Inheritance Tax

Inheritance Tax (also known as Estate Tax) is a charge of 40% applied to the value of an estate in excess of the available nil rate band' (currently set at £325,000 per person until 2014). An estate value is made up of assets such as property, investments and gifts / trusts set up within seven years before the settlor passes away. So as an example, if someone dies with an estate of £1,000,000 then there would be a £270,000 tax bill due within 6 months of passing away (£1,000,000 minus current nil rate band of £325,000 is £675,000 taxed at 40% is £270,000). If the majority of this £1,000,000 is the value of a property then this may need to be sold in order to pay this tax bill. This may cause considerable upset if the property is a family home which has been passed down through generations. Various planning solutions can be considered when looking J15to reduce your liability to Inheritance Tax, but peoples requirements often differ so one strategy does not fit all circumstances. The main issues to review would be the value of the overall estate, age of both partners, access to capital, need for immediate income and future income requirements. You need to seek professional advice to ensure the correct strategy is implemented. It is often advisable to involve other family in the planning procedure, especially if a Trust is being established.

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