Lockdown is presenting many of us with an unusual amount of free time at home. Why not tackle the jobs that we tend to put off until another day. It’s no easy task to think about what will happen to your assets and family after you die but putting your affairs in order now is one of the best gifts you can give to your family. Start by asking yourself the following: -
Will Inheritance Tax be payable after my day?
In general, you can own up to £325,000 before Inheritance Tax is payable on your death. There are a number of ways that your tax allowance can be increased but Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will not just give it to you automatically.
The onus is on your executors to claim the additional tax relief. It is wise to make it as easy as possible for them to do so, particularly if you own a property, run a business or have farming assets. Burnetts can help you make the most of any relief that is available.
Have I made the most of this year’s Inheritance Tax exemption?
Gifting is a simple way to reduce your potential tax bill. Each year you can gift up to £3,000 (and sometimes more) without HMRC taking it into account on your death for Inheritance Tax purposes. Speak to our Team to find out the maximum you can gift by the end of this tax year. You may be able to claim some allowance from the year before, but you must use it now or lose it, as it can’t be carried forward for more than one year.
Are my children ready to inherit?
Maybe you’re concerned about your child’s choice of partner or you are simply not sure whether your children are financially responsible enough to inherit outright. We can talk to you about putting a Trust in your Will, to make sure that your hard-earned assets are protected.
A Trust is a mechanism that allows you to give your property or assets to chosen people, known as Trustees, who will then look after it for the benefit of your family.
With a Flexible Trust, your Trustees can choose when to transfer assets to your family, who (from a list of beneficiaries specified by you) is to benefit and in what shares. It can be used to suit your individual circumstances. You can write a Letter of Wishes, giving guidance to your Trustees as to what you would like them to do.
Is my Will up to date?
You should review your Will every few years, or at any time there is a major event in your life, such as getting married or having a child.
Your intended beneficiaries may be the same, but are your executors still fit and able to act? Are any guardians appointed to look after your children still willing to take on the role?
Hopefully the current health crisis will ease later this year. Putting your legal affairs in order now will give you more time to enjoy the future. Call one of our specialist Team to get started.