Wills and Inheritance Tax

It is easy to get distracted by the hustle and bustle of everyday life, rarely stopping to think about planning for the future and ensuring that your loved ones are provided for in the event of your death. There is no better time than the present to start taking steps to ensure that your hard earned assets are passed on to the people of your choice without being subjected to a potentially very large Inheritance Tax (IHT) bill.

IHT is an increasingly complex subject, affecting more and more people. After your death, the government will assess how much your estate is worth; this includes the cash you have in the bank or in investments, any property or business you own and certain gifts you have made in your lifetime. If this exceeds the IHT threshold (or nil rate band) set by the Chancellor, you (or technically your estate) will pay tax of forty percent of the excess when you die. The current thresholds are £325,000 for a single person or in most cases, £650,000 if you are married, in a civil partnership or a widow/widower. Over the past 10 years, HM Revenue & Customs have doubled the money it receives from IHT. Changes in the economy such as increased house prices have contributed to pushing more and more people over the current IHT threshold. Therefore, taking the simple steps of making a Will and planning how to pass on your wealth is a valuable exercise.

The difference between no planning and correct planning may be tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds in tax. So, if you wish to pass on the wealth that you have worked so hard to generate throughout your lifetime without giving rise to substantial IHT liabilities, then proper planning is essential.

Our IHT and estate planning services include:

An initial meeting to discuss your personal circumstances - usually about 1 hour;

  • full valuation of your estate including unquoted shares;
  • an assessment of your current IHT and potential Capital Gains Tax liabilities;
  • advice on lifetime planning;
  • a full review of the tax-efficiency of your Will;
  • written report containing your personal tax planning strategy.

In developing your personal strategy, we consider the following:

  • Ensuring you have a tax-effective Will;
  • the use of all gift exemptions;
  • equalisation of estates;
  • lifetime transfers;
  • the use of trusts;
  • application of Business and Agricultural Property Reliefs;
  • funding of eventual IHT liabilities
  • interaction with Capital Gains Tax;
  • gifts to charities and other worthwhile causes;
  • ownership of the matrimonial home;
  • the impact of long-term care funding;
  • consideration of domicile status.

To arrange an initial meeting, please call our private client team on 01323 431200.

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