With house prices rising more families in Surrey are facing the possibility of paying IHT. However, with careful planning, you can reduce the amount of tax payable.
Having checked with your solicitor that your will is up to date, one approach is to make gifts to your family in your lifetime, some of which can be made completely free of IHT. Other gifts will need more careful planning as they won’t fall outside your estate immediately.
Trusts can play a very important role in estate planning, particularly where you are considering substantial outright gifts and want to retain some control over those funds. There are also a number of Trust-based arrangements where you can make IHT-efficient gifts but still retain some access to all or part of the capital. Examples of effective Trust-based IHT arrangements are the Flexible Family Trust and the Safety Net Trust.
A review of your existing arrangements is also advisable, as we are finding that many life assurance plans have not been written in Trust. This can result in beneficiaries not receiving the proceeds until probate has been granted and even worse, increasing the value of the estate and the IHT payable.
Our Lifestyle Financial Planning Service may be of interest, where we use cash flow modelling to deliver a personalised plan to assist in areas such as estate planning. It allows us to see immediately how making gifts might impact upon your financial position now and in the future.
Please note that in any tax planning, you should always consult your solicitor or accountant for their advice. We will be happy to put you in touch with a local solicitor or accountant, if required.