Recent research carried out by Brewin Dolphin with Opinium* discovered that 47% of UK adults surveyed have never discussed passing on their legacy. Unfortunately by not taking professional advice on your succession planning, your family may pay more inheritance tax on the legacy they receive from you.
A consultation with a legal advisor could help you take advantage of the exemptions available to you and reduce your inheritance tax bill. In the last financial year the government raised a record £4.9 billion in inheritance tax*. This could be due to increasing house prices, but it is also likely to be due to individuals failing to plan effectively for the future.
How can you plan for your future?
One of the first steps you could take is to seek advice on the preparation of your Will. Although most people feel uncomfortable discussing their estate and death, a simple discussion can help give you peace of mind about the future. Even if you currently have a Will, there have been changes in the law recently which may mean your estate will not attract the Residence Nil Rate Band (an additional allowance for inheritance tax in relation to your property) as many existing Wills include outdated tax planning methods.
However, it is not just about tax planning. One of the other reasons to consider your Will is to try to avoid any disputes within your family after you have gone. The last thing most people want is for their hard earned money to be spent dealing with warring family members. A bereavement is a difficult time for everyone and a well prepared Will can help to keep the estate administration simple and straightforward for your family.
What happens if you do not leave a Will?
If you do not leave a Will the intestacy rules will apply. These are a set of rules which determine how your estate will be distributed when you die. Unfortunately you may not be happy with the way in which your estate would be distributed under intestacy. The rules also do not cover a number of important areas such as charitable gifts, funeral wishes, gifts of valuable or sentimental items, guardianship provisions for minor children and protection of assets for future generations.
Seeking legal advice will mean that considering your succession planning does not need to be difficult and could lead to a better future for your loved ones.
If you would like to discuss your Will and estate planning, please contact Aalia Ijaz in our Wills & Wealth Planning team on 0161 475 1218.
*You can view Brewin Dolphin’s research on their website.