Inheritance Tax and Inheritance Planning - Questions to Ask

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Inheritance Tax and Inheritance Planning - Questions to Ask Powered By Docstoc
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Inheritance Tax and Inheritance Planning - Questions to Ask By Gareth Flanagan

Inheritance tax is not one of those topics that people like to talk about all that much. Which is understandable really. However, changing rules on who and who is not affected by inheritance tax rules makes keeping up to date with the latest legislation not only smart but vital. And it’s not just the rich and famous that need to be aware of the rules surrounding inheritance – if you own your own home or business for example, you need to make sure you’re taking the right steps now to ensure your loved one’s aren’t left holding the bag after you’re gone. So what kinds of questions should you be asking about inheritance tax and planning? Do I need a will? Who should the main beneficiaries of my will be? How much can I leave without incurring an inheritance tax liability? How does overseas property affect my inheritance tax liability? How is my partner affected by Inheritance Tax? What are the rules around ‘gifting’ assets to my family? What about trusts? As always, every individual’s situation is different so it’s vital that you get the best possible advice – tailored to your specific needs. For example, your independent financial adviser may suggest that you ‘gift’ assets to your intended beneficiaries now, to avoid them having to pay inheritance taxes or suggest leaving a portion of your estate in trust for your grandchildren. As a tax that generated a huge amount of government revenue it is one of the most avoidable. One politician said it is a tax that should only be paid by those who love and adore the government more than their spouse. The rules around this tax change year on year. Only last year the threshold was increased to £312,000 per individual. Also couples are able to double up together to make joint usage of their tax thresholds. When calculating your inheritance tax liability you must take into account gifts that have occurred during the last 7 years. There are assets that do not attract IHT. A good financial adviser will take all this into account when calculating your liability. In summary this tax can be avoided if you seek the advice from the right professional
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So what’s the best way to find out what’s appropriate for you? Speak to an independent financial adviser of course - or better yet, get a free inheritance tax review.

Gareth Flanagan is a financial adviser with Principle First Financial Services

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Inheritance Tax Planning Will Save More Than Halve Your Tax! By Shim Aquino

Plan ahead for your spouse, kids and next of kin by setting out clearly who and what they get from your estate. It also means that by inheritance tax planning you can maximize inheritance tax reliefs and exemptions if your estate might be worth more than the inheritance tax threshold when you die. Do not underestimate the value of making a will and let your heirs know where to find it to ensure that your estate is shared out exactly as you want it to be. Without a will, your estate will be shared out among your next of kin according to the 'rules of intestacy'. Inheritance tax planning helps you to maximize what will be shared by your heirs from your estate after transfer fees and other assessments due to government are deducted. Inheritance tax planning also involves having your estate valued by identifying all your assets less your liabilities; including your household bills and funeral expenses as well as gifts you may have given. Determine what the effective inheritance tax threshold is for the type of relationship you are in with your spouse or civil partner. For married couples and registered civil partners, you can effectively increase the threshold on your estate when anyone of you dies by transferring the deceased spouse or civil partner’s unused inheritance tax threshold or ‘nil rate band’ to the surviving spouse or civil partner. See, without inheritance tax planning, you may miss out on this incentive and the big discount you get. Gifts you have given away are computed as part of your estate and valued accordingly. If you give your home away to your children and continue to live in it, your estate or your children might still have to pay inheritance tax on the property when you die, as well as other taxes. Gifts into a trust may still be subject to inheritance tax if your estate is over the inheritance tax threshold. However, by inheritance tax planning you will learn that you may give up to £3,000 away each year, either as a single gift or as several gifts adding up to that amount or you can make small gifts of up to £250 to as many individuals as you like tax-free. Certain types of property can be passed on free from inheritance tax - or at a discounted value for inheritance tax purposes. This can be done while you’re still alive or through your will, yes, definitely, and more so if you do this with inheritance tax planning. You may be able to claim special relief on shares in a business partnership, land, buildings, machinery, farm land, working farmhouses and barns or woodland timber, even on National Heritage property - or famous and important works of art. Inheritance tax planning can save you more than you are expecting. Let Porterbrown give you free legal advice about inheritance tax planning. It is the only way to secure your family’s future. Get FREE tips on Inheritance Tax Planning and Save Great Value From Your Inheritance Tax Payment.

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