Personal Financial Coronavirus Pandemic Advice
We find ourselves in a very unusual, and certainly historic, time. We may look back on 2020 and remember it almost as if it was wartime globally – even though the spirit is very much of community, collaboration and survival. Still the economic impact of countries around the world being in lockdown for 2, 3, 6, 12 months or possibly more, will be devastating to the economy locally and internationally.
At this time we are advising clients to review their finances, their job or business status, their estate planning, as well as their will and probate arrangements too – especially important if you are in the extremely vulnerable group. While some of these discussions will be understandably difficult we believe it’s best to prepare for the worst – hope for the best. Our team of chartered accountants are able to offer supportive, compassionate advice and always look out for your and your family’s best interests.
It’s unlikely that the effects of this virus and the lockdown that comes along with it will not impact every individual in the UK in some way. On this page we’ve tried to answer some of the most common questions coming into our team at Warr & Co, but please remember everyone will have subtly different circumstances, so please do get in touch if you feel you need tailored advice.
We do have a COVID-19 support page for the self employed, you can find that on this link.
Universal Credit is the UK benefit system which has been opened up to a wider audience as a result of the UK’s coronavirus pandemic response. The government has chosen to use this system to try and quickly get support to individuals, particularly the self employed or those who have lost jobs because of the pandemic, because it has an online structure set up and ready to go.
For most people currently applying the system will be completely new to them, and can be a little confusing. You will need to apply here, and be aware that processing times and payments may be delayed as the system is much busier than usual. You also need to be aware that Universal Credit will likely not provide your usual income or the 80% of your usual income that furloughed staff are receiving. So if you’ve been made redundant since 28th Feb 2020, it’s worth speaking to your employer to see if you can be re-hired and furloughed for the time being.
All of the major banks are now offering mortgage holidays in agreement with the government’s Coronavirus strategy. Whether or not you take one depends entirely on your circumstances. Typically the mortgage holiday will give you a 3 month break from your regular payments – but be aware that you will also need to arrange to pay back this deficit over an agreed time period.
The biggest difficulty with taking a mortgage holiday at this time specifically is that we don’t know how long we will be affected by this lockdown. So, for example, if you’re a business owner who has had to temporarily close and you usually take a high dividend / low salary split, you may be unsure of your working status in three months time and so making a commitment is a big decision.
Please feel free to contact us if you’d like to talk through your personal financial strategy – perhaps a mortgage holiday is the right option for you, or perhaps there are other ways that will be more future proof given your individual circumstances.
For most people, now is a good time to review your estate planning to ensure you’re up to date with the most tax efficient processes. You can find out more about our estate planning services on this page or contact us using the details at the bottom of this page to get started.
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We’re here for you. We are of course experiencing unprecedented levels of contact from our valued clients, but we are working hard to get in touch with everyone as quickly as possible. While we’re operating a skeleton staff in our Manchester and Stockport offices, all other staff are working from home and we are still fully operational. So please contact us via the usual phone numbers and email addresses, or you can complete this contact form.
Call Stockport: 0161 477 6789
Call Manchester: 0161 336 2222
Call London: 0203 174 1436
We’re also looking to keep you up to date as efficiently as possible. We have begun sending important email updates to all clients: