1. I am concerned about the value of my Investment ISA’s & Pension funds
Your worry & concerns are understandable and although I am confident we will pass through this unusual period, you have to remember the reasons why you invested in the first place and remind yourself that through the planning you have previously done, the falls and rises in the markets will always be there and this period is no different. Be patient, don’t look at the values every day, as you will see quick rises and get excited and then see quick drops and pull your hair out!
2. Should I take a Mortgage Payment Holiday?
According to UK Finance, the Banking Industry Trade Body, one in seven mortgage holders have now taken a payment holiday. You can take a payment holiday currently for up to 3 months to help with your finances if you are struggling. Should you do it? -If your mortgage finances are under a big strain due to the current crisis then the first thing you should do is speak with your lender. Always remember that the missed payments will still have to be paid and if help is needed you should take it.
3. My Property Insurance is due for renewal, will there be a problem?
We arrange a lot of both residential and commercial insurances and there should be no problems with renewing your residential insurance, but you should always inform your insurer if you feel you need to makes changes, such as your property is empty as you are self-isolating somewhere else.
For commercial premises that may be closed due to the Covid-19 crisis, then it is important the insurer is informed at renewal and they will no doubt ask. Unfortunately some insurers are increasing premiums due to the unoccupied risk, but you should expect a reduction when the property is trading again.
4. Can I still write a Will or LPA (Lasting Power of Attorney)?
We have processes in place to be able to remotely take instructions and process to draft stage and eventual printing.
Unfortunately, the legal requirements for signing wills are very strict and set out by law, which means they cannot be relaxed even in these unusual circumstances. This means there must still be two independent witnesses who are physically in the presence of the testator when they sign. For the avoidance of doubt, video witnessing of wills is not allowed, and a will would not be valid if signed in this way. Therefore please contact us for guidance.
5. Can I still remortgage, raise finance or move house?
Very similar to the credit crunch in 2008/09 we have seen a sudden change in products and processes by lenders, some quite harsh but possibly necessary under current circumstances. Although in the last week or two we have seen a relaxation in some criteria. One of the main issues was the valuations departments and the physical difficulty of doing so, but this has also been relaxed with lenders now doing more desktop valuations. Remortgages are available if required and additional lending from existing lenders is also still available.
The actual process of finding a new home, putting in an offer and purchasing is almost impossible, but is still happening in some instances.
6. Can I chat to you about my worries and concerns or plans going forward?
Yes most definitely, please don’t hesitate to telephone or email and we can discuss, and if needed we can Zoom, which we are still getting used to!
Financial Planning as I am sure you know is very personal and always suited to your individual circumstances and the above may not even apply to you, but whatever your concern please don’t let the current situation stop you contacting us.
As many of us adjust to the new normal and hope for a speedy end to the crisis, it is more important than ever to look after ourselves. Part of that involves getting good quality time outdoors, and Spring is the perfect time to do just that. The health benefits of gardening and even walking, for instance, are substantial: from calorie burn to lowering blood pressure, you’ll also get plenty of vitamin D from the sun and feel less stressed.
Financial news has been dominated by the crisis and the Government’s reaction to it. With events changing almost daily it’s almost impossible to pick one figure that won’t be out of date within a matter of days. What we can say for sure is that the word ‘unprecedented’ continues to appear in headlines, and it seems we’ve all suddenly become aware of the word ‘furlough’.
We hope you found the above of benefit, and remember to stay safe.