I find myself in a pinch trying to understand what Aspects do when they are not being invoked. I do know that they are supposed to be narrative tools that describe the character. When invoked, they give a +2 to a skill roll as long as they are relevant to it. However, I do not know what I should do to when they are not being invoked and how big of a difference they make.
Example: My player has Retired Captain of Royal Army aspect. Thus I treat him as knowledgeable in military affairs. When he invokes it, he usually wants to influence military decision with Rapport and I'm happy to give him a bonus. However, sometimes he expects to be recognised as former military and says it should be apparent given the aspect, but do not know whether he would need to spend a Fate point to walk up to a soldier and be recognised as military personnel (notice it's not about his current authority, more like "oh, so you're a soldier too!")
On another occasion a player wanted to cash in on Courtroom conspirator to be generally welcome in the court and have friends and allies there. The discussion went for a while and we didn't really reach a conclusion.
When does the minor bonus from having an Aspect ("that's just who I am") becomes major plot-changing bonus that requires a Fate Point?