Inheritance Tax Planning

Now is the time to act to if you want to reduce your exposure to Inheritance tax and ensure your family benefits in the manner you would like them to in the event of your death or loss of mental capacity.

Loucas can help you with this necessary planning and we have teamed up with a firm of solicitors so that we are able to provide a complete IHT service to our clients. We are currently offering a free consultation to assess your exposure to IHT and care home fees and discuss what can be done to mitigate this.

We are able to assist with the following:-

Wills

Failure to make a will means that government rules dictate how your estate is distributed. Many people believe that your assets will pass in their entirety to the surviving spouse or children but this is not the case.

Writing a will also gives you the opportunity to appoint executors of your estate and express your wishes concerning your funeral and specific gifts.

You should regularly review your will to reflect changes in your own circumstances and to ensure that it continues to be efficient for IHT purposes.

Mitigation of IHT

Whether you are married, widowed or live with an unmarried partner we are able to advise on planning that will mitigate your exposure to IHT and ensure your hard earned cash goes to your children and not the taxman.

Loss of mental capacity

If in the unfortunate event that you lose your mental capacity through either an illness or accident your assets will fall under the auspices of the Court of Protection/Office of Public Guardian. This means that your spouse/children will need permission from the court to sell assets.

If your spouse needed to sell your property in order to downsize to a smaller property they would have to go the court to get permission to sell the property, this can be expensive and is likely to take months. Even then there is no guarantee that your spouse will be able to use all of the proceeds to fund the purchase of a new house.

By creating an enduring power of attorney your spouse would have no need to go to the Court of Protection.

Probate

If there is no will - or if there is a will but it is tax inefficient - there can still be variations made to the will for two years after the date of death. This can save thousands in inheritance tax.

We are able to help if you need any assistance with probate administration, offering reasonable fees based on an hourly rate.

If you have a will where a high street bank is executor, we would suggest that you review this. Their fees are usually set at a fixed percentage of the value of the estate, which can prove to be incredibly expensive.

Passing on your business

If you leave your business to your spouse in your will it is free of tax but if your spouse was to sell the business any proceeds that remained in their estate would be subject to IHT as they would not benefit from business property relief.

By leaving the business to a series of trusts of which your spouse is a beneficiary the benefits of business property relief can be preserved.

Trusts

Trusts are not just the preserve of the wealthy and can be used for the following purposes.

  • To make gifts to individuals (both adults and minors). By gifting into a trust, control of these assets rests with the trustees, ensuring that they are not misused or wasted by your beneficiaries
  • To make certain that a gift reaches the person(s) you want to benefit at a time selected by you, e.g. to be gifted on your death or to assist with funding your grandchildren's education in the future
  • To help minimise your liability to inheritance tax
  • To speed up the administration of your estate and to avoid the need for probate on your death

Please do not hesitate to contact Stuart Shaw on 01622 758257 or via email stuart@loucas.org.uk if you would like to arrange a free consultation. You can come to one of the Loucas offices, or we would be happy to visit you at home.

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