• Inheritance tax
• Inheritance tax
When Inheritance Tax was introduced by another name in 1975 it was intended as a tax to redistribute wealth from the rich to the poor. It was, however, never intended to victimize ordinary people, although it is estimated that 15% of households may now be affected as a result of the inflation in house prices. Any estate in excess of £300,000 may therefore be liable for tax at 40%. (e.g. if it is £100,000 over this threshold then the estate could face a tax bill of £40,000).
Our reluctance to deal with financial affairs is legendary and recent research has revealed that half of all adults have not made Wills.
The affect of this is that the rules which apply when you die without leaving a Will (“intestate”) treat a surviving spouse (including a registered civil partner), very harshly. If you have no children, your surviving spouse will inherit your personal goods, e.g. a car, a maximum of £200,000 and one half of the balance outright, with the remainder passing to the deceased spouse’s family (surviving parents, then siblings). If you have children, they are favoured over surviving parents but whilst personal goods still pass to the surviving spouse, their legacy is reduced to £125,000 and only the income from half your estate, with the rest going to the children on reaching 18. This can be catastrophic if the family home needs to be sold to pay out other beneficiaries.
A professionally drawn Will ensures that your property passes to the people whom you wish to inherit. Providing you have a spouse, an effective tax planning exercise may be to create a nil rate band discretionary trust in your Will which could mean that your estate would pass free of tax upon your death.
All the members of our department are experienced practitioners able to deal with obtaining Probate and administering your estate discretely and sympathetically at a difficult time for both family and friends.
We adopt a holistic approach so that apart from being able to write your Will and advise you generally on tax planning, we can help you plan ahead for retirement or any age related matters, such as the payment of care fees and to help protect your capital.
Unfortunately, incapacity can strike at any age and we can advise you on Powers of Attorney, dealing with the Court of Protection and Social Security benefits or a “Living Will”. As part of the government’s policy that more people should be given the option of being cared for at home, new legislation is being introduced to enable others to make decisions regarding your care, as opposed to purely financial decisions and upon which you may need advice. We are also able to assist you by arranging and managing any investments, working in conjunction with your existing advisers if preferred; or even pay your bills for you.
If you are unable to visit our offices, or would rather discuss such personal matters in the comfort of your own home, we will be pleased to arrange to visit you.