Inheritance Tax Exemptions and Allowances

By | Gifting, Inheritance Tax | One Comment

Where clients are wishing to reduce their potential inheritance tax liability, there are lifetime inheritance tax exemptions and allowances they should be made aware of. For a number of these, they may need to seek regular advice from tax specialists to ensure that they will qualify for an exception or do not exceed an allowance. Annual Exemption Each person has an annual exemption of £3000 per year that can be gifted in any way that will not be considered for inheritance tax purposes. If the full £3000 is not used fully in that year, any unused allowance may be rolled over to the next year once. Small Gift Exemption Small gifts of £250 or less are exempt from inheritance tax. A person can make as many of these gifts as they like each tax year as long as the total amount gifted to each individual is less than £250. This…

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Chancellor requests a review of Inheritance Tax

By | Inheritance Tax | One Comment

In a letter published on the 31st January, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has requested that the Office for Tax Simplification carry out a review of the inheritance tax regime. The Chancellor has acknowledged that the inheritance tax system is complex and wished for simplification to ensure that the system is fit for purposes and operates as smoothly as possible. It is requested that the review considers: Technical and administrative issues, such as the process of submitting returns and paying any tax due Practical issues around routine estate planning and disclosure How current gift rules interact with the wider inheritance tax system and whether the current system causes distortions when making decisions about transfers, investments and other transactions. A document covering the scope of the review will be agreed and published by the Office for Tax Simplification in due course. This request for a review comes less than a year…

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Disabled/Vulnerable Person’s Discretionary Trusts

By | Guardianship, Inheritance, Legal, Trustees, Trusts, Wills | 2 Comments

The Disabled/Vulnerable Person’s Discretionary Trusts These are useful trusts to use when your client has a child or another relative with a disability and who needs constant support. If this person inherits from a Will directly, this may affect what disability benefits they may receive. We can put the assets into a Discretionary Trust with the disabled beneficiary as the Principal Beneficiary. As with any other Discretionary Trust, there must be more than 1 appointed beneficiary. The main reason for this is because whenever a person in receipt of disability benefits receives an inheritance, the Local Authority will want to assess them. This means if they hold over a certain threshold (this can vary) the Local Authority can cut the benefits that person receives. If the estate of the testator is due to pay any IHT. This will need paying before the assets are passed into the Trust, at 40%…

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Introduction to Guardianship

By | Guardianship, Inheritance, Intestacy, Legal, Uncategorized, Wills | No Comments

Appointment of Testamentary Guardians The appointment of testamentary guardians is rarely considered by parent, but it is highly desirable that they should consider who should look after their children if both were to lose their lives while their children are under eighteen. The appointment of a testamentary guardian can only be made by a person with parental responsibility. What is Parental Responsibility? The legal definition of Parental Responsibility is the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent has in relation to their child and their property. This includes: Providing them with a home maintaining them Choices about their medical treatment How and where they are educated Deciding their name It does not include a duty to maintain the child financially, all parents have this duty regardless of whether they have parental responsibility. More than one person can have parental responsibility for the same child at the…

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Flexible Life Interest Trust

By | Inheritance, Legal, Property, Trustees, Wills | One Comment

Flexible Life Interest Trust  Due to more complex estates and greater wealth, greater flexibility is essential to cope with any future changes to the family structure (such as new family members) and changes in the tax regime. The best way to gain the maximum flexibility is by the use of a Flexible Life Interest Trust (FLIT). How a FLIT works The residue of the estate is held on trust for the surviving spouse or civil partner for their lifetime, after which or when the life interest is ended, a discretionary trust will arise in favour of nominated beneficiaries, usually children and issue. Trustees are given a number of powers. They can grant the income of the trust fund to the surviving spouse/civil partner and have the power to grant the capital of the trust fund to them as either absolutely or as a loan, which would be repaid when the…

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Roles of executors and trustees

By | Executor, Inheritance, Legal, Trustees, Wills | 2 Comments

Who are trustees? A trustee is someone who is given legal responsibility to hold property in the best interest of or for the benefit of someone else (the beneficiaries). As the name implies, the trustee acts under a “trust” to do what is best and to act in the interests of the beneficiaries and not themselves. Number of trustees No more than 4 trustees can be appointed to act at once, however reserve trustees can be appointed. If the property of the trust includes land a minimum of 2 trustees must be appointed. Where a Trust is inserted within a Will in favour of a spouse (as a beneficiary) upon first death, it is almost always advisable that a MINIMUM of two other trustees be appointed to act jointly with the spouse. This is in order to prevent any conflict of interest due to the spouse acting as the sole…

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Could Changes to the Taxation of Pilot Trusts Affect You?

By | Food for thought, Legal | One Comment

Following the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement at the end of 2014, legislation is now going through parliament which aims to limit the use of ‘pilot’ trusts. Pilot trusts are an accepted form of Inheritance Tax (IHT) planning, commonly used to reduce the impact of the special IHT regime which applies to trusts, known as the ‘relevant property regime’. If a trust falls within the relevant property regime, the assets do not form part of the estates of any of the beneficiaries of the trust. Instead, there are potential charges to IHT when capital leaves the trust by way of outright distribution (an ‘exit’ charge) and on each tenth anniversary of the creation of the trust (a ‘periodic charge’). The calculation of these charges is complex but, broadly, they only apply to the extent that the trust fund exceeds the available nil rate band (currently a maximum of £325,000) at the time…

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