Contrary to the belief of some, Inheritance Tax not only affects the very rich, but other people may be liable without realising. Few taxes are quite as emotive – or as politicised – as Inheritance Tax. The structures into which you transfer your assets can have lasting consequences for you and your family. At HB&O Financial Services, we can help you choose structures and trusts designed to protect your assets and give your family lasting benefits.
It is crucial to find out now if you potentially have an Inheritance Tax liability – or could do so in future years. Historically, Inheritance Tax planning used to be an activity confined to the very rich. However, growing affluence means that this is no longer the case. Even families and individuals with a relatively moderate level of wealth should consider planning ahead to ensure that their assets are passed on to their loved ones as efficiently as possible. Property price increases have also dragged many middle-class working families into the Inheritance Tax bracket.
Effective estate planning is about getting the right balance between maintaining access to your money when you need it and saving tax. This is because, in general, the more tax-efficient a solution is, the less access you have to your assets. Safeguarding your own financial future is very important, and giving too much away could put this at risk.
At HB&O Financial Services, we cannot stress how important making a Will is, as without one all decisions relating to your affairs will be made by the state – this includes who looks after your children. If you were to die without having made a Will, the surviving spouse will not automatically inherit the estate but only a part of it, even if you were married with children. Furthermore, without taking court action, common law partners would get nothing.
There are so many other factors to be considered even if you do have a Will in place. Is it up to date? Has it been invalidated by marriage? If you have children, have you appointed guardians? If the executors are a bank or solicitor, they take part of the estate – is this what you really want?
The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate taxation and trust advice or will writing.