10 October 2019

Taxing times for those planning ahead

There have been a number of consultations recently by HMRC about changes to various taxes, particularly those that apply on death. As the saying goes: “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes”, and it’s clear in the case of challenging economic and political times that those who have worked hard to build up even modest estates, are facing potentially increasing tax bills when they die.

We are expecting there to be an increase in probate court costs sometime this autumn which could see the cost of obtaining a Grant of Probate on death rise to as much as £20,000 for the largest estates. This is in addition to any inheritance tax charges that are payable.

Further we have recently seen several consultations proposing changes to the taxation of Discretionary Trusts and individual tax free allowances for inheritance tax (known as the nil rate band). This could severely limit the opportunity to tax plan and reduce inheritance tax bills during an individual’s lifetime, the impact of which should not be underestimated by those with relatively modest estates.

Further proposed changes to gifting allowances and time limits could mean that even those seeking to take advantage of making smaller annual gifts, which would ordinarily have been exempted from inheritance tax, could be affected. There has never been a better time to take advice on minimising your own inheritance tax exposure.

All of the solicitors in our team are experienced in assisting clients to organise their affairs so as to minimise inheritance tax and future proof their estates against changes in legislation where possible. Supported by Sarah Woodall, a practising barrister who worked for HMRC for many years we are able to provide you with the very best advice in a cost effective manner.

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About the Author
Sarah Woodall, Partner (Barrister), Head of Tax
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