If you struggle to navigate the UK’s Inheritance Tax regime, you are not alone. Whether you are setting up your estate planning or sorting out the estate of a departed family member, the system can be hard to follow. Getting your planning wrong could also mean your family is faced with an unexpectedly high Inheritance Tax bill.
Without professional advice and careful financial planning, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) can become the single largest beneficiary of your estate following your death. A recent survey about Inheritance Tax (IHT) shows that wealthy Britons over the age of 45 are either ignoring estate planning solutions or they have forgotten about the benefits these can provide. Only 27% of those surveyed have taken financial advice on IHT planning, despite all of them having a potential IHT liability.
Writing a Will may seem daunting – and with everything else we should be thinking about, it becomes just another chore on the to-do list. It’s especially important for cohabitating couples to have a Will, as the surviving partner does not automatically inherit any estate or possessions left behind.
If you have significant assets, you may be wondering whether Inheritance Tax (IHT) affects you. Worryingly, some families appear to be shying away from difficult conversations, as almost half (47%) of UK adults say they have never discussed inheritance matters, according to new research.
On 6 April 2017, a new additional main residence nil-rate band (RNRB) was introduced, which allows for less Inheritance Tax to be paid in situations when a family home is left to children, grandchildren or certain other ‘qualifying beneficiaries’ – including stepchildren and foster children.