You can reduce IHT with careful planning and by making gifts

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Benjamin Franklin famously stated that ‘nothing is certain but death and taxes’. While the former is still unavoidable, careful financial planning can substantially reduce the inheritance tax (IHT) on your estate when you die. A useful way to do this is by making gifts – from your capital or from income.

However, the longer you survive after making the gift (subject to surviving at least three years), the lower the IHT charge. You need to be careful if you are giving away your home to your children with conditions attached to it, or if you give it away but continue to benefit from it. This is known as a ‘Gift with Reservation of Benefit’.

You will potentially have a significant liability to IHT after you both die, but you could reduce this with careful planning and by making gifts while you are still alive. You made gifts to your children 10 years ago so these are fully outside your estates for IHT purposes.

Keeping it in the family; careful planning can reduce or even eliminate the inheritance tax payable. inter-generational planning helps you put financial measures in place to benefit your children later in life, and possibly even your future grandchildren, so it’s important to start planning early.

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As with all estate planning. inheritance tax liability, but beware – compound interest on the loan can outstrip tax savings.” STEP 4: now consider giving away assets to reduce your inheritance tax.

Step 6: Don’t forget life assurance. Life assurance can be used to either meet, or reduce a prospective IHT bill. You set up a whole-of-life assurance policy, which lasts for as long as you live. As long as the policy is written in trust, the proceeds of the life assurance policy will not be included in your estate.

The standard rate of inheritance tax is 40%. A lifetime IHT is also payable in certain instances if there is a chargeable transfer (e.g. transfers to almost all trusts) that exceeds the lifetime allowance. With careful planning, however, you can reduce your IHT liability to zero.

You can make gifts of up to 3,000 in total in any tax year without attracting IHT. If the gifting exemption is not used in one tax year, it can be carried forward to the next, and, moreover, these exemptions are personal, so a couple could remove 12,000 from their joint estate in one tax year.

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