Clients regularly talk to us about their key points of concern when considering what the future will hold for their valuable assets once they have passed away – squandered inheritance or claims on the estate, and Inheritance Tax.
Following death, legacies can be carved up by squabbling families, spent or claimed against as part of divorce proceedings, turning valuable, profitable and income producing businesses in to no more than a headache for the recipients of a will.
Inheritance Tax (“IHT”) can worsen that headache significantly; often publicised as the UK’s most hated tax, it broadly operates by taxing the value of a person’s estate which is over and above the nil rate band (currently £325,000).
While the nil rate band has been frozen since 2009, property (perhaps the most often inherited asset class except from cash) prices have risen significantly, which has resulted in more and more estates and households becoming liable to the tax.
IHT can be complex and where due consideration and foresight has not been given, dismay and confusion can ensue at what is generally one of the most emotional periods of our lifetimes.
Proper planning and forethought can moderate the complexities involved with succession and IHT and can help to provide clarity and control to the taxpayer and their loved ones. With proper planning and support It is possible to protect and retain assets intended to be bequeathed for future generations. We have set out an example below of the planning process a family might go through and the benefits that they and their family could enjoy as a result: