Death and taxes

29.07.2020
Natalie Miller
Tax

The Covid-19 crisis has made many of us consider our own mortality. Reviewing what might happen to your estate on death is one way of taking control over at least some elements of your fate.

Tax may be the last thing on your mind if you’re concerned about the future and even then it’s tempting to think that inheritance tax (IHT) is something which only hits the very wealthy. However, rising property prices means that it’s surprisingly easy for someone with modest house, investment portfolio and a few other assets to go over the current nil rate band limit of £325k, especially if they’re not married.

No-one likes to think too much about their own demise but ignoring the inevitable is likely to leave your loved ones with a potentially large tax bill at an already stressful time. Have you made a Will and, if so, when did you last review it? Do you know what the IHT bill would be and how it would be funded if the worst happened? We can help you establish what the position is if you do nothing and then look at how that might be improved.

Have you made a Will and, if so, when did you last review it?

You have your own nil-rate band (NRB) and an additional NRB linked to your home, and you may be able to access any NRB that has not been used by your late spouse – these can take you close to the magic £1m exemption for a married couple. We can go through these with you before you consider more complicated planning that might not be necessary.

Even where there is a potential charge, we can explain how making the most of simple planning such as writing life policies into trust, reviewing pensions and using straightforward exemptions, such as making regular gifts out of your income, can make a significant difference. Where more complex options are appropriate, such as putting assets into a trust, gifting a proportion of your estate to charity or investing in IHT-favoured assets or considering insurance, we can help you through the steps.

While it may seem a bit gloomy to be thinking of these things, you may find that talking through your estate planning with us will help you feel that you’ve protected your family from worry. We’re happy to facilitate conversation with them and with your solicitors as well, so that you can be comfortable that your wishes will be met. 

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