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    Bespoke Support Network Essex

September 29, 2017

Bespoke Support Network Essex Partnering with Winston’s Wish

It’s a little known fact that 75 per cent of parents could be at risk of disinheriting their children after they die, leaving many without parents or an inheritance. This is due to the ‘sideways disinheritance trap’ which allows the person who is left everything in the deceased’s will to alter it.

When a couple decide to write a will, they often leave their assets to the other spouse or partner in the relationship. However, most are unaware that when they die, their partner will have the ability to alter the will and leave the assets and estate to someone who is not their children.

This is a common case when the surviving partner decides to remarry or lives with another partner. However, if the other partner remarries and forgets the old will is cancelled, the new spouse will be entitled to everything anyway under the rules of intestacy.

With 70% of the population yet to make a will and the number of blended families on a rise, it’s important parents are aware that they could potentially be leaving their children without any inheritance.

At Bespoke Support Network, we’re raising awareness of this trap that is causing lots of children to be left without anything if their parents were to pass away. Together with Winston Wish, a charity supporting bereaved children in the UK, we have created the campaign #SupportingWishes to encourage parents to protect their children’s future.

Our campaign is hoping to get parents to put measures into place such as a Will to avoid falling into the ‘disinheritance trap’.

Over the last few months, the pension experts Essex with BSN have been offering completely free advice to British parents encouraging them to start making a will and look into getting life insurance.

We’re also helping to raise donations for Winston’s Wish via our website as well as our own company donations.

If you want to donate to this worthy charity, or take advantage of the services BSN can offer you, get in touch with our team on 0300 303 3441 or email us on



September 22, 2017

Understanding pension auto-enrolment as business owners with Bespoke Support Network Essex

In 2012, the Government introduced the Automatic Enrolment scheme for all kinds of businesses. Despite the introduction of this brand new law, it has only just started affecting to larger companies and so it’s important for small business owners to enrol their staff – otherwise, you can find yourself getting into lots of trouble.

For some employers, this could be the first time you have heard of this pension enrolment scheme. That’s why the Pension experts working at Bespoke Support Network have put together a checklist of how to enrol for small business owners.

Check Who You Need to Enrol – For any staff who don’t want to take part in this pension scheme, they have the option to opt out but you as the employer are responsible to set one up in case. The date your enrolment duties will come into force is based on the total number of employees who were in your PAYE scheme on April 1st, 2012, meaning the more people in the PAYE scheme, the earlier your ‘staging’ date.

● Preparing for The Staging – Once you have found out when your staging date is, the Pensions Regulator will write to you and ask for a primary point of contact. This is where you should carry out a review of your staff and check who needs to be enrolled. You can do this by assessing their age and salary before determining whether you have to automatically enrol any of your staff plus pay regular contributions. If your employees are aged between 22 and the state pension age, earn at least £10,000 a year and work in the UK, they will be eligible to opt-in.

Planning For Paying into Your Pension Scheme – You may need to speak to a financial advisor, payroll manager or accountant to sort out the costs for paying into your pension scheme. Contributions started at a minimum of 1 per cent, but while rise to a minimum of 3 per cent from October 2018 for each individual employee.

Checking Your Staff Records – If you haven’t already, it’s worth investing in payroll software or managers to manage your staff records such as dates of birth, salaries and national insurance numbers, and make sure they are up to date and accurate. It is important that your system is completely compatible with auto-enrolment to save yourself a headache.

Deciding The Best Pension Scheme – Once you have done all the following stages, you can decide on the perfect pension scheme from your staff (if you haven’t already decided). We recommend doing this six months before your staging date. If you are already using a pension provider, make sure to check if you can use them for auto-enrolment.

If you would like to find out more about the Pension Automatic Enrolment scheme, get in touch with Bespoke Support Network. We will put you in touch with our pension experts Essex for more information and advice.

September 15, 2017

Let BSN Help Guide You with Your Pensions

2017 has been quite the year for pension changes. Following on from our recent blogs, Pension Awareness Day was on the 15th of September, so we’ve put together a list of vital information that you should know about your pension scheme:

What Options Are Available to You at Retirement?

Estimating how long your retirement will be can be difficult as none of us know how long we are going to live for. However, you are going to need to bear this in mind when deciding what you’re doing with your retirement savings, they may need to last longer than you think.

Of course, when it comes to retirement, many of us will have multiple sources of income. One being when you reach a certain age, you become eligible for state pension which is a monthly source of income. If you are currently saving into a work pension, you will also receive this. These are all forms of secure income and are guaranteed to last your whole retirement.

However, there are some incomes that you wish to receive but it is not guaranteed to last your whole retirement. Flexible income includes things such as; savings and investments, paid work and any rental property you own.

Which Pension Wrapper Do You Currently Have?

A pension wrapper is a system, that holds investments until you retire and start to claim retirement income. It’s a type of personal pension, with this, it allows you more flexibility with the investments you can choose which means you can manage them yourself. Another option is to pay an investment manager who will make a decision for you based on your circumstances. Please note, it is only recommended that you choose a personal pension if you have large funds to invest or you are already experienced in investing.

What Can We Do?

You’re going to want to prepare as much as possible for your retirement so you are able to live comfortably. There are still many questions that need to be asked, such as: What is the risk exposure to your holdings? Do you have a retirement age set? Is your pension managed?

Get in touch with the Bespoke Support Network today to help you identify the answers to these questions and help you to get the most out of your retirement.

September 14, 2017

Importance of Starting your Pension Young with Bespoke Support Network

For young people, it’s common to look at your pension as not a priority. Considering that retirement is a long way off for them, planning for their retirement can seem unimportant compared to the other financial priorities in their lives, such as saving for their deposit or paying off their student loan. Pair this with a busy social life and spending money on holidays/travelling, starting to save for your pension is definitely not at the front of young people’s mind – but it should be!

After speaking to older generations, the one piece of advice they give to the younger generations of today is; ‘to start saving now and feel the benefits later on.’

The team at Bespoke Support Network also agree with this. It’s important that young people recognise the importance of pension contributions early on in their careers in order to live a comfortable retirement. In fact, they are actually benefits to saving into your pensions early such as:

Tax Relief – Pension contributions are eligible for relief from income tax. If you agree to a salary sacrifice arrangement with your employer (where you agree to a lower salary and your employer will pay the difference into your pension), you will also receive relief on the national insurance. While you may be giving up your wages to gain the tax relief, in the long term you will retain more of your salary for your personal benefit – as opposed to losing it to the government in tax you would otherwise pay.

● Employer Contributions – Employers are now obligated to contribute to company pension schemes, and so should contribute to your pension on your behalf. Their payments will be claimed as an allowable business expense, meaning they can be paid in gross. While the charges associated with company pensions are usually lower than an individual pension, you will receive additional funds you wouldn’t receive otherwise.

Starting Early – Defined contribution schemes are now the main options for pension savings. While they are less generous than the older final salary pension scheme, the later you start saving, the harder it will be to save for a comfortable retirement – so start saving early if you want to be going on luxury cruises every month!

Future of the state pension – As the ageing population in the UK continues to grow, there is an ever-increasing strain on the state pension fund. Experts are forecasting that the fund will run out before young people have the chance to claim their pension. Following this uncertainty, young people cannot rely on the state to provide for them during their retirement, highlighting the importance of saving into a private pension.

Early Retirement – The earlier you start saving, the larger your savings will be and the more flexibility you will have when deciding whether or not to retire. As the state pension age increases; with current 18 years olds having to work until they are 70, you may not be eligible for state benefits when you want to retire. The bigger your pension fund, the younger you can stop working and enjoy your longer retirement.

If you’re looking to get pension advice, call our team on 0300 303 3441.

September 1, 2017

Networking Events In Essex: Benefits for Local Businesses

When someone sends you over an email or gives you a call inviting you to a business networking event, you may be quick to delete the email or hang up the call. But actually, networking can be of benefit to your business, helping you to make connections and build relationships between professionals and customers.

At Bespoke Support Network Essex, we host monthly networking events for local businesses in Essex to meet and start working with our team of professionals. We think it’s important that local businesses meet with experts within finance, the legal sector and marketing in order to benefit their brand. But if you’re still not convinced, here are some of the other benefits of networking as a small business:

  • Connections – At Bespoke Support Network, we have created networking events to bring together small businesses across Essex and London who are interested in improving their businesses through our professionals services. During the event, they will get to sit down and have a chat with our experts, gaining business advice and helpful tips for planning your finances. Even just by attending the event, our team can build meaningful relationships that will last.
  • Opportunities – When there are a group of business owners together, this presents the option for opportunities to arise. Whether it’s joint ventures, client leads, partnerships, speaking and writing opportunities – or even sales, networking gives local businesses lots of opportunities to sell themselves.
  • Awareness – As a local business, it can be hard to get your name out there but networking gives you the opportunity to hand out some of your business cards and make relationships. If you’re regularly attending events, you will build up a reputation as a knowledgeable, reliable and supportive business.

So whether you’re looking to join our network of experts or find the right professionals to aid your business, it’s time to take the jump and RSVP to our next networking event in Chelmsford on 28th September.

To RSVP your interest in our events, feel free to call our team on 0300 303 3441 or email for more information.

August 24, 2017

When to Seek Financial Advice with Bespoke Support Network Essex

A good financial advisor can help you through difficult financial times as well as making sure you make the more suitable financial choices for your future. However, it can be hard to determine whether a situation seems worthy enough to seek the help of financial planning.

With the world of finance constantly changing, there are new opportunities and rules that will help you save money like increases in ISA limits, meaning you can save more money tax-free. Other changes to inheritance tax mean you will be able to leave more money to your children and grandchildren for the future.

While this gives many new, exciting opportunities to save money, it also gives more chances for making mistakes which could be costly and irreversible for your finances. This is the perfect reason to get in touch with a financial advisor and start discussing financial planning.

So in what circumstances should you get financial advice?

  • Pensions – The pension market is extremely difficult to comprehend and so the chances of you making a mistake is huge. Your pension is a huge asset to your future finances and therefore needs to be planned very carefully in order to make sure you can retire while maintaining the lifestyle you are used to. So whether you’re just starting out in your working life, or you’re getting close to retirement age and have accumulated a number of company pensions along the way, a financial advisor can help you manage your assets to make sure they meet your objectives when the time comes.
  • Investments – Say you have received a lump sum of inheritance, or are planning on generating some income prior to your retirement, you will need a good financial advisor to question you about your goals and ambitions. They will be able to provide you with the relevant solutions to achieving these goals. They should also inform you of the risks associated to making the investment and work with you to create an investment package should you need it.
  • Life Insurance – Most life insurance products are relatively easy to understand, however there are some that are complicated. If your particular circumstances and finances are not as straightforward as you would hope, you should get advice from an advisor. They will ask you about your goals and find out what your financial situation is like. Once the advisor knows about your situation, they will be able to guide you to the right solution.
  • Tax Planning – For high earners, tax planning is invaluable in minimizing the impact of Inheritance Tax, dealing with tax on a second property or helping self-employed to manage their taxes.

Are you in need of a financial advisor? The team at Bespoke Support Network have a database of thousands of trusted financial advisors throughout the South East. With experts providing business advice Essex to qualified will writers, we have professionals for every aspect of individual and business finance and legal practice.

August 21, 2017

The Importance of Life Insurance

Facts and figures:

Are you aware that right now, Britain is facing a deficit of 5 trillion pounds? The reason? People are taking endless amounts of loans out and not repaying their debt. Instead of allowing your family to be left in such a situation, it is important to cover yourself and your loved ones for when you do pass.

One of the main concerns you will need to sort out is making sure your life insurance is put into a trust. Without doing so, you could end up paying the tax man 40% of your savings. You shouldn’t pay the premium of losing 40% of your hard saved money, without even touching it!

With one in four people not having any type of life insurance, it means 8.5 million people in the UK are risking their families having to payout £31,000 should a family member die.

It’s importance:

Keeping your family financially stable is another important reason for life insurance. For example, covering education costs could allow a family member to achieve their dream of working in a particular job, or even add security to paying off those university debts.

Of course, life insurance also covers any additional costs you may need. Along with the added stress and emotions your family already have, the cost of funerals can amount to thousands of pounds. Do the right thing to avoid having this shadowed over your families heads, and look into getting life insurance.

Funding a home is one of the hardest things to do. The last thing you want is your loved ones having to sell their home because they can no longer afford to live there. Talk to one of our team members today to ensure this never happens to your family.

With life insurance, you choose the amount of cover you will need, how long you need it for and how you pay it, making it completely personal to you! In return your family will have the reassurance they need, knowing that if you sadly pass while covered by the policy, they would receive a cash sum pay out if a valid claim were made.

Speak to the experts: 

Start putting towards the protection of your family today, by taking out a life insurance policy. Unsure of where to start and what all this means? We are here to help. Contact Bespoke Support Network today and we can advise you on the best possible solutions for you and your loved ones.

Here at BSN we have partnerships with hundreds of experts in the finance industry, including qualified and trusted insurance brokers and advisors.

Get in touch with the team on 0300 303 3441

August 11, 2017

Business Networking Events: What are the benefits of attending?

For some, the words ‘networking event’ can provoke feelings of dread! Whether you hate meaningless small talk or you have attended one too many boring events, business owners can sometimes begin to wonder whether there is any point in attending them.

For most business, networking is actually the key to success and can lead to a number of exciting opportunities.

At Bespoke Support Network, we’re all about making connections and building relationships between our professionals and customers. That’s why we regularly set up events for them to meet and start working together, whether you are looking to become part of our network of experts or find the professional that’s right for you.

Here are some of the benefits of attending networking events

  • Building meaningful relationships – At Bespoke Support Network, we have created network events to bring together small businesses across Essex and London and professionals within finance, law, marketing and admin from our network. We had a full house attending our small event, all of the attendees who were interested in improving their businesses through our professionals services. Even by just attending the event, we were able to help the businesses and our team build meaningful relationships that will last.
  • Staying up-to-date with current trends – Surrounded by our experts, small businesses benefited from finding out about any legal or financial procedures that may be affecting them in years to come. Not only could they prepare for these changes but our professionals could offer advice to help them stay ahead of the curve.
  • Connect with target audiences – If you’re a business looking to find out about your target audience, what better way than attending an event with marketing experts? Granted you cannot guarantee this service at every networking event, but with Bespoke Support Network we offer the support of marketing agencies to help small businesses raise their awareness.
  • Get fresh ideas and solutions for your business – As a business, you may be struggling for brand new ideas. If you are stuck for brilliant ideas, why not come to a place where there are numerous businesses to bounce off of? Not only can you obtain these brand new ideas but you will gain feedback on your existing ideas with businesses who may have already tackled these challenges.

The Bespoke Support Network are hosting a unique networking event in Barista, Chelmsford, offering professional advice to small business in Essex. With everything from solicitors and financial advisors on hand to help, you can find the right professionals to assist your business.

To register your interest in our next event on 27th September, call our team on 0300 303 3441 or email

August 8, 2017

How Wills Can be Affected with a Rise in Dementia

Currently, 850,000 people in the UK are living with dementia and with life expectancy constantly increasing, it’s important now more than ever to consider wills and estate planning. The Bespoke Support Network have taken a moment to inform our readers of the reasons as to why creating a plan should be at the top of your to do list.

Protecting a Loved One

Of course, addressing the mental capacity of a loved one can be a stressful and emotional time for everyone involved. However, it’s a subject that needs to be addressed, if not, then it can lead to disputes in the courts as well as family members.

Unfortunately, all stages of dementia are progressive. The chemistry and structure of the brain over time becomes increasingly damaged and it begins to limit ones’ memory, communication and ability to reason.

If a loved one has passed and you or your relatives have a dispute over the decisions made in a will, it can be difficult to prove that the deceased member was not in the right mental capacity.

What to do

There are precautions you can take when drafting a will in order to prove ones’ mental capacity.

Capacity is considered an essential when creating a will. It is best to have written confirmation, which can be used as evidence, to prove that you are mentally intact to avoid disputes in the future.

To be extra cautious, you may want to obtain an external opinion. This opinion is best to be that of a medical professional or one of legal authority. This may be beneficial to you as having a second opinion will confirm your wishes and anyone that chooses to dispute must go through the chosen external approval.

The way you handle this situation is also essential, we understand that this is a sensitive issue, especially for those directly involved. One way you can handle this situation is by explaining the potential consequences that may incur if you fail to provide proof of capacity, these consequences can be costly to you and your family.

If you would more information on wills and estate planning, or would like to enquire about any other services the Bespoke Support Network offers, get in touch today on 0300 303 3441.

August 3, 2017

It’s National Son’s and Daughter’s Day on the 11th August, Protect Your Children from Sideways Disinheritance.

National Son’s and Daughter’s Day: a time to celebrate the love for your children and the time you enjoy spending with them on a day to day basis.

It’s these celebrations that highlight the importance of putting measurements into place, should the unthinkable occur.

Studies have shown that nearly 60% of adults in the UK are yet to write a will, which considering the implications, is frightening. Having no will or an outdated document can have a serious impact on your family and more importantly, your children.

Could you imagine in the event of your death that your children end up with nothing from your estate?

This is called the Sideways Disinheritance Trap, which is something you should be aware of, especially if you have remarried. There are a number of families in the UK that are defined as ‘blended families’ where both parents might not be their birth parents. This could cause problems should you leave your estate to your partner, and they then remarry after your death leaving their estate to their new partner. Your children would then be disinherited.

The question is, how do you prevent your children from being disinherited?

First things first, it’s important to draft a new will once you have remarried. This will avoid any situation where you disinherit your children. It also gives you a chance to tweak certain things and help to protect your new spouse or partner.

Another way to protect your children, would be to leave your assets in a trust. A Life Interest Trust for example, will hold your assets until you pass. You can name someone to be your ‘Life Tennant’ who will be able to live in your property and gain any income generated by your assets. Once they pass, your estate will be passed down to your children.

One other option would be to create Mirror Wills. These are identical to your partner’s, therefore no matter who passes away first, your intentions will match each other’s.

If you are concerned as to whether your children will be protected in the event of your death, then Bespoke Support Network can help. We put you in touch with trusted professionals that will provide you with the service and guidance you need. Get in touch with our team by calling 0300 303 3441 today.