Archives for 2013

Making a will – key considerations

When thinking about making a will there are some key considerations that you need to make.

First you need to consider how you would like to divide up your estate. Consider all the people who currently depend on you, both in and outside of your family, this way you won’t miss out people who are important to you.

Secondly, if you have children, you will need to consider how you would like them to be cared for you if you were not around. This includes financially, where they live, and what education they get.

If your children are older you may want to consider what kind of financial support they will need, and which of your assets they have particular attachments to.

Writing a Will

A will isn’t just about money however; it also includes your wishes regarding funeral arrangements and general property.

Once you have decided what to put in your will you will have to appoint an executor who will be in charge of distributing your estate according to your will once you have passed away.

It is always best to go to a solicitor firm or legal company when writing a will as often hand-written wills are contested or there is no proof that they were not written under duress.

This is why you should always seek professional advice before making a will as it is the only way to ensure that your wishes are carried out after your passing.

Other things to think about:

Should you ever become incapable of conveying your wishes, whether it is due to an illness or an accident, then it is important to consider appointing a power of attorney who will be legally allowed to act on your behalf.

A lasting power of attorney will be able to make decisions on your behalf regarding both your finances and your health care, which means you really need to think about who you want to hold this position.

Although most people assume they will never be in a situation where a power of attorney will be necessary, it is important to plan for the ‘just in case’ situations.

If a power of attorney is not appointed, until the time of your death, money cannot be retrieved from your personal bank accounts, which means you would not be able to financially support your family, even if you are financially capable of doing so.

Vans or Pick-ups? What’s Best for Commercial Use?

Choosing a vehicle for business use is very important, especially when you need to get something to carry out specific tasks. While cost will naturally be a consideration, it is equally important to ensure the vehicle is able to perform the functions expected of it.

Whether you are looking for a small independent company or a larger firm, the basic requirements remain the same. You’ll need to pick a vehicle that is fit for purpose, along with a reliability that means it will remain on the road with few or no problems.


Vans, particularly transit-style vehicles are incredibly popular in the UK and used by many in building and other manual trades.

One of the advantages of a van is that it is securely lockable and a way to store equipment and tools relatively safely. The vehicle features an integrated design which sees the cabin and storage area set out as a single unit separated by an internal partition.

Whilst the enclosed storage area is highly practical with regards to weather protection, it does make loading the vehicle troublesome at times – especially for those dealing with awkwardly shaped items.

The interior cabin of a van is usually extremely sparse too, with little consideration given to driver and passenger comfort. Performance credentials are usually fairly good but will largely depend on the type and size of the van.

Pick-up trucks

A pickup truck is basically a light vehicle designed for the commercial sector which combines practicality with comfort. The vehicle includes a front cabin which, depending on the model of truck can offer a slightly more ‘luxurious’ driving experience than a van.

Its unique design features an open-top rear area or ‘bed’ which is ideal for the transportation of materials or tools. This is generally separated from the cab itself and provides great flexibility when it comes to load capacities.

The standard of comfort in a pick-up truck can, if you manage to find the right kind of vehicle, far exceed that of a comparable van. Some are offered with leather interiors, heated seats and even additional equipment such as Bluetooth hands-free mobile phone connectivity. This is a great development for the commercial vehicle market and ensures businesses are able to find vehicles with appropriate levels of comfort and practicality.

Pick-up trucks are often built to last in a number of testing conditions. Rust-proofed chassis with galvanised body panels on certain makes and models means that they can withstand the odd bump and knock, along with all sorts of weathering.

Choosing a business vehicle

Ultimately the choice between buying a van or a pick-up truck comes down to the type of work you need it for. There are advantages to both but you need to weigh up your options. Ultimately, for building and construction work a pick-up truck will be the superior choice because of the ease of use, it’s strong and robust build and the comfort it can provide.

How Does Life Cover Insurance Work?

Life cover insurance guarantees that, in case you pass away, your mortgage will be repaid and your family will be able to continue living in your house. Put simply, life cover pays a death benefit to your beneficiaries, if you pass away within the set term, which usually matches the length of your mortgage. However, if you survive the term, your dependants are not entitled to the death benefit.

To be provided with life cover insurance, you need to pay a fixed monthly premium to your insurance company, which, in return, is committed to pay a specified death benefit to your beneficiaries in the event you pass away within the term of the policy. The death benefit allows your family to anticipate the sudden loss of income and cover their living expenses adequately.

Types of life cover insurance

Life cover insurance can take two forms: as mortgage protection – also known as the decreasing term insurance policy and as life insurance – also known as the level term insurance policy.

The decreasing term insurance is a type of mortgage life cover suitable for homeowners who struggle with a repayment mortgage. As the years go by, the loan balance gets lower and the total amount of your insurance decreases as much as your mortgage. At this point, it may be a good option to purchase mortgage life cover. As time passes by, your mortgage amount decreases and, therefore, if you pass away, your dependants will have to pay less money on the remaining mortgage.

Level term insurance is a type of life cover that provides consistent coverage during a certain period of time, usually 1 to 30 years, at a fixed face value. Level term insurance has a fixed rate during the coverage period and does not build any cash value. The only possibility for the rate to be increased is if the probability of the policyholders’ sudden death rises.

How to select life cover insurance

Before selecting life cover insurance, you need to take into account several factors:
• What does life cover insurance include?
• Is life cover insurance beneficial to me and my family?
• How much will the death benefit be if I pass away?
• What is the fixed monthly premium for my case?
• What happens if I miss out on a payment?

Once you have answered all above questions, then you need to proceed with a second round of factors that address the insurer’s credibility:
• How renowned are they?
• Who underwrites them?
• Are they reliable enough to be around in the next twenty or thirty years to actually pay out the death benefit to my family?

Before choosing your insurer, make sure to shop around and approach at least five different insurance companies to get the greater picture of the different life insurance plans and options available to you, and then compare each plan using the above questions.

Why you need to insure your mortgage

The main reason why you need to purchase a life cover for your mortgage is because you need to protect the current level of your debt. This means that, as your mortgage decreases, so does your insurance and it will reach a point that your mortgage won’t be protected anymore. In the event of a sudden loss of income, your family will be unprotected. Therefore, it makes financial sense to purchase life cover for your mortgage so that you offer an extra protection to your family in case something happens to you, but also to have a level of coverage that you can afford paying while alive.

Your family is the most important capital to protect and your goal is to prepare them to deal with any financial emergency. The best you can do is start making all the necessary provisions today so that, in case you are not suddenly around, they are able to continue their mortgage payments and live in your house.

The background of a finance journalist who writes about the insurance services has helped Terry McBrearty compile particularly useful and factual overviews of the plans and products provided by big companies like Aegon . Read more of his articles and overviews on . is owned by Mediamash (NI) Limited, who are an Introducer Appointed Representative of Seopa Ltd. The quote system is owned and operated by Seopa Ltd, who are authorised and regulated by the FCA, number 313860. You can view our registration at We do not give financial advice on this website. If in doubt get professional advice and always read the policy information before purchasing an insurance contract.