Inheritance Tax for that peace of mind
Few of us like to think about dying, but equally few of us could live with the thought that we have not made adequate provision for family and friends who survive us.
The legislation that governs passing on your estate to your chosen beneficiaries requires you to plan well in advance. Since none of us knows when we shall die, this means making the necessary provisions now.
The earlier you make the arrangements for inheritance tax, the greater your chance of taking full advantage of the tax opportunities available and thereby maximising the amount that goes to your beneficiaries. Nothing is more demoralising than the thought that a substantial slice of the wealth you have worked hard to accumulate will end up in the Government’s coffers!
It is equally important when planning to transfer your estate that you make adequate provision for yourself and your spouse in your later years. Striking this balance calls for considerable skill and foresight – and a detailed knowledge of the tax regime.
We provide an estate planning service that includes:
- Advice on lifetime gifts
- Reviewing your Will
- Advice and planning around the impact of deemed domiciles
- Inheritance tax planning
- Setting up trusts to preserve the family assets which also allow you to set aside assets for future beneficiaries in a tax efficient manner
Some Simple Inheritance Tax Tips
- You can give away up to £3,000 per year, either to one person or divided between a number of people. If you don’t use the allowance in one year you can carry it forward one (but only one) tax year. Tax-free allowances on marriage are bigger still.
- You can give away an unlimited number of gifts of up to £250 per person each year.
- You can make unlimited gifts of any size “out of income” – that is, gifts which do not compromise your standard of living and which are made as part of a regular pattern (e.g. by standing order).
- Gifts between spouses and civil partners are normally wholly exempt.
- Most gifts which are not covered above escape inheritance tax provided you live for at least seven years after the gift.
- Gifts to charity are exempt from inheritance tax and if at least 10% of an estate is left to charity the rate on the remainder is reduced from the normal 40% to 36%.
- “Business property relief” gives interests in many businesses (including shares in unquoted trading companies) complete exemption from inheritance tax, once they have been held for at least two years and can even apply to a purely passive portfolio of shares in trading companies listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM).
- Wills should be reviewed regularly and especially on any change in personal or family circumstances.
- Subject to limitations and conditions, if a Will is less tax-efficient than it might be, the beneficiaries are able jointly to agree to “rewrite” it (with retrospective effect for inheritance tax) within two years after the death.