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Dear Tricia.

Byline: Tricia Phillips

Q I'M thinking of renting out a spare room in my home. I could do with the extra cash but I'm worried about the tax implications.

A You can receive up to pounds 4,250 a year tax-free from renting furnished accommodation in your main home, under the Government's Rent A Room scheme.

Q I HAVE an offset mortgage and have all my savings with one bank. I'm worried if it crashes I could lose everything.

A UNDER the Financial Services For Compensation Scheme, a maximum of pounds 50,000 per person, per provider, is protected should a bank fail. Savings above this figure should be spread between different financial organisations.

Q I'M about to come off a fixed-price fuel plan and have been offered a new plan for the next two years. Should I sign up?

A FIXED price plans have meant savings for some customers as fuel prices have risen sharply over the past couple of years. they give peace of mind that you won't get hit with any nasty price hikes. But if fuel prices drop, you could end up out of pocket. take a look at what other suppliers are offering. You may find a cheaper deal and want to switch.

Q What is the difference between a critical illness policy and an income protection policy?

A A CRitiCAl illness policy pays out a lump sum with the onset of certain illnesses. An income protection policy pays out a regular monthly amount while you're unable to work through injury or illness.

Q What are probate trusts?

A A PROBATE trust is a legal "wrapper" placed around assets, typically life assurance and investments. in the event of a death, it allows trustees to claim with a death certificate, avoiding the need to wait for probate or letters of administration.

THANKS to our independent financial advisers - PMI's John Stewart (0800 018 3751) and Honister Partners (0800 544 644). For independent advice send an SAE to Your Money Independent Advice Bureau, Daily Mirror, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5AP.

Please give your age, income, family circumstances and details of the financial products you want advice on, along with your phone number. Or email money@mirror. co.uk marked "advice".
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 16, 2010
Words:375
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