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Estate Planning



Everyone’s situation is different; people have different sized estates, different types of assets, and want different things for their families but one thing is always the same, no one wants to pay unnecessary tax!


By spending a little time planning your estate we can help you avoid paying unnecessary tax and make sure as much of your estate as possible passes to your family rather than going to the government. This is designed to give you some basic information on planning your estate and introduce you to some of the tools that can be used. You will need to speak in more detail with a consultant before working out a complete plan for your estate.


The basis of any estate plan is to have trust wills giving powers to trustees and Lasting Powers of Attorney to make sure if anyone loses mental capacity assets can be dealt with by other family members. Estate planning is an ongoing process; wills and trusts can be drafted now and amended as your circumstances change, and after the death of the first partner more estate planning can be done.


You each have a tax free allowance of £325,000 called your nil rate band (NRB) which can be passed between married couples, so as a married couple you have £650,000 NRB. By passing your residential property directly to your descendants and qualifying for the main residence nil rate band you now have an additional £175,000 NRB each meaning subject to qualifying for these tax reliefs an individual can have £500,000 and married couples £1m before paying inheritance tax (IHT). Currently IHT is 40% charged on assets exceeding the available NRBs.


Lifetime planning is bespoke to you depending on your circumstances and requirements.


You can give away assets or capital from your estate but you can’t retain an interest in them and must live for seven years after making the gift for it to have completely left your estate. There are ways for assets to leave your estate in less time but there is more risk involved. An individual can give away £3,000 every year tax free from their estate.


You can make sure that all forms of life insurance cover and death in service benefit are written in favour of other family members in trust so they do not pass into your estate.


Discounted gift trusts are useful if you want to reduce cash in your estate but still receive an income from the amount given away; you can receive 5% interest.


It is not easy to dispose of investment properties from your estate without paying inheritance tax or capital gains tax, and still retaining the rental income. Investment property planning can be done but it is very complicated and you would need to discuss your circumstances and requirements with a specialist in this area.


These are just a few of the tools at our disposal to help deal with your estate, there are many more, and we have not gone into any detail. You can see there are lots of different ways of planning your estate to avoid paying unnecessary tax and making sure your family inherit as much of your estate as possible. An estate plan is bespoke to you depending on whether you want to give away assets absolutely, retain an interest in them by receiving an income, or whether you want to pass them into trusts. Our consultant will discuss all these options with you working out the best plan for you and your family, giving you peace of mind that your hard earned assets are going to go to your family rather than the government.


The above is basic information and was accurate when written but please check if anything has changed in the meantime. None of the above should be considered advice.

Complete the contact form on the ‘contact us’ page or phone Martin Wood on 07809 686904 to book a free consultation in your home.

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