In most cases Estate Planning is straightforward – but understanding the different options available to you and deciding which ones to choose can be a daunting and difficult task. Having a professional independent adviser on board can be incredibly useful for this reason.
The following information is guidance on our approach and some areas you may need to consider. For advice on your specific circumstances, please get in touch.
We will conduct a thorough review of your assets and situation, taking into account any investments, property, pensions, businesses, life insurance and savings.
This enables us to acquire an accurate picture of your financial status and determine the impact inheritance tax may have on your estate. We will also take into account your future needs and personal preferences. We will work with you to discover the most effective way to protect your assets in order for you to pass them on to those you love.
What happens if you do not plan
If you do not take any measures to reduce your IHT liability your estate will potentially be left with a hefty tax bill after your death. As a result your loved ones may well receive far less than what you intended with the rest going straight to the taxman.
One straightforward way of reducing your IHT liability is to give some of your wealth/ assets to family or friends and as long as specific criteria is met and normally after seven years but in some circumstances and methodologies less, the value is considered to be out of your estate.
Inheritance Tax and Trusts
Inheritance tax is often called the “voluntary tax” because there are plenty of ways of reducing your IHT liability. However, all the options require significant planning over an extended period so the sooner you start planning the better
Estates worth £325,000 or less pay no Inheritance Tax. Married couples and civil partners can transfer any unused Inheritance Tax allowance to the remaining partner when they die. This means the threshold on second death can be raised to as much as £650,000 in 2018-2019.
In addition, a new allowance called the Residence Nil Rate Band was introduced from April 6, 2017 starting at £100,000 (and currently £125,000) which can be added to the existing £325,000 Inheritance Tax threshold where a home (or the proceeds from a previous home if the home was disposed of on or after 8 July 2015) is left to children (including step, foster and adopted children), grandchildren or great grandchildren.
Wills and Powers of Attorney
In addition to the earlier mentioned methods of reducing or mitigating tax, we also utilise Wills and Powers of attorney.
Most people are surprised to learn that in the absence of any real estate planning they are agreeing to the intestacy rules which are laid down by the Government to determine who gets what in the event someone dies without a will (intestate). Which to be honest, is not always what you want to happen.
Taking the time to ensure you have an appropriate Will and Power of Attorney in place can help simplify things in the future.
The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate Tax Planning and Wills.
Get independent advice today!
Looking for independent financial advice about estate planning?
Contact the team today on 02380 920128 or make an enquiry here.