Ensure the Chancellor doesn't pocket a chunk of your assets in tax when you pass away
Inheritance Tax is based on the value of your home and its contents, your savings and investments, and any other assets that you own in your name, or jointly with others, when you die. Assets passing to your spouse or to charity will be excluded. Qualifying business and agricultural property can also attract relief of up to 100%. Certain gifts that you may have made in the last seven years may be taken into account. Debts outstanding at the time of death will normally be deductible in determining the value of your taxable estate.
Without Inheritance Tax planning, many people can end up leaving a substantial tax liability on their death so that bequests can have a much lower value than anticipated. In some cases, the tax burden left on beneficiaries, particularly in respect of property, can result in the beneficiaries having to sell rather than retain the asset in order to meet the inheritance tax liability. Although transfers between husband and wife are tax free, such transfers really only postpone the tax liability because tax is payable on the estate of the surviving spouse.
Inheritance Tax is currently charged at 40% on the value of estates above £325,000 (2013/14). This figure can easily be reached when taking into account the value of property, life policies and savings. It is also worth bearing in mind that the value of some assets, particularly property, may have increased significantly since they were purchased. We provide workable solutions to minimise your Inheritance Tax liability.
If you are thinking, ‘it won’t affect me’, that could be untrue. For example, with the average price of a property in London being £344,521, it is estimated that inheritance tax will now affect 1 in 3 home owners. (Land Registry 31 December 2008)