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Building society
It is common for a couple on judicial separation, divorce and nullity of marriage to have a cash balance for emergencies in a bank or building society account. These amounts form part of the matrimonial assets and need to be identified as part of the overall assets to be divided by the parties, including both individual and joint accounts.


As part of the ancillary relief proceedings the assets held by each party will be determined and it may be necessary for some money to be encashed and transferred across to the other party as part of the final settlement.

It is important to ensure that on divorce any bank or building society account held in joint names should be closed and replaced with single name accounts in order to avoid any future problems relating to signatures for withdrawals.


National Savings and Investments
These investments are offered by the government and there are a range of different savings vehicles from ordinary accounts, 5-year fixed interest certificates, index linked certificates, capital bonds and children's bonus bonds as well as short term option bonds, income bonds and premium bonds.

For any assets held within a National Savings and Investments certificates, the proceeds in the majority of cases can be transferred in part or whole to another person on divorce without any implications, provided that this transfer does not then result in the new owner exceeding the holding limits.


TESSA
Tax exempt special savings accounts (TESSA) were launched in January 1991 as five year savings accounts allowing the investor to receive the interest gross without the deduction of tax as long as no capital and not more than 75% of the interest is withdrawn by the end of the five year term. TESSAs were replaced by the Individual Savings Account (ISA) from the 6 April 1999.

It is no longer possible to start a TESSA, however those accounts that existed at 5 April 1999 were allowed to continue to maturity. Unlike ordinary bank or building society accounts, TESSAs require the individual to lock in the deposit monies for a period of five years in order to receive the tax benefits.

As a result of divorce it may be a requirement of a financial order from the court to transfer part of a TESSA. Where this is within the five year term an early withdrawal of capital will mean that all the interest earned to that date will become taxable. The provider may also impose a penality for early surrender.

When a TESSA matures the investor is allowed, with 6 months, to transfer the capital of up to £9,000 to a TESSA-only ISA. This is in addition to the normal annual limits applied to ISAs and any interest in the TESSA could be used to invest in these limits.

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Annuity Rates
Single
  55 £4,206  
  60 £4,699  
  65 £5,433  
  70 £5,983  
Joint
  55 £3,946  
  60 £4,438  
  65 £4,954  
  70 £5,409  
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