After a lifetime of working to grow your wealth, who would you like to benefit from your legacy – your friends and family, or the taxman?
Each year the UK Government reviews the tax rates payable, the reliefs available, and how it treats gifts during your lifetime.
As the average inheritance tax (IHT) bill steadily approaches £200k, paying for the expertise of an adviser could be minor compared to your IHT bill. It’s important to plan ahead, and review your plans each year, ensuring that your estate will pass smoothly to your beneficiaries.
Simply, how is IHT calculated?
Once your estate has been valued, the amount under the Nil Rate band is ignored for IHT purposes. This is currently £325,000. After reliefs and exemptions, the remainder of your estate is then generally taxed 40%.
This is an extreme simplification of the IHT regime, as there are many methods, rules and reliefs available, such as:
Transferrable Nil Rate Band
If a spouse (or civil partner) inherits everything on the first death – there will be no IHT to pay. On the second death, the survivor’s estate will benefit from a double Nil Rate band. The rules are complex, but this could mean a combined Nil Rate band of £650,000 on the second death.
Main residence Nil Rate Band
If you ultimately leave your main residence to a direct descendant (e.g. child) then up to an additional £175,000 (fixed until 2026) can be added to the standard Nil Rate band, including the amount carried forward, as described above.
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Taking early action can ensure that more of your money goes to your beneficiaries – rather than the taxman.
Ask your financial adviser to help you with your IHT planning, working out how much money you will need, and how you can pass on your assets in the most effective way.