Benjamin Franklin once famously remarked that there were only two certainties in life - death and taxes - and that was before inheritance tax (IHT) was conceived in 1989.
Today, an estate will bear IHT at a rate of 40% on chargeable assets over £285,000. This limit is increased annually in the budget.
However, there are many exemptions and it is possible to mitigate against IHT in one’s lifetime.
Our involvement varies from client to client, depending on the wealth of the individual, their family circumstances and how actively they wish to reduce the IHT burden, bearing in mind some options are more expensive than others.
Typically our work involves
- obtaining background information of our clients’ assets and circumstances
- reviewing existing wills
- preparing a forecast of the IHT liability based on the existing will
- suggesting various options to reduce the IHT liability
- discussing these with our clients
- liaising with solicitors or financial advisors where appropriate
IHT can never be looked at in isolation. There are many traps for the unwary and the impact of other taxes such as capital gains tax, stamp duty land tax and even VAT must be considered.