Having worked hard and accumulated assets and wealth, the thought that 40% of your assets will be taken in tax upon your death can be demoralising. If you are due to receive a legacy, it is equally hard to see a chunk of family wealth going to the taxman. This can be a distressing prospect – especially if your nearest and dearest don’t want to talk about it!
Inheritance Tax planning has many aspects. Trying to preserve as much as you can for the next generation is an emotional dilemma and a complex process which even with sound advice, takes some years to devise and implement. We understand that for many families, this emotive and sensitive subject, is more easily avoided, than discussed!
The close relationships we build with clients means we are uniquely positioned to help with these discussions, sensitively but facing the facts in life. We will always ensure that ‘the elders’ in the family have their lifestyle needs catered for first, before any planning takes place.
Speak to one of our experienced and qualified advisers on how to develop a long term strategy for progressively preserving and passing on your family wealth.
Inheritance Tax (IHT) -who pays it?
Inheritance Tax (IHT) is famously quoted as being ‘a voluntary tax payable by those, whose distrust of their heirs is slightly greater than their dislike of the Government’. Currently IHT becomes payable on estates valued at more than £1m. There are also many options to reduce the value of an estate which is ultimately calculable for tax. Any tax due is paid by the estate, before the assets are released to the beneficiaries
When planning to avoid this tax, the balance is to ensure the current generation with the wealth have sufficient income, capital and financial security to make retirement both fulfilling and enjoyable, whilst also trying not to continue to accumulate wealth in excess of your needs and therefore increase the tax take.
Estate Planning – starting with the basics
Using our Estate Planning service will help you in both private and business matters. We ensure that a step by step approach is developed in conjunction with your existing legal and accountancy team. A coherent, coordinated and holistic plan is critical and should be devised and implemented to your timescales.
When planning for your legacy to your heirs and mitigating the potential impact of Inheritance Tax (IHT), here are some basic steps to follow, which we recommend everyone follows. These are:
- Wills – make a Will or if already in place, ensure that your Will is up to date and reflects your current wishes.
- Allowances – there are many allowances within the IHT rules. Understand the Nil Rate tax bands, Residential Nil Rate bands, annual allowances and gift allowances and use them fully – or ask for our help!
- Exemptions – use any and all of the many exemptions, if they can be applied to your situation without prejudicing your financial security.
- Reliefs – establish if any of your assets/wealth qualify for the available reliefs from IHT. If so, be careful of any actions that may jeopardise that relief e.g. loss of Business Property Relief through change of status from a trading asset to an investment asset.