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You want to help your children with the deposit for a first flat, or possibly more, but have concerns?

There are solutions.

There are lots of good reasons to help your children financially but it’s natural to have concerns; after all, you’ve worked hard for what you have:

 Will they choose the right property?  You’re not wild about their partner. What if they marry? What if they divorce?

 You're unsure about your child's career prospects; will they be able to afford the mortgage repayments and other day to day costs?

 What happens if a big spend is necessary?  There’s the possibility of expensive care fees for you; you’ve read the horror stories.

However, there are ways of making gifts without losing control.

Call Rod Smith on 020 7324 1534 to arrange a meeting. You’ll receive a comprehensive report afterwards with a review of your fixed fee options.

Stress in the City On The Couch With The Coach

Barbican resident Coach Michele Cohen takes a look at life during the festive season


inter can be a time of festivities and when we feel pulled in all directions. A time when we might be saying ‘yes’ to lots of invitations and can’t quite find the way to say ‘no’. If we notice we are doing things for others without stopping to

consider whether we are taking responsibility for our decisions then we could be causing ourselves stress. We might hear an internal voice spinning the same story around in our head: “They want me to go there, I want to go here”, and then wonder why we feel frustrated and begrudging and far from joyful. When we view our circumstances from a point of responsibility, we

can accept that what we do is our determination. Whether this is a situation that we can control, or that we have no control over, we decide whether to run an internal voice telling us: “I should just say no/yes” or, possibly, “How could they even ask me that!” We allow this voice to keep spinning its story. It is rarely the problem itself that causes us to suffer, but our response to it - what we think and how we feel. Sometimes relief can come in having the courage to communicate

your side, other times it can be about reflecting on your own planning skills. Whatever the issue, taking the decision to own your response is the best step to moving forward and to enjoying whatever comes along. At this time of year we might also find ourselves thinking back to

better or worse times, or forward to what might happen, or remembering people who may no longer be a part of our lives. This time can bring up both happy and sad memories. Again, we might find ourselves listening to that inner voice telling us what we should have done, how we should have behaved and questioning over and again how we ever could have done what we did! We can also find ourselves looking forward, to what might be, what could happen, what’s coming next and this can be both exciting and distressing. In all instances, if we find we are spending most of our time

looking back or forwards, listening to an unhelpful inner critic, making choices based on what we should do, we might find that we are missing out on being here and now; on being present. When we take a moment to reflect if we are blaming or holding on to something, it’s useful to clarify just how helpful to our life that is. By focusing on what we can do and what we will do, we are moving forwards in the direction of joy.

Rod is a partner in the Trusts and Estates team at Stone King. He is a member of the Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and in October 2013 was elected to join the Law Society’s Wills and Equity Committee.


Michele is owner of Clear Coaching and Training. To find out more about coaching sessions, please contact Michele directly on 020 7628 0887 or 07939 047 094 or email

Michele Cohen Photo by Ravi Juneja

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