what is my Inheritance Tax allowance?
The Inheritance Tax Allowance (Nil Rate Band) is the value of an estate that is not subject to Inheritance Tax in the United Kingdom and stands at £325,000 per individual.
There is an additional Nil Rate Band available when a residence is passed on death to a direct descendant. This is currently £125,000 per individual in the 2018-19 tax year.
CASE STUDY - Mr & Mrs Smith, BRISTOL
In the scenario below, we have used an example of a husband and wife living in Bristol, with their two children. Their total estate comprising of their house, a buy to let property, cash and savings could, with careful planning, minimise the exposure in the following way.
Please note that the following should be used for information purposes and not be interpreted as financial advice.
Gifting through carefully drafted will to include suitable trusts
Gift rental property and rental income generated to the children (subject to 7 year taper rule)
Potentially transfer to IHT friendly investment
Invest in a suitable insurance policy and trust to cover remaining IHT liability
potential iht allowance £900,000
Grand total £1,350,000
£450,000 over inheritance tax limit. They may incur an inheritance tax bill of £180,000 @ 40% tax rate
Taxable estate greatly reduced in value. Any remaining tax can be paid by the insurance policy
Also own £1,000,000 of pensions (not subject to IHT)
There is a lot to consider when proposing a solution to minimise your inheritance tax exposure. Below is a list of common solutions found and their advantages and disadvantages.
Gift your assets or investments to your children and/or grandchildren.
Allows the beneficiaries to receive gift immediately
You lose the benefit and control of these assets since it needs to be an absolute gift without any consideration
Will use up some or all of your nil rate band for the following 7 years unless an exempt gift
Make use of trusts to enable your family to benefit in the future and reduce your IHT liability
Enables you to retain some control over the assets / investments / beneficiaries by being a trustee yourself
Can be complicated, expensive to establish and administer
Taking out an insurance policy and paying a monthly premium now can provide a guaranteed lump sum, upon your death, which can be used to pay the IHT bill.
Simple and provides ability to pay bill without touching your estate
Can be cost prohibitive for elderly clients, so needs to be feasible based on the ongoing cost versus the benefit
Establishing trusts are an efficient way of making future provisions for your family. You could for example set up individual trusts for your own children, plus grandchildren. Any money placed within a trust falls outside your estate after 7 years, so is therefore not liable for Inheritance Tax. There can be lifetime inheritance tax charges depending on the amounts gifted and the type of trust
Making a will
Having a current and valid will is an important part of estate planning since it allows you to decide how your money, property and possessions are divided upon your death. With the help of a solicitor we can ensure your estate is passed on in the most tax-efficent manner.