Inheritance Tax

Planning for Inheritance Tax

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Plan for Inheritance Tax

Whenever someone dies, the value of their estate may become liable for Inheritance Tax. If you are domiciled in the UK, your estate includes everything you own, including your home and certain trusts in which you may have an interest.

Inheritance Tax is potentially charged at a rate of 40% on the value of everything you own above the ‘nil-rate band’ (NRB) threshold. The nil-rate band is the value of your estate that is not chargeable to UK Inheritance Tax.

Gift assets while you’re alive

The amount is set by the government and is currently £325,000, which is frozen until 2026. In addition, since 6 April 2017, if you leave your home to direct lineal descendants, the value of your estate before tax is paid will increase with the addition of the ‘residence nil-rate band’ (RNRB). For the 2023/24 tax year, the RNRB is £175,000.

One thing that’s important to remember when developing an estate preservation plan is that the process isn’t just about passing on your assets when you die. It’s also about analysing your finances now and potentially making the most of your assets while you are still alive. By gifting assets to younger generations while you’re still around, you could enjoy seeing the assets put to good use, while simultaneously reducing your Inheritance Tax bill.

Make use of gift allowances

A non-exempt gift from one individual to another constitutes a Potentially Exempt Transfer (PET) for Inheritance Tax. If you survive for seven years from the date of the gift, no Inheritance Tax arises on the PET.

Some exempt gifts are immediately out of your estate: Each tax year, you can give away £3,000 worth of gifts (your ‘annual exemption’) tax-free. You can also give away wedding or registered civil partnership gifts up to £1,000 per person (£2,500 for a grandchild and £5,000 for a child). In addition, you can give your children regular sums of money from your surplus income.

You can also give as many gifts of up to £250 to as many individuals as you want, although not to anyone who has already received a
larger gift from you that tax year. None of these gifts are subject to Inheritance Tax.

Invest into IHT-exempt assets

For experienced suitable investors, another way to potentially minimise Inheritance Tax liabilities is to invest in Inheritance Tax exempt assets. These schemes are higher risk and are therefore not suitable for all investors, and any investment decisions should always be made with the benefit of professional financial advice.

One example of this is the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS). The vast majority of EIS-qualifying investments attract 100% Inheritance Tax relief via Business Relief (BR) because the qualifying trades for EIS purposes are very similar to those which qualify for BR. Qualification for BR is subject to the minimum holding period of two years (from the later of the share issue date and trade commencement).

Life insurance within a trust

If you’re looking to potentially minimise any Inheritance Tax your estate may be subject to, then consider placing life insurance within an appropriate trust. This allows the pay out from the policy to be given directly to your beneficiaries, which won’t be included in the calculations for any Inheritance Tax.

Taking this step can offer peace of mind for you and financial security for your heirs. Remember your life insurance policy is likely to be a significant asset – by putting it in an appropriate trust, you can manage the way your beneficiaries receive their inheritance.

Keep wealth within a pension

A defined contribution pension is normally free of Inheritance Tax, unlike many other investments. It is not part of your taxable estate. Keeping your pension wealth within your pension fund and passing it down to future generations can be very tax-efficient estate planning.

If you die before 75, your pension will be passed on tax-free (as long as no Lifetime Allowance charge applies). However, if you die after 75, your beneficiaries will pay tax on any payments they receive at their marginal Income Tax rate. Your pension will not usually be covered by your Will, so you will need to ensure that your pension provider knows who your nominated beneficiaries are.

Preserved wealth for future generations

We all have one thing in common: we can’t take our assets with us when we die. If you want to ensure that your wealth is preserved for future generations and passed on efficiently, an estate plan is crucial.

If you want to know more about Inheritance Tax and planning for your future, please get in touch

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Inheritance Tax

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You may well want to pass your estate onto your children when you die, but unless you make suitable plans your children will pay 40% inheritance tax (IHT) in the UK on all your estate above £325,000 which in today’s property market is most people’s property value alone.

You worked hard to earn your wealth, so let us work hard preserving it and help you and your family maintain its financial strength from one generation to the next.

If you are worried about Inheritance Tax and want to plan for the future, get in touch with us today:

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Free Guide: Estate Planning

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What is the importance of estate planning?

Estate planning is about more than just tax. It is about making sure the people left behind are financially supported, that your assets are protected and that the tax your estate pays is fair.

Wealth preservation and wealth transfer are becoming an increasingly important issue for many families today.

Your estate consists of everything you own. This includes savings, investments, pensions, property, life insurance (not written in an appropriate trust) and personal possessions. Debts and liabilities are subtracted from the total value of all assets

There are various ways to legally avoid paying inheritance tax and we have produced a free Estate Planning guide to support you with Inheritance Tax Planning:

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Preserving Wealth for Future Generations

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Start your estate and inheritance planning as early as possible and implement in stages

The UK Treasury has been receiving record-breaking Inheritance Tax (IHT) receipts. IHT receipts amounted to approximately £7.09 billion in 2022/23, compared with £6.05 billion in the previous financial year.

For individuals and families who have to pay it, IHT can be emotionally challenging, often requiring the sale of cherished family assets to settle the tax bill. That’s why starting estate planning early and implementing it in stages is essential. Also, having an open conversation about estate planning with family members is very beneficial but depends on family dynamics and wealth levels.

Minimise Tax Liabilities

However, families should take proactive measures to minimise the possibility of facing a substantial IHT bill. By planning ahead and seeking professional advice, individuals can ensure their assets are managed to minimise tax liabilities.

Creating a comprehensive wealth strategy involves considering various factors.

Lifetime Cashflow

We can help you assess your assets and income to ensure we support your desired lifestyle throughout your lifetime. By understanding your cash flow needs, we can assist in structuring investments and creating a sustainable financial plan.

Lifetime Gifting

Gifting can be a valuable tool in wealth planning, allowing you to reduce a potential IHT tax burden. We can guide you on the various gifting allowances and exemptions available, such as the annual gifting allowance, wedding gifts and gifts from normal expenditure out of income.

Trusts

Most trusts offer flexibility and control over how your assets are distributed. They can also help reduce taxes on inheritance. This excludes Absolute Trusts, where control over assets is discretionary. Working closely with us, you can explore different trust options and understand how they can be incorporated into your wealth planning strategy.

Pensions

Pensions are important in wealth planning, offering tax advantages and the potential for long-term financial security. We can help you navigate the complexities of pensions, including risk assessment, accessing pension funds and maximising tax benefits.

Protection Cover

Protecting your loved ones in the event of death or illness is crucial. We can advise on selecting the right protection products to provide liquidity for IHT and other associated costs.

Business Relief

Incorporating business relief into your wealth planning strategy can be advantageous if you own a business or have qualifying assets. We’ll help you understand the eligibility criteria and how to leverage this relief effectively.

Financial Control and Estate Planning

Creating a Will ensures that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. Additionally, appointing a Lasting Power of Attorney provides someone with financial control over your assets and peace of mind if you cannot manage your affairs.

Estate planning is not a one-size-fts-all approach. Although there is no requirement to address IHT, proactive planning can minimise the tax burden on families. Seeking professional advice and taking steps early can help reduce the risk of leaving loved ones with a larger tax bill than necessary.

Do you want the peace of mind of tax efficiently passing on your wealth to your loved ones?

When you’ve worked hard to build up your wealth, you want the peace of mind to pass this on to your loved ones. There’s much to consider, especially if you have a complex estate. Who should it go to? And when? Is it sensible to pass on wealth during your lifetime? To discuss how we can help, do not hesitate to contact us.

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Ellis Bates may use these details to contact you about our products and services. You can unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For more information, check out our Privacy Policy (www.ellisbates.com/privacy-policy/).

Inheritance Tax Planning

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The UK Treasury has been receiving record-breaking Inheritance Tax (IHT) receipts. IHT receipts amounted to approximately £7.09 billion in 2022/23, compared with £6.05 billion in the previous financial year.

 

Due to rising property prices more of us are falling into the IHT liability category

Are you married or in a registered civil partnership?

You can pass your assets to your partner IHT-free (in most cases)

Start conversations with your loved ones

With thousands more households now falling into the inheritance tax liability category, it is important that you have a conversation sooner rather than later

Your estate consists of everything you own including:

To find out about our Inheritance Tax planning services, please get in touch.

 

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Ellis Bates may use these details to contact you about our products and services. You can unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For more information, check out our Privacy Policy (www.ellisbates.com/privacy-policy/).

 

Give while you live

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What will your financial legacy look like?

April 2023 brought a host of changes to the UK’s tax regime, with some thresholds for taxes such as additional rate Income Tax being lowered while others, such as Corporation Tax, are increased.

However, the Inheritance Tax (IHT) nil-rate band has remained stagnant at £325,000 since 2009, despite the meteoric rise in property prices over the same period. This has resulted in an all-time high of £6.1bn being collected in Inheritance Tax in 2021/22.

Freezing of the nil-rate band

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced in the Autumn Statement on 17 November 2022 that the government had frozen the IHT thresholds for two more years. As the threshold was already frozen until April 2026, it means that the threshold is now frozen until April 2028.

If you own a home worth over £1 million, there is a risk that your loved ones may face a costly IHT bill upon inheritance, due to the freezing of the nil-rate band. While there is an additional residence nil-rate band (RNRB) of £175,000 that can apply when passing on the property you lived in, married couples or those in registered civil partnerships can transfer the allowance, enabling most couples to pass on up to £1 million tax-free, assuming they pass on their home to their direct descendants.

Wealth to future generations

However, if your total estate exceeds £2 million, the RNRB will be tapered. For every £2 by which your individual estate exceeds £2 million, the RNRB will be decreased by £1. Professional financial advice can help homeowners plan to mitigate the impact of IHT.

Downsizing is a popular method to manage IHT, but this presents the challenge of passing on the sale balance to your loved ones. Planning for the transfer of wealth to future generations can be an uncomfortable topic for many families. However, proper estate planning can ensure a smooth and stress-free transition of family wealth to loved ones.

Feeling financially squeezed

It’s understandable that many people are feeling financially squeezed in the current climate, and as a result, we are likely to see a rise in ‘giving while living’. This refers to the practice of lifetime gifting to loved ones, particularly adult children who may be struggling to make ends meet during the ongoing cost of living crisis.

However, it’s important to note that the extended freeze on thresholds will mean that many people will now need to seek professional financial advice more than ever to protect their wealth and ensure that it is passed on according to their wishes, without being caught out by unforeseen taxes in the future.

Your family’s financial future?

We understand the importance of addressing these issues in a calm and objective manner. We can assist you in creating a comprehensive succession plan that maximises the amount of wealth passed down to future generations while minimising tax implications. Let us help you secure your family’s financial future with careful estate planning. To find out more, please speak to us.

Source data: [1] https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/hmrc-tax-and-nics-receipts-for-the-uk/hmrc-taxreceipts-and-national-insurance-contributions-for-the-uk-new-annual-bulletin#inheritance-tax

Important information: This article does not constitute tax or legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Tax treatment depends on the individual circumstances of each client and may be subject to change in the future. For guidance, seek professional advice. Inheritance tax and estate planning are not regulated by the financial conduct authority.

Types of trusts

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What is a trust?

You may want to consider putting some of your assets into a trust for a loved one. Trusts are a way of managing wealth, money, investments, land or property, for you, your family or anyone else you’d like to benefit.

Bare Trust

Bare Trusts are also known as ‘Absolute’ or ‘Fixed Interest Trusts’, and there can be subtle differences.

The settlor – the person creating the trust – makes a gift into the trust which is held for the benefit of a specified beneficiary. If the trust is for more than one beneficiary, each person’s share of the trust fund must be specified. For lump sum investments, after allowing for any available annual exemptions, the balance of the gift is a potentially exempt transfer for Inheritance Tax purposes. As long as the settlor survives for seven years from the date of the gift, it falls outside their estate.

The trust fund falls into the beneficiary’s Inheritance Tax estate from the date of the initial gift. With Loan Trusts, there isn’t any initial gift – the trust is created with a loan instead. And with Discounted

Gift plans, as long as the settlor is fully underwritten at the outset, the value of the initial gift is reduced by the value of the settlor’s retained rights.

Discretionary Trust

With a Discretionary Trust, the settlor makes a gift into trust, and the trustees hold the trust fund for a wide class of potential beneficiaries. This is known as ‘settled’ or ‘relevant’ property. For lump sum investments, the initial gift is a chargeable lifetime transfer for Inheritance Tax purposes.

It’s possible to use any available annual exemptions. If the total non-exempt amount gifted is greater than the settlor’s available ‘nil-rate band’ (NRB), there’s an immediate Inheritance Tax charge at the 20% lifetime rate – or effectively 25% if the settlor pays the tax.

Flexible Trusts with default beneficiaries

Flexible Trusts are similar to a fully Discretionary Trust, except that alongside a wide class of potential beneficiaries, there must be at least one named default beneficiary. Flexible Trusts with default beneficiaries set up in the settlor’s lifetime from 22 March 2006 onwards are treated in exactly the same way as Discretionary Trusts for Inheritance Tax purposes.

Different Inheritance Tax rules apply to older Trusts set up by 21 March 2006 that meet specified criteria and some Will Trusts. All post-21 March 2006 lifetime trusts of this type are taxed in the same way as fully Discretionary Trusts for Inheritance Tax and Capital Gains Tax purposes.

Split Trust

These trusts are often used for family protection policies with critical illness or terminal illness benefits in addition to life cover. Split Trusts can be Bare Trusts, Discretionary Trusts or Flexible Trusts with default beneficiaries. When using this type of trust, the settlor/ life assured carves out the right to receive any critical illness or terminal illness benefit from the outset, so there aren’t any gift with reservation issues.

In the event of a claim, the provider normally pays any policy benefits to the trustees, who must then pay any carved-out entitlements to the life assured and use any other proceeds to benefit the trust beneficiaries.

Property Protection Will Trust

This is a type of Life Interest Trust and is incorporated into a Will for couples who jointly own the family home.

You can protect at least half of the value of the property by having it ring fenced in a trust so you can pass it onto your children or chosen beneficiaries when you pass away, whilst at the same time protecting the surviving partner’s lifetime interest in the property.

Right of Residence Trust (ROR)

This a form of Immediate Post-Death Interest Trust incorporated into a Will. This trust allows you to give a chosen beneficiary a right to reside in a specified property either for their lifetime or for a specific time period.

Start your estate planning journey

Estate preservation and the transferring of wealth has become an important issue for many families today. We all have different objectives in life and need different strategies to help achieve them. That’s why carefully planning the financial affairs of your estate is essential to ensure that you can pass on the maximum benefit to your beneficiaries, which can have a significant impact on your loved ones’ futures.

Contact us to discuss how our Inheritance Tax planning services can help you start your estate planning journey.

6 benefits of a property protection trust

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There are several benefits to putting a Property Protection Trust in place. It allows you and your partner to own 50% of your property each, so when one of you passes their share can be passed to their chosen beneficiary, whilst protecting the surviving partner’s lifetime interest in the property.

If you would like to find out more about our inheritance tax planning services, then please get in touch.

Property Protection Trusts

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You can establish a trust during your lifetime 0r; through your will, on your death. You can appoint trustees of your choice (this can include you and your spouse during your lifetimes) who will manage the trust on your behalf. Following your death, the trustees will act with consideration to your wishes.

Trusts offer several benefits:

  • On your death, the trust asset can pass to your chosen beneficiaries with no need for probate
  • In certain circumstances, trusts can protect your assets from creditors
  • You can control who benefits from your assets during your lifetime and on your death
  • Depending on how the trust is structured, it is possible to invest your assets into a trust to mitigate inheritance tax, income tax, and capital gains tax (principle private residence relief)
  • Protect your estate against potential future care fees

You may also wish to reserve some influence over your assets for the trustees to observe after your death.

For example:

  • You may want to delay the age at which beneficiaries inherit
  • You may want your heirs to receive their inheritance in stages
  • You may be concerned about your heirs getting divorced and want to protect the assets inherited from you being included in a divorce settlement

Trusts can also be useful in preventing assets reaching a beneficiary facing insolvency proceedings and those making poor lifestyle choices, such as involvement in alcohol and drugs.

Property Protection Trust

Owning your home as tenants in common rather than joint tenants provide additional planning opportunities. This can potentially protect inheritance in terms of residential care fee assessment and marriage following bereavement.

A property protection trust is put in place so that the half share of the family home belonging to the first person to die passes into the trust (also known as a life interest trust). This allows the surviving spouse to benefit from the share of the house during their lifetime. Following the surviving spouse’s death, the property can then be passed on to either children or loved ones. By putting this trust in place, you are ensuring your assets are going exactly where you want them to go and giving you total peace of mind.

The benefits of a property protection trust are:

  • Each spouse now owns 50% of the property
  • Each spouse grants the surviving spouse a ‘right to reside’
  • Allows you to pass your property to your chosen beneficiaries
  • Each spouse can gift their 50% as they see fit: (both halves of the property do not have to go to the same beneficiaries)
  • Allows you to nominate your chosen Executo1·s/ Trustees to handle the property on your behalf
  • Can be used as a tool for planning for care home fees

Please be aware that should the survivor remarry, not make a new will and then die, intestacy rules would see the new spouse taking a disproportionate amount of the estate. By severing the tenancy and creating a life interest trust in your wills (for the surviving spouse), this means your assets are going exactly where you want them to go and giving you total peace of mind. To preserve the residential nil rate band, property needs to pass to direct descendants.

Get in touch

For more guidance on the benefits of setting up a property protection trust and for more information on our inheritance tax planning services, please get in touch with us.

Checklist for Protecting your Family’s Finances

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Checklist for Protecting your Family’s Finances

Create an estate plan

Estate planning isn’t only for the wealthy. There are various ways you can minimise Inheritance Tax like gifting or utilising pensions and trusts.

Protect against illness and death

We can help select the right products for you and your family’s needs.

Write or review your Will

Ensure your money and assets go to the people and causes you care about.

Get in touch

For more information on our inheritance tax planning services, please get in touch.