Inheritance Tax Planning
If your assets exceed £325,000, then Inheritance Tax may be payable in the event of your death. Mitigating Inheritance Tax is not easy. Over the years, the government and HMRC have put in place a comprehensive system of anti-avoidance provisions that can trap those unaware of the details of the relevant legislation. Our team of specialist advisors can help you to avoid such pitfalls whilst taking sensible steps to minimise the impact of Inheritance Tax on your estate.
Having an up to date Will that fits in with your Inheritance Tax mitigation strategy is vital, but a Will cannot be the only element of a successful plan to minimise Inheritance Tax. Your Will needs to work within the framework of your lifetime Inheritance Tax planning, using lifetime gifts, trusts, asset selection as well as life assurance and specialist Inheritance Tax mitigation products.
Our lawyers work closely with the Independent Financial Advisors in our financial services company, Gilbert Stephens Financial Services Ltd, with regard the Inheritance Tax mitigation products currently marketed by finance houses and the life assurance industry.
For many people, making the best use of Inheritance Tax allowances and reliefs will provide them with all the Inheritance Tax planning that they require. We can help you to make use of:
• Annual Allowances
• Small gift allowances
• Wedding gift allowances
• Gifts out of unused income
• Gifts to Charities
• The Nil Rate Band
• The Residence Nil Rate Band
• Spouse Exemption
• Agricultural Property Relief
• Business Property Relief
• Heritage Property Relief
Married Couples and couples who have a Registered Civil Partnership are in a privileged position for Inheritance Tax. Not only are gifts between them exempt from Inheritance Tax but they can also transfer Nil Rate Band allowances between them (including the Residence Nil Rate Band). This means that they can pass £650,000 tax free on the second death, if they get their lifetime Inheritance Tax planning right and have their Wills in good order. They will also be able to share the Residence Nil Rate Band (currently £125,000) if they own their own home and choose to leave it to their direct descendants. However, care needs to be taken to ensure that neither their lifetime gifts nor the terms of their Wills prevent all available Nil Rate Bands being combined.
If you own a farm or a business, we can advise on the availability of Agricultural Property Relief and Business Property Relief. These reliefs are of great value as they can provide a 100% exemption from Inheritance Tax for qualifying assets. However, these reliefs are subject to complicated qualifying conditions which do not always fit well with the good management of farms and businesses. This means that specialist advice is essential to maximise the values of these reliefs to ensure that your business will not be damaged by the Inheritance Tax consequences of the death of one of the business owners.
Why choose us
Inheritance Tax Planning often involves lifetime gifts and in that context, other taxes may need to be considered. We are able to guide you on the consequences of your Inheritance Tax Planning for Capital Gains Tax and other taxes.