offering intermediary exclusive products, which you would not otherwise have access to if you were to go direct.
Whole of market advisers offer exactly what they say on tin, they can research the market quickly and thoroughly saving you from trawling through every lender one by one leaving behind a trail of failed applications and footprints on your credit score. They have access to the whole of the market (as opposed to one bank or a select few) and the resources to speak to the lender’s underwriters quickly, aiding the speed of applications and allowing them to resolve problems quickly as opposed to waiting days for a call back or an in-branch appointment with a bank.
Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), they are unbiased and a good adviser will usually come by recommendation giving you further peace of mind.
Everystep Financial are fully qualified, whole of market mortgage brokers, with a wealth of knowledge and experience in all types of remortgaging. We are available to visit you at a time convenient to you, in the comfort of your own home. We have offices in Weston-super-Mare and Hanham in Bristol and telephone appointments are also available if you prefer.
Call us to book a free no obligation initial review and let us take the stress out of remortgaging!

Exploring the Benefits and Uses of Lifetime Mortgages

Exploring the Benefits and Uses of Lifetime Mortgages

We are frequently asked about Lifetime Mortgages but are still too often hearing of stories whereby properties are sold when they didn’t need to be due to interest only mortgages ending. Lifetime mortgages can be used in many ways and these will be detailed below…

If you are 55 and over (or have parents that are) please read on….

What is a Lifetime Mortgage?

Lifetime mortgage, a financial product that allows homeowners to access the equity in their homes while maintaining ownership. These have gained popularity in recent years and are now very heavily regulated installing confidence in applicants . This unique financial tool offers various benefits and versatile applications, making it a viable option for those looking to enhance their financial well-being. In this blog, we’ll delve into the advantages of lifetime mortgages and the myriad ways in which they can be used.

Benefits of Lifetime Mortgages:

  1. Financial Flexibility: One of the most significant benefits of a lifetime mortgage is the financial flexibility it provides. Homeowners can receive a lump sum or periodic payments, allowing them to use the funds as needed, whether for essential expenses, home improvements, or even a dream vacation. Rates tend to be fixed for life which means applicants do not need to worry about reviews or changing rates for the period of the loan.
  2. Payment Flexibility: Unlike traditional mortgages, lifetime mortgages do not require monthly repayments. This can be a significant relief for retirees on fixed incomes, as they can access cash without the burden of monthly bills. However the product does allow payments to be made via the overpayment facility (10% of the balance a year) this allows applicants to service the interest should they wish to do so- the biggest benefit of this is protecting the equity in the home. If the interest is serviced each year the loan will not increase. Post interest paying there is scope to repay some of the capital too thus reducing the loan however payments will be capped to 10% of the balance per annum or charges will be incurred. Most products have charges to leave for 10-15 years… after this point the whole loan can be repaid penalty free.
  3. Ownership Retained: With a lifetime mortgage, you continue to own your home. There’s no need to move out or sell the property. The charge is registered just like any standard mortgage. The loan is repaid, along with accrued interest (if not serviced), when you pass away, move into long-term care or repay the loan personally. The loans generally allow you to port the loan to a new property should you wish to downsize at a later day too.
  4. Tax-Free Funds: The money you receive from a lifetime mortgage is typically tax-free, making it a tax-efficient way to access your home’s equity. However may effect benefit income if you are in receipt of.

Uses of Lifetime Mortgages:

  1. Home Improvements: Many homeowners use lifetime mortgages to renovate or make essential repairs to their homes. This not only enhances their living conditions but can also increase the property’s value. Often houses need to be adapted as we age and a Lifetime Mortgage can offer an easy solution to fund these.
  2. Debt Consolidation: Lifetime mortgages can be a useful tool for consolidating high-interest debts, such as credit cards or personal loans. This can lead to reduced monthly financial stress and potentially lower overall interest costs. We see many hitting retirement with debt in place and with a reduced income this can often lead to financial difficulty. Consolidating debt can provide a clean slate for retirement.
  3. Supplement Retirement Income: For retirees, lifetime mortgages can serve as a source of additional income. This can help maintain their standard of living or fund activities they’ve always wanted to pursue during retirement. A lump sum can be taken or a regular income via a flexible drawdown feature. Drawdowns can allow applicants to take a monthly, yearly or adhoc income to suit their needs. Interest will only be accrued on monies drawn.
  4. Gifts or Inheritance: Some individuals use lifetime mortgages to provide financial gifts to family members or to create an inheritance for their loved ones. This allows them to support their family’s financial needs while still enjoying their retirement plus allowing them to see their loved ones enjoy the gifted monies. It is expected the bank of Mum & Dad will contribute to 47% of house purchases for the year 2023 according to research by Legal & general and Lifetime Mortgages can be used for this purpose.
  5. Perhaps one of the most common uses- repaying a current mortgage. Due to failed endowments, poor future planning or being put in an unfortunate circumstance such as a death of a spouse many of the older generation are left with outstanding mortgages with no means to repay them due to standard lending age criteria and income levels. Providing there is enough equity in the home a Lifetime Mortgage can provide the ideal solution.

Using a Lifetime Mortgage To Purchase A Property

In addition to the benefits mentioned above, lifetime mortgages can also be used to purchase a new property. This option allows individuals to downsize, relocate, or even purchase a second home, using the funds unlocked via the lifetime mortgage. Many of the older generation believe they cannot move but are surprised and unaware a Lifetime Mortgage can be used to purchase property. Being able to use a Lifetime Mortgage for purchasing may mean the difference between compromising and buying a dream home in retirement.

Protect Equity by Servicing the Interest

As mentioned earlier, one notable feature of lifetime mortgages is the ability to protect your equity by servicing the interest. While you can choose not to make any interest payments during the lifetime of the loan, making partial or full interest payments can help prevent the interest from accruing and compounding, thus preserving more of your home’s equity for your beneficiaries. If you do not service the interest the loan will grow, compound and reduce the inheritance for your beneficiaries.


Lifetime mortgages offer homeowners a wide range of benefits, from improving their homes to supplementing retirement income. The flexibility and financial freedom these mortgages provide make them an attractive option for those looking to make the most of their home equity. It’s essential to consult with a financial advisor or specialist to determine if a lifetime mortgage is the right fit for your unique financial situation and goals. Please get in contact today for a free no obligation review.

How can I pay off my mortgage early?

Paying off your mortgage early can seem like an impossible task but how nice would it be to actually know that you can cut years off your mortgage term and be mortgage free earlier?
Well, guess what… YOU CAN!!! Its totally do-able with the help of some little insights from our advisers and all without winning the lotto!!
Overpaying – Most lenders allow you to over pay by up to 10% of your mortgage balance per year and by overpaying you can bring the term down significantly, have a look at the following example to give you an idea of how this is possible.
 Based on a loan of £185,000, with an interest rate of 1.83% and a mortgage term of 25 years your monthly payment would be £769.00, if you were to overpay by £100 per month you would save £6,838 in interest alone and bring your mortgage term down by 3 years and 6 months!!
 Reducing your mortgage term – Reducing the mortgage term when you remortgage can be another way, this will mean your monthly re-payments will increase but you are committing to paying off your loan within a lesser term, so this should be expected. There is no fluidity with this option however and should only be entered into if you can afford the repayments long term.
Based on a loan of £185,000, with an interest rate of 1.83% and a mortgage term of 25 years your monthly payment would be £769.00, if you were to reduce your term by 5 years your payments would increase to £921 this is a difference of £152 and you will be mortgage free 5 years earlier.
 Using savings, bonuses or tax refunds – If you can’t commit to a regular monthly amount, why not reduce your mortgage by overpaying when you can with any unexpected income or a portion of your savings, this takes the pressure off trying to find that extra amount every month.
Based on a loan of £185,000, with an interest rate of 1.83% and a mortgage term of 25 years your monthly payment would be £769.00, if you were to make an additional £3000 lump sum payment per year using savings and other unexpected income you would save £13,411 in interest alone and bring your mortgage term down by 7 years!!
 Offset Mortgages – Although these vary from lender to lender the basic underlying principle is simple. Take out a mortgage and at the same time open a linked savings account. You only pay interest on the net difference.
For example, if your mortgage is £200,000 and you have savings of £50,000 then you are only charged interest on the difference of £150,000. Potentially over time this could save you large sums in interest enabling you to pay of the mortgage early.

Buy-to-let Mortgages

What is a buy-to-let property? It’s exactly what it says on the tin…A property which is bought with the sole intention of being used as a rental property for the purpose of income and/or capital growth. Buy-to-let mortgages are one way of funding such a purchase, a loan to buy a property which you plan to rent out to tenants.
Buy-to-let mortgages work just like any other mortgage except lenders use a different method to work out how much they will lend to you. As with any mortgage, lending criteria varies from lender to lender but usually a buy-to-let mortgage is based on the rental income the property will achieve, this is to define if the property is self-funding (can pay for itself). Lenders have different ways they assess the applicants ability to make the mortgage payments, this is called “stress testing” and the calculation varies between the providers. Many lenders now have different calculations based on whether you are a lower or higher rate tax payer or portfolio landlord, with more borrowing leniency shown to lower rate tax payers.
When purchasing a buy-to-let you will most likely need a deposit of 25%. Buy-to-let mortgages are offered on a repayment basis or an interest only basis with a plethora of deals out there to suit your circumstances and help you achieve your buy-to-let goals. Some lenders will often restrict the amount of properties that you can own on a buy-to-let basis however there are lenders that specialise in buy-to-let portfolios, this is a niche market where specialist help and advice should be sought.
Buy-to-let mortgages are deemed to be higher risk than residential mortgages therefore understandably lenders will charge higher interest rates for these types of mortgages, additional costs such as arrangement fees can also be higher on such mortgages.
It should be noted that Buy-to-let mortgages are not regulated by the FCA (financial conduct authority) and are not controlled in the same way that residential mortgages and loans are therefore there are no standards set around how these mortgages are sold, advertised or promoted.

Why choose our advisers for arranging your mortgage and insurances?

  • We are whole of market mortgage advisers and have access to more mortgages and products than are available to you as the customer directly
  • We are fully qualified to find you the right mortgage and are regulated by the FCA
  • Our mortgage advisers have years of experience and have built up reputations that speak for themselves! We are confident we will be able to find you the best option based on your personal circumstances and goals
  • We can save you time, money and hassle…. You’re in good hands!
  • We are always available to talk, evenings, weekends, we will be there to help any time you need it
  • We will liaise with your lender and keep you updated throughout the whole process to keep things as simple, fast and efficient as possible
  • We have a grit determination to help you reach your financial goals whether it be now or future planning
  • We have dedicated contacts within the banks who can help speed and smooth the process
  • Once your mortgage has offered we will arrange suitable protection/ income protection and house insurance to ensure that you are fully covered in the worst case scenario
  • We also work alongside a team of will writers, para-planners and estate agents…. We’ve got something for everyone
  • We actively contact you for your mortgage review- we do not want any of our clients falling onto the variable rate and paying unnecessary interest

So why wouldn’t you choose our brokers? Get in touch today for a free financial review!
PS Take a look at our reviews if you are still not sure.

What happens to my children if I die without a will?

According to the childhood bereavement network around 41,000 children in the UK were bereaved of a parent in 2015, that’s 112 newly bereaved children every day.
There are many child-related issues that keep a parent awake at night, the hunger strikes of a 3 year old, the guilt over him not getting his 5-a-day quota and the endless tantrums that are capable of waking sleeping beauty from her 100 year nap. But actually, the one burning topic in the back of any parents’ head that is all too frequently ignored– writing a Will, and more importantly appointing a guardian.
Most would admit that the thought of having to ‘choose a family member to look after my child in the event of my death’ is enough to make anyone want to hide under the pile of socks to be paired. And it seems they are not alone, more than half of the UK population are guilty of not having a will in place. With that being said, you potentially could unknowingly be putting your children at risk of lengthy court battles, family disputes and potentially even foster care.
The one thing that seems to be holding people back from making a will is the worry that it’ll set you back thousands, reality is that here at Everystep Financial you can make a single Will for just £125.00, meaning that suddenly the thought of a will doesn’t seem quite so scary when you consider the chance element of who could hold the keys to your child’s future and a little one in turmoil.Choosing a Guardian
Choosing a guardian can be an extremely daunting thing to have to think about, with all the questions racing through your mind, and emotions can sometimes cloud your ability to see what is best for your children, and for the guardians. Our experienced team will always encourage you to think about some of the criteria that we see as the most important, in choosing the right guardians for your children.
The emotional, financial and social implications of becoming a guardian should be considered when choosing a guardian.

  • Would the child/children have to move schools or area? – sometimes necessary to give them the quality of life with the correct guardian.
  • Does your child know the guardian well and feel safe and comfortable in their home and amongst their family?
  • Can the guardian support the child/children financially?
  • Crucially – will the guardian bring your children up with a similar moral upbringing as you would.
  • Do they have other children and could they manage adding more children into their home – especially so, a grieving child/children?

So what happens if I don’t have a will?
Dying intestate (without a will in place) means that potentially your estate and your children’s guardian’s will be in the hands of the law, decided by people who know nothing about their personal circumstances. The court will consider the child’s welfare above anything else, the pro’s and con’s will all be considered and ultimately, they will decide upon an arrangement that can meet the physical and emotional needs of each individual child, this decision can take time, meaning that your children could potentially be put into foster care until a decision is made.
There could be times its considered best for a child to live with another family member instead, the child’s wishes will be considered but with this comes the weight of choice dependant on the child’s age and maturity levels. For many a concern that a child will be sent to live with a parent who they’ve had little or no contact with, losing contact with family members who might normally play an important role in their life.
No-one especially the child, needs the stress of a bitter court battle when they are grieving the loss of a parent already, unfortunately in these highly emotional times both sides believe that they are doing what the deceased parent would have wanted, and a child is caught up in the middle of it all.Ensuring the children are taken care of financially
Imagine suddenly having to take on 3 more young children, you know that you could love these children as if they were your own but how would you manage financially? The financial strain could mean that your own children’s lives will no longer be financially sustainable, putting immense pressure and stress on everyone involved.
Ensuring the estate that you leave is in trust and that there is a suitable life insurance policy in place, this will prevent the financial strain becoming an issue, meaning that all your chosen guardians need to be concerned about, is most importantly….the care of your child.
Especially important for unmarried couples with children is putting a will in place, the rules of intestacy mean that your partner will not receive anything from the estate, meaning that any monies could be tied up in trust for your children making it difficult for the surviving parent to give the children the financial stability that they are accustomed to. This could also potentially result in either the partner or children being disinherited further down the line.
Its important to seek the advice of a professional Will writing service to ensure that there are no mistakes, at Everystep Financial we can guide you through the process, giving you clear advice explaining the jargon and leaving you confident that your wishes are in place. We can also help you establish a suitable life insurance product to take care of the finances, knowing you are fully protected should the worst happen means you can get back on with worrying about how many of the five-a-day your toddler has achieved!At Everystep Financial we have a team of dedicated experienced Will Writers to guide you through the process of getting your Will in place.
Prices start from just £125 for a standard Will
Everystep Financial,
6 Ashcombe Road,
BS23 3DY
01934 550046

The importance of a Will

We all know that we should have a Will in place but amazingly still, 2 in 3 people in the UK do not have an up to date Will in place and risk their Estate being distributed and possibly even going to the crown on their demise. Dying intestate (not having a valid Will in place) can mean serious consequences for your Estate.
We face choices every day of our lives. Some choices we make rationally, some we make emotionally. Making a Will should not only be an emotional choice but a rational one as well. You can help control what you leave even after you are gone.
Many people believe that they ‘don’t have anything to leave’ but the reality is that your Will doesn’t just distribute your assets.
Your Will can cover:

  • Who will look after your children
  • Who distributes your Estate
  • What age your beneficiaries will inherit
  • Your funeral wishes
  • A list any specific gifts you wish to leave
  • Trusts to protect certain assets
  • Excluding people that you do not wish to benefit from your Estate

Imagine inheriting large sums of money on your 18th birthday, most young adults are not mature enough to deal with large sums of money at such a young age. Including a trust within a Will ensures that any money or assets they inherit will be put to good use by appointing trustees to manage the Estate until they reach a specified age.
People of all ages die or lose mental capacity every day. Whatever your age, if you have assets such as a house, savings or a business and you also have children or other people who need looking after, good Estate planning is highly recommended, considerations should be given to having a valid Will, Lasting Power of Attorney and even a funeral plan to save your family the worry and expense at such a difficult time.
Leaving these important decisions to the state to decide could mean losing control of the things you have worked hard for and part of the Estate going to the Crown.
If you are in any of the following situations you should have a Will:

  • Married, engaged, living with your partner or in a civil partnership
  • Divorced, separated or widowed
  • Have children or are expecting children, whether with a current partner or not
  • Own a property or more than one property
  • Have specific assets or possessions you would like to go to particular people

9 out of 10 of you will fall into one of the above categories!
What is a Will?

A Will is a legal document detailing what you would like to happen to your assets and guardianship of your children, ensuring that the things you have worked hard for are left for your loved ones, your children are looked after by the people you trust and making sure that your wishes are heard.
Arranging a Will makes sorting your affairs easier for everyone involved, having a Will in place can offer protection and peace of mind to protect the risk of your children being disinherited after your death in the event of your spouse remarrying.

  • Guardianship: In the absence of a Will it would be the Courts/Social Services who decide where your children are best placed, and it might not be with whom you thought would look after and raise your children. By making a Will with Guardians named for your children you can avoid this uncertainty. You should also consider putting in place life insurance to provide for your children in the event of your death. Consider this – it could be very difficult if one day two children turn up on your doorstep expecting to be looked after until they are 18 and there is no money there to fund them!
  • Unmarried Couples: There is no automatic transfer of assets between couples who are cohabiting. Other than jointly owned assets, which would pass to the surviving owner on first death in law, all other assets could pass back to the deceased’s family under intestacy rules. In practicality it is unrealistic to expect your deceased partner’s family to come asking for his/her DVD collection, but a Will formally arranges your affairs after death and avoids problems later.
  • Separated but not yet divorced: A Will should be written in view of the divorce going ahead as there is a possibility in law that, in the event of your death, your assets could pass back to your ex-partner. Although you are separated, even if you split up with them years ago, in the eyes of the law your ex-partner may still be entitled to your Estate after your death. Once your divorce comes into effect, you will need to write a new Will as getting a divorce automatically revokes any previous Wills.
  • If you have been married previously or you don’t trust/like your spouse’s family: You might care to write your Will so that in the event of you both dying together your assets do not end up passing to your spouse’s family. For example, if you were killed in a car crash, in the eyes of the law the eldest person is deemed to have died first. It is, therefore, possible that in their Wills they leave all their assets to their families – you could see your assets momentarily pass to your spouse before passing straight to their family. Is this what you want to happen?
  • To allocate assets between different people: You may wish to leave jewellery to a niece or leave war medals to a grandson. A Will can formalise all these gifts and help prevent family arguments – remember this – family and money rarely mix!
  • A Will can be used to make assets skip a generation: It may be that you feel that your own children are financially successful in their own right. Passing assets to them on your death may be of no benefit and could simply compound their own Inheritance Tax problems later by artificially expanding their Estates. If this is the situation, then why not leave your Estate to benefit your grandchildren, or even great-grandchildren if that is the case.

Trusts are usually set up for one of the following reasons:

  • To hold assets on behalf of a beneficiary until they reach a specified age. Doing so allows for the property or money to be properly managed until the beneficiary is old enough legally to take possession of it, or is at a stage where they are more likely to be financially responsible. Some types of trust allow the beneficiary to receive an income from the property.
  • To provide for your spouse while keeping the Estate intact to be passed to your children.
  • To protect the family home from being sold in order to pay for residential care.

Planning a Will

  • Make a list of the names and addresses of the beneficiaries, executors, trustees and guardians. You should choose people whom you know well and trust.
  • Think about extended family and friends
  • Think about charities you may wish to benefit
  • Consider your funeral wishes
  • Consider how much of your Estate you would like each person or group to inherit
  • Note any particular items, e.g. jewellery and pictures, that you want to give to specific people
  • Note those you don’t want to benefit from your Estate
  • It’s important to store your Will in a safe place such as a safety deposit box or fireproof and waterproof safe
  • It is essential to let your executor(s) know where the Will is stored as it will only be valid if found safe and secure

AdviserWill can offer a fully insured Will storage service where it is stored in our waterproof and fire-rated safe. We will send you and each of the executors a Will Storage Certificate, which means your Will can be readily available when needed.Already have a will?
You should have your Will periodically reviewed professionally, especially if your life situation changes or key people involved need changing.
It is important to remember that a Will is only a snapshot of your current circumstances so having it reviewed will minimise the risk to you and your family, ensuring that your personal wishes are up to date and your Estate can be properly administered and distributed.At Everystep Financial we have a team of dedicated experienced Will Writers to guide you through the process of getting your Will in place.
Prices start from just £125 for a standard Will
Everystep Financial
6 Ashcombe Road
BS23 3DY
01934 550046

Lasting Power of attorney

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a written document that allows someone else to make decisions on your behalf should you lose mental capacity or become incapable to look after yourself. Having a Lasting Power of Attorney lets you decide what kind of decisions are made on your behalf in these circumstances.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney:Property & Financial Affairs lasting power of attorney – This gives your attorney the authority to deal with buying and selling your property, paying your bills, managing your banks accounts and investments. This type of LPA can be used while a person is still capable of handling their own affairs, but has chosen to delegate these tasks to their attorney.Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney – This type of LPA covers decisions about your health, medical care and where you live. It can only be used if that person is incapable of dealing with such matters themselves.
A Lasting Power of Attorney is not valid until it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), who will check to be sure that everything is correct and raise any queries.
Remember, the role of an attorney involves a great deal of power and responsibility, so it is important that you trust the people you choose. Think carefully about whether there is someone who you believe would be able to carry out this role and make decisions in your best interests. Give the person time to think about whether they wish to accept the role of being an attorney, to make sure that they are making the right decision. Your attorney could be a family member, a friend, your spouse, partner or civil partner. Alternatively, they could be a professional, such as a solicitor.