We have a growing number of 60+ investors and many more of this profile still looking to invest, many of whom come to us with the same questions. We can of course answer many of these ourselves, but some fall outside of our remit. We have invited local Charlbury Financial Advisor Robin Algar to help answer some of the most common questions we are being asked by 60+ investors.
1: I’m unlikely to be alive by the time the term of this investment is up! Can I access my capital sooner?
Southill Community Energy: This is a long term term investment and you should not invest capital that you think you will need back within 25 years. However capital payback does start from year 6, and you can leave the shares to your beneficiaries in your will (see below) and they would receive the income and distributions of capital after you have passed away. As stated in the share offer document, you can apply to have your capital released sooner and of course every effort will be made to meet the needs of investors, but this shouldn’t be relied on. Lastly, Ethex.org offer a match-making service to put potential buyers in touch with those wishing to sell.
2. Can I bequeath the capital and if so how does it work in practice?
Robin Algar. Within your will you can make a specific bequest to a named individual, otherwise the shares would form part of your estate and would be dealt with according to the terms of your will e.g. if your will stipulates that you want everything to go to your spouse then the shares would be included in that.
Southill Community Energy: : If you have shares valued at £5,000 or less, and you nominate someone in your will to whom you would like to leave them, Southill Community Energy will transfer the shares to that person. If you have shares that are worth more than £5,000, Southill Community Energy will transfer shares with a total value of £5,000 to your nominee, and your executor will be responsible for dealing with the remainder. Please note that the minimum shareholding is £250, so you cannot leave shares worth less than that to any one individual.
3. Can I appoint a trustee on behalf of my grandchildren? If so, how do I go about doing this?
Robin Algar: You could gift shares to a trust during your lifetime and appoint Trustees to administer the assets within the Trust for named beneficiaries, or classes of beneficiaries, which could include grandchildren. There will be tax implications so you should take advice, and as well as paying for advice there may also be legal fees for setting up and administering a Trust. Trusts are mainly used for mitigating Inheritance Tax, and ring-fencing assets to ensure that they are received by the ‘right people at the right time’. They can also speed up the process of distributing assets because the assets would not form part of the estate and could be distributed to beneficiaries without having to wait for probate to be passed. However, this is the case whatever assets you place in Trust, and shares in SCE wouldn’t really be any different. The important thing is to get advice on whether or not you actually need a trust. There might be be simpler ways of dealing with the problem, especially if the problem is Inheritance Tax (IHT).
4. I’d like to buy some shares on behalf of my grandchildren now rather than buy them for myself, then bequeath. Is this possible?
Robin Algar: You need to be at least 16 to hold shares, so whilst you can buy them on behalf of your grandchildren, you (or the parents) would need to hold on to them until the grandchildren are 16 and the shares can be gifted, or you could place them in Trust as mentioned above.
5. What happens if I haven’t nominated anyone to receive my shares?
Southill Community Energy: If you hold shares worth £5,000 or less, Southill Community Energy will transfer the shares to your next of kin (husband, wife, civil partner, or children, for example). If you do not have any next of kin, or if you hold shares worth more than £5,000, all the shares will be transferred to your executor to deal with. In all circumstances, Southill Community Energy will need to see supporting evidence before transferring any shares.
6. If I pass the shares down as part of my estate, are they subject to inheritance tax?
Robin Algar: Usually a gift needs to be made at least 7 years before death occurs to become entirely free of IHT. However, the accountants have advised that if you buy these shares in your own name, and keep them for 2 years, they can then (under current rules) be left to anyone completely free of Inheritance Tax. After two years you can also give them away, and even if you die within 7 years of that gift, the gift is still free of IHT as long as the recipient still owns the shares at the date of death.
Southill Community Energy: The qualifying exception for Inheritance Tax is under Business Relief for Inheritance Tax. Find out more at the Gov.Uk website and also read the inheritance tax handbook at Communityshares.org.uk. We of course advise all investors to seek independent advice.
7. Any other tax relief I should be aware of?
Southill Community Energy: Yes, the first £1000 of income received from interest payments in all investments is not liable for income tax.
Any more questions? Do visit the investor page on this website to find out more where you will find more information on the financial returns and more general information for families considering investing. Lastly, if you're still looking for reasons to invest, why not dip into the blog where you will find our Investor Stories series.
WITH MANY THANKS TO ROBIN ALGAR DIPPFS CERTS CII (MP & ER) FOR KINDLY SUPPORTING SOUTHILL COMMUNITY ENERGY IN ANSWERING QUESTIONS ON BEHALF OF OUR 60+ INVESTORS.
Lastly, of course, if you can't find your answers here, then please do not hesitate to contact us.