Posted by The Team at Brand Financial Training on May 14, 2019 in Newsletter Last updated on September 25th, 2019 at 4:15 am
14 May 2019
We work with many companies providing learning resources for their employees to help get them through their CII exams. Is your company one of them? If not, do suggest they get in touch with Catriona at to discuss how we can work with them to benefit you! A few of the options available can be found here.
Don’t forget that whilst we are now in tax year 19/20, the CII examine tax year 18/19 until 31 August 2019. Please don’t get tripped up!
The Team at Brand Financial Training
Deeds of Variation vs Disclaimers in Post-Death Planning
Both deeds of variation and disclaimers can be used to vary or redirect assets from a deceased’s person’s estate. Read on to learn more as you revise for your CII AF1, AF5, J02 or R06 exam.
Here are a few reasons why varying or redirecting assets might be a desirable thing to do:
To provide for someone who has not been included in a will or who has not been sufficiently provided for
To save IHT
To make changes to gifts that were made in a will
To make changes to how property is owned – from joint tenants to tenants in common
Let’s look at both options:
Deeds of Variation
A deed of variation is a document which allows the beneficiaries of someone’s estate to change the deceased’s will up to 2 years after they’ve died; although, it’s not just a will that can be re-written; the laws of intestacy where someone has died without a will can also be changed.
Imagine that June has died having left her estate to her son Max. Max is already concerned about his own Inheritance tax problems so decides to put in place a deed of variation to redirect his inheritance to his own children. Using a deed of variation ensures that Max isn’t treated as having made a gift himself to his children (and therefore avoids the usual need to survive 7 years) and also avoids worsening his own IHT situation.
How to Avoid Distractions and Stay Focused on Exam Revision
If you find it hard to keep your nose in your text book and are tempted by every little ping of the mobile phone, use these three strategies to minimise distractions and maintain focus on the task at hand.
We hope you found last month’s blog about setting up a study space useful, and that you’re now happily ensconced in a work area that, well, works for you, and encourages consistent productivity.
This month, we look at how to go a step further and minimise distractions for optimal revision. And while it’s true that, these days, distractions – especially those of the digital variety – are manifold, the good news is that there is a lot you can do to reduce the impact on your ability to sustain focused concentration.
Let people know you’re working
It may sound obvious, but be firm with those around you. Tell family and friends when you really do need to work, and be strict with yourself when it comes to social engagements, organising them for after exams or around your breaks. Of course you need family time, not least if you have young children, but ring-fence your work time, too, whether that’s a couple of precious hours on a weekend afternoon or an hour and a half every weekday evening. That work time is yours, so don’t allow yourself to be distracted – put a ‘Please do not disturb’ sign on the door if necessary.
Minimise phone distractions
Your phone is clearly a potential source of myriad distractions. Not looking at it every few minutes can seem to take superhuman discipline. But there are ways of breaking the habit. Get a family member to ‘confiscate’ it, or just put it another room for two good old-fashioned low-tech solutions. Another is to ask yourself ‘Why am I doing this?’ every time your hand reaches, seemingly involuntarily, for your mobile. What will you really miss out on by not picking it up?
R04 Mock Papers - now with detailed explanation of correct answers
When you’re studying for your CII exam, sometimes it’s not enough to simply know what the answer is; you want to know ‘why’ that is the correct answer! Our R04 Mock Papers provide you the opportunity for further practice to ensure you know exactly how to apply your knowledge, but now they have now been IMPROVED to include a detailed explanation of the correct answers. Of course, they still provide cross references to the relevant CII study text, all questions and answers are written by Brand Financial Training, and they are kept up-to-date to reflect changes to the exam syllabus and tax year.
To purchase our new and improved R04 Mock Papers, click here.
If you have already purchased Brand Financial Training’s R04 Mock Papers for examinable tax year 18/19, you will be entitled to the improved 18/19 version at no charge! Simply get in touch with us at , and let us know the email address that you used to place the original order. If you are entitled to receive the updated versions free of charge, we will email them to you within 2 working days. Note that this relates to Brand Financial Training resources only.
R04 Pensions and Retirement Planning
..."I have just passed R04 first time, once again, relying mainly on your study notes. The calculation workbook was very useful, helping me to understand and work through the calculations, as were the mock exams giving me practice for the exam itself. Thank you!..."
Dr Paul Jackson, Partner, Professional Practice Services, Worcestershire
Passing R04 isn’t only about having the necessary knowledge and understanding, it’s about being able to apply that knowledge in an exam setting exactly as needed and in a timely manner. We offer a range of resources that will help you to feel fully prepared on exam day:
Mock Exam Papers - 3 full sets of 50 questions and answers, with cross references to the relevant CII study text - and now including detailed explanation of the correct answers.
Calculation Workbook - Focussing on the calculations within the exam syllabus, the calculation workbook provides calculation questions with full step-by-step answers, detailed explanations and cross-references to the relevant CII study text.
Study Notes - Consider our study notes your condensed and more focussed take on the CII’s exam syllabus and learning outcomes.
MP3 Audio Masterclasses - Learn by listening with our MP3 masterclasses. They allow you to absorb and understand the material in digestible chunks.
All of the above resources can be bought as part of a study kit, so you can save 10% off the cost of buying them individually.
Still not sure? Why not try before you buy? Free tasters are available for all of the resources listed above. Just click here to access all our R04 resource tasters.
Improvements to R02 Mock Papers
If you’re planning to sit the R02 exam, and you’ve been reading this newsletter, you’ll already know that we’re adding detailed explanations of correct answers to our R02 Mock Papers as well. We’re just putting the finishing touches on the improved resources and we’ll let you know when the resources have been revised to include the new section – keep an eye on future editions of this newsletter.
Did You Miss These Posts on Our Blog?
Articles and Help for All Your Exams
You’ll find that there’s something for everyone when you check out our blog:
specific topics and how-to articles;
reviews of recent CII exam papers;
our Friday Five – a weekly quiz to give you a fun break from reading the study text;
study techniques that help you to retain your revision and keep your brain working for you, when you need it
Here are the blog posts you might have missed since our last newsletter:
There’s such a variety of information on offer to help you as you tackle your CII exams, that you won’t want to miss a single post. We’ve made it easy for you; just click the button below and enter your email details. Be ‘in the know’ with CII-exam-related tips and info – straight to your inbox!
Quote of the Month
..." It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end. "...
Leonardo da Vinci
"5 Questions in 5 Minutes Every Friday"
This is a bit of Friday Fun where we provide you with 5 questions (and answers) relevant to a mix of CII exams. The challenge is for you to answer the questions in 5 minutes.
Where do I find the Friday Five?
We post each week's Friday Five to our blog first thing every Friday. You can either visit our blog every Friday at https://brandft.co.uk/blog/ or you can simply go there now, and click on the subscribe button in the top right-hand corner of the blog and sign up to receive notifications of our Friday Five posts.
Note that we don't email the Friday Five out to everybody every Friday, so we recommend you sign up to our blog at https://brandft.co.uk/blog/ so that you receive an email notification when it is posted. It will only take you a minute to sign up.
A bit of Friday Fun, but with the added benefit of testing your exam knowledge!
Here’s a reminder that the CII update their study texts throughout the examinable year to either incorporate new legislations, correct errors or clarify information. Many candidates aren’t aware of this, which can result in candidates studying out-of-date information.
To find out if you have the most up-to-date information, visit the CII website, navigate to your chosen exam and click on ‘learning solutions update’ in the ‘Unit updates’ section in the sidebar.
Note that we keep our resources up-to-date with any updates from the CII.