Effective estate preservation planning could save a family a potential Inheritance Tax bill amounting to hundreds of thousands of pounds. Inheritance Tax was introduced in 1986. It replaced Capital Transfer Tax which had been in force since 1975 as a successor to Estate Duty.
Passing on your wealth in the right way is key for its preservation
The rise in property prices throughout the UK means that even those with modest assets may exceed the £325,000 Nil-Rate Band (NRB) for Inheritance Tax. On 6 April 2017 the Residence Nil-Rate Band (RNRB) band came into effect. It provides an additional nil-rate band where an individual dies after 6 April 2017, owning a residence which they leave to direct descendants.
Don’t leave considerable costs and complications, alongside the heartache of grieving
If you want to be sure your wishes are met after you die, then it’s important to have a Will. A Will is the only way to make sure your money and possessions that form your estate go to the people and causes you care about.
They’re 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.
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.
Discretion over which of the default and potential beneficiaries actually benefit
These 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.
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.
Taking control of decisions even in the event you can’t make them yourself
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) enables individuals to take control of decisions that affect them, even in the event that they can’t make those decisions for themselves. Without them, loved ones could be forced to endure a costly and lengthy process to obtain authority to act for an individual who has lost mental capacity.
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