31 January 2018

Far too Young

By Miranda Marshall, Director, Hayes + Storr.

Almost half of people in the UK (47%) have never discussed inheritance with their families and a quarter of them (26%) do not think it is a priority. According to this recent poll, the reason is that most people do not think that they are old enough to worry about it.

Government statistics show that Inheritance Tax (IHT) raised £4.9billion in the last financial year. Although this is partly due to rising property prices and a freezing of the IHT threshold, it is also down to poor planning.

This is because it is a highly emotional subject, as entirely understandably, people generally don’t like talking about money or death! The research also shows that one in ten people would like to get to grips with it but just haven’t found the right time, or just don’t know where to start.

This is why a general review of your affairs can be so helpful. Solicitors especially, much more than accountants, have a wide range of skills to enable a number of different possible arrangements to be put in place. Often a review takes place at the same time as making an up-to-date tax-efficient Will. We can talk with you about making gifts of assets and advising on what to give, how to give it and to whom. Issues specific to the older or more vulnerable client can also be sensitively considered. We can see you alone or with family members. However, we are professionally bound and highly-trained to ensure that there is no undue influence and that questions of mental capacity are thoroughly and gently considered.

All this can be interwoven with addressing potential lifetime tax planning issues such as a Capital Gains Tax (CGT) liability, which can often be managed or delayed using a number of possible methods.

It was a distinguished Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer who said wryly that Inheritance Tax is a voluntary tax paid by those who trust their families less than they trust the tax man.

This article aims to supply general information, but it is not intended to constitute advice. Every effort is made to ensure that the law referred to is correct at the date of publication and to avoid any statement which may mislead. However no duty of care is assumed to any person and no liability is accepted for any omission or inaccuracy. Always seek our specific advice.

If you would like further advice on this matter please contact Miranda on 01328 710210. If you require advice on any other legal matter please call our 01328 863231 or email law@hayes-storr.com.

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