Inheritance Tax Planning
The current inheritance tax threshold is £325,000. This means that if, when you die, you leave assets worth more than that, inheritance tax may be payable at that time. However, there are things you can do to minimise the tax burden. They do not have to be particularly complex, but nevertheless, even simple steps can save thousands of pounds of tax in the future. Here are some ideas:
- Generally, if you make a gift and then die within seven years of it, the value of the gift will still form part of your estate for inheritance tax purposes. However, everyone can give away £3,000 of capital each year without having it “clawed back” into their estate if they die within the seven year timescale. You can also go back one year if you forgot to use last year’s allowance. If you can afford to make a gift of this size, make sure you do it.
- Gifts can also be made upon the marriage of a friend or relative to the bride or groom (£5,000 if they are your child, £2,500 if they are a grandchild and £1,000 to friends or other relatives). Again, you do not have to survive seven years from making these gifts for them to fall outside of your estate for inheritance tax purposes.
- You can make bigger gifts of capital either outright or into trust. Providing you survive seven years, the gift falls out of your estate in it’s entirety. Even if you do not survive seven years, the tax payable on the amount given away may be significantly reduced over time.
- Often, shares in trading businesses are better held until you die rather than being given away early as it may make more tax sense to do so. However, if you have shares in a non-trading business we can help you find a way of giving these away in part or in whole and potentially retaining a right to the income from them in the future. This is more complex planning, but it can offer astonishing tax savings. We can work with your accountant or recommend an expert to work with us to find the right solution for you.
- If you have a holiday home we can help you find a way of giving this away for inheritance tax purposes, whilst keeping control and use of it for as long as you wish.
Many people forget about the planning opportunities offered by assets such as life assurance and pension policies which can mean you end up paying thousands of pounds of unnecessary Inheritance Tax. We can help you review your current and potential future assets and decide whether you need to take action to minimise the tax payable upon your death.
Long Term Care Costs
As we get older, many of us will need looking after. Many of us worry that our life savings and the sale proceeds of our home can end up having to cover the cost involved in paying for nursing home fees.
We can help you to put arrangements in place to protect your assets as far as possible through careful Will drafting and ensuring the ownership of your assets are correctly structured.