What is Inheritance Tax?
If your estate (including private residence, other properties, money on deposit and any other investments) is worth over £325,000 (or £650,000 for married couples) then it is important to consider the potential effects of Inheritance Tax on your estate. If your estate is valued above these amounts then you will be liable to 40% inheritance tax on this.
In the 2015 Summer Budget, the Chancellor, George Osborne announced a new transferable main residence allowance, which will gradually increase from £100,000 in April 2017 to £175,000 per person by 2020/21. This is in addition to the main nil-rate band above. It will effectively raise the IHT-free allowance to £500,000 per person. Where married couples jointly own a family home and want to leave this to their children, the total IHT exemption will be £1m.
In certain circumstances, it may be appropriate for part or all of your portfolio to be held in a trust, which can be favourable for your tax position as well as increasing the amount that potentially will pass to your next of kin.
We have access to a range of specialised trust arrangements for this purpose (see section on Family Trusts).
However, when considering IHT and estate planning it is important to firstly take advantage of the basic planning options available to you:
Make sure you have an up to date will and have taken specialist advice:
Use your exemptions: Annual gift exemption £3,000 p.a. per spouse. ‘Gifts out of normal expenditure’ (gifting income), Marriage gifts or Small gifts £250 p.a. each beneficiary Make Potentially Exempt Transfers (PETs).*