Financial Planning in Divorce
The finances of both parties are usually changed dramatically upon divorce and financial advice is often required in dealing with such things as pensions, protecting maintenance payments, income post divorce and investing financial assets.
This is often an emotionally difficult time, which makes financial decision making even more difficult. Engaging a Financial Adviser can help in making the right financial decisions.
What is an Accredited IFA?
- Independent (ie not tied to a bank or insurance company) and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
- Fee based – ie not relying on the sale of financial products for commission.
- Professionally qualified, to CII Diploma or above.
- Chartered and Certified Financial Planners
- Qualification range includes
- CII Advanced Diploma (G60) Pensions
- CII Advanced Diploma Taxation and Trusts
- CII Advanced Diploma Investment and Portfolio Management
- Pension Transfer Specialist
- Resolution IFAs
- Have at least three years’ post qualification client facing experience.
- Undertake at least 200 hours per annum of family law financial planning.
- Have completed at least 50 hours of specific family law training.
- Have passed Resolution’s written and invigilated examination.
The above demonstrates a serious commitment to and full understanding of the financial planning matters in family law.
What do Accredited IFAs do?
First and foremost we are professional financial planners qualified in a broad range of financial planning matters including pensions, investments, savings and personal protection insurance (life assurance, sickness insurance etc).
When involved in family law matters these skills can be utilised:
- As an “expert witness”, providing factual information (rather than advice) to parties either individually or jointly about all aspects of financial planning.
- To review and comment on existing financial arrangements and identify possible problems or opportunities. For example, valuable protection insurance or special pension arrangements such as guaranteed annuities that should be maintained.
- To ask questions and gather data. Years of experience of dealing with clients and financial institutions provide the knowledge of what questions to ask in order to get the right answers. Insurance companies are notorious at being economical with the truth and will rarely volunteer information that might be in clients’ interest without prompting.
- To interpret and analyse information such as investment reports, CETVs and actuarial valuations.
Beyond the family law process, we can provide ongoing financial planning advice to individual clients, using cash-flow forecasting and analysis in their new financial circumstances.
When should I call on an Accredited IFA?
As early as possible. As a professional adviser, it should be possible in the early stages to quickly identify which, if any of the adviser’s skills can be best utilised. Sometimes a brief telephone call with the solicitor(s) can identify whether or not an initial meeting is necessary. Sometimes it will be appropriate for us to help identify the potential problems and opportunities in the early stages, while in others it will be necessary to be involved only towards the end of the process.
The important message is that opening a dialogue early between the solicitors and the IFA may save a huge amount of time and money later.
How much will an Accredited IFA cost?
As with any professional service, our aim is to “add value” and ultimately save clients’ time and money. In all cases, the service is “advice-led” rather than reliant on product sales and you and your clients can be assured that fees charged are always agreed in advance and are fair and reasonable.
Our charges are determined by the type of advice, as follows:
- All initial advice is provided on a time costed (£ per hour) fee. This includes acting as an expert witness; fact gathering, research, reports & recommendations, implementation, administrative services and ongoing financial planning advice.
- A percentage fee based on funds under management.
A fee range estimate can be provided at outset.
We have no interest in commissions. Occasionally providers will offer commission payments and where these are available and it is in the best interests of the client we can use some or all of these to offset against our professional fees.