Although the suitable investment of an award of damages can help to meet many material future needs that might occur as a result of personal injury, sometimes the greatest asset of all is the support of one or more family members.
Ensuring that this support can remain in place, and having a plan to replace it if it stops for any reason, is an important element when undertaking financial planning.
There are a number of ways we can help to achieve this.
For example, a family member (typically a parent, partner or child) might need to give up work in order to care for their loved one, thus losing an income from a wage or salary.
By way of recompense for the care provided and in recognition of the financial sacrifice being made, it is possible to make gratuitous payments out of the award of damages to the family member.
Importantly, we can help to ensure that these payments are made without the deduction of income tax or National Insurance, as well as best making sure that they do not fall foul of Inheritance Tax (IHT) rules.
Whether or not gratuitous payments are made to family members in respect of the care that they provide, the equivalent cost of having the care provided on a commercial basis (i.e. by professional carers) is likely to be significantly higher. In other words, if the family member is no longer able to continue acting as carer, the award of damages will need to meet additional costs in order to maintain the same level of support.
One of the greatest risks is the death, or long-term illness, of a family member, meaning that they are no longer able to provide care.
It is possible to mitigate this risk, to an extent, by putting into place suitable life assurance. Such cover would act as a financial ‘security net’, which would help to provide immediate and ongoing replacement care and support.
Whilst no amount of money can compensate for such tragic circumstances, ensuring that care needs continue to be met is still of the utmost importance.
As well as ensuring that future insurance needs are met, it is also always prudent to assess whether any latent benefit is available under any existing policies. We have, on many occasions, managed to secure a payout from an existing insurance policy that would otherwise have been overlooked.
Finding the right person to make your investment decisions, was important for my peace of mind. For me, it was more than the performance of the funds, but trusting the person that was pulling the strings. At PFP I felt that I had a team, all working together in order to meet my expectations. From the first phone call I made, to my last meeting. I had complete confidence in their ability to advise me, on how best to manage my portfolio.
Following an accident in November 2007 I was introduced to Ian Rowe from PFP approximately 6 months later. Since then PFP have been able to offer first-class advice on how to set up a personal injury trust, and then manage it over the coming years.
The advice has always been easy to understand, logical and entirely appropriate to levels of risk etc. Investments have been presented in a clear and concise manner, review documentation easy to understand and digest, and any changes necessary provided in a timely fashion.
I would have no hesitation in recommending the services of PFP to anyone if they are faced with a situation similar to mine.
Ian Gunn and his team at PFP have been looking after our daughter's investments since 2006. In that time, the services provided to us have been excellent. We have received a comprehensive, professional and honest service with a helpful, personal, friendly touch.
There would be no hesitation, from us, in recommending PFP to anyone who is looking for expert advice and guidance, who are in the same situation as us.
When our son age 9 was involved in an RTA in August 2001, he was awarded compensation for injuries sustained. We knew this money was required long term and had to work for him. We were introduced to PFP and Richard Cropper by our Solicitor and what a great recommendation it was. Richard has worked tirelessly for our son and his fund has grown, which has enabled him to be independent.
We are always kept up to date on the progress and changes if required and an annual review where Richard comes to us. All the staff at PFP are very knowledgeable and sensitive in all areas and we would have no reservation in recommending Richard and the rest of the company. They feel like an extension of our family.
Since my daughter was awarded a Personal Injury Payment over ten years ago, Richard Cropper and his team at PFP have helped and guided us to ensure her assets are wisely invested to ensure the money she will need to pay for the care she will require for the rest of her life is safeguarded. In spite of the vicissitudes and uncertainties of the times we live in - and a hitherto unknown instability of the financial sector, Richard has done a magnificent job.
I feel, after over a decade of sure advice, that our choice of adviser could not have been better and hope our working relationship continues for many years to come. I would not hesitate to recommend Richard (and his team) to anyone who is searching for a financial adviser with an extensive knowledge of personal injury, the future needs of that individual and whose integrity and honesty is without question. He is also - (and this is terribly important to anyone who is struggling with the complexities of the financial markets and the driving need to care for their loved one) - very approachable and friendly. He makes my life better and eases my worries with kindness and compassion - without making me feel I am asking daft questions (and I ask quite a lot ...).
Richard is ace!
For the last fifteen years PFP have been advising us as trustees about our son's medical negligence award. Not only this, but they have also assisted us greatly on any benefits and allowances that our son can claim. Without exception we have always been treated with the best possible care.
I have been with PFP for 10 years and their advice and knowledge has been invaluable.
They regularly provide updates and have always been available to answer any queries or to explain options within my portfolio. As I find it difficult to travel Mr Cropper comes to visit me at home on a yearly basis. I would recommend PFP to anyone in need of help with their financial planning.
We have known Ian Rowe for nine years, he has always dealt with us with care and attention. Ian is always very professional. He is always one step ahead regarding our investments and his forecast is spot on. Ian is very good at listening to our needs for this year and for the long term. He makes great decisions regarding our investments.
Personal Financial Planning has provided financial support and understanding over the past few years for my husband’s injury trust. They have at all times provided a comprehensive and holistic approach to his needs, been mindful of his limitations, and worked within his capabilities of understanding. The whole team at PFP are always friendly, helpful and knowledgeable, and provide a service that is accessible and supportive. Ian in particular has always taken time and shown patience in making sure we both fully understand exactly the financial aspects and implications of any advice being given, whilst making sure any recommendation is relevant, clear and concise. I would highly recommend the financial service they provide.
I am my son’s Advocate, Mum and Carer. I organised his activities, timetable and daily living. Myself and my late husband have tried to obtain the appropriate care and support throughout his life.
Due to changes in the Social Services Department in Derbyshire four and a half years ago, when they withdrew his entitlement of 12 hours per week direct payments, saying he no longer fitted their criteria, two years ago we were put in contact with Joanne Moores (Welfare and Benefit Advisor) through my son’s Financial Adviser, Ian Gunn.
Joanne came to our home and advised us to contact Derbyshire Social Services and ask for a re-assessment. Joanne gave us confidence and support to start this process again. Her role was invaluable, taking over the appointments, liaising directly with the social workers and managers at Derbyshire, arranging the meetings, coming to our home, there are lots of things that Joanne has helped with to improve my son’s life.
Joanne has reduced the Community Tax drastically with exceptions we were unaware of.
Joanne handled the re-assessment of our son, dealing directly with Social Services. She gained the re-instatement of his Care Plan, a weekly amount of £224 back dated for 12 months. Supported us throughout this period taking a lot of stress out of the situation. She also checked that my son was receiving the right benefits e.g. (DLA, Mobility etc.).
I know that also in the future if there are any changes in the Law I can call on her expertise.
Joanne has an empathy with the clients and a knowledge of disabilities which proves exceptional in her role.
I needed an injury specialist Independent Financial Advisor/consultant. Nothing anywhere explained what to do, what there was and how they can help you. So many websites and companies, no references or guidance. PFP was recommended by my solicitors. I was frightened of putting my money somewhere that it shouldn't be and risk losing it, I needed someone to listen, give reassurance, respect, confidentiality and support.
Ian Rowe went through the process, my questions and options. It was all so daunting. The main thing was that I was advised to open a personal injury trust for the money to be protected straight away from means tested benefits.
We discussed what happens, my needs for the future options of funding, investments, stocks and shares, financial levels of risk, short and long term goals, the benefit system, wills and more. A portfolio was set up covering everything.
I have annual reviews to discuss and show where my money is, income, expenses, costs and a running total, followed by a plan for the next year and more, dependent on my needs and any changes. Ian has been thorough, honest, gained my trust and respect.
I have been with the company now for over 7 years and would recommend them to anyone who has a personal injury claim and awaiting compensation that needs to be put somewhere safe. They are there to protect you and your money.
From the time our Daughter received her damages award we have consulted PFP on all financial matters. We have been extremely pleased by the courteous, and professional advice provided by Ian Gunn and his team. Whatever the query we have found them very approachable always receiving a personal service in return, and we would have no hesitation in recommending them to other parties.