Inheritance Tax Solicitors
When it comes to maximising the value of your estate, the way in which you plan and manage your assets can have a significant impact on the amount of Inheritance Tax (IHT) you are expected to pay. Planning your estate alongside a legal expert can help you and your loved ones benefit from any relevant exemptions and reliefs – protecting your assets for future generations.
Smith Partnership's dedicated wills and inheritance team offers specialist legal advice regarding every aspect of estate and Inheritance Tax planning. Whatever the complexity of your estate or financial affairs may be, our estate solicitors are on hand to increase its benefit to you and your family. Contact our friendly team today to find out more.
What is Inheritance Tax?
Inheritance Tax is a form of taxation charged over the value of your estate upon your passing. In most cases, the assets you leave behind (including any money, property or possessions) will be subject to Inheritance Tax if their value exceeds the threshold known as the 'nil-rate band' (or the additional ‘residence nil-rate band’ if applicable). The nil-rate band threshold stands at £325,000 during the 2020-21 tax year, and the residence nil-rate band at £175,000.
In practice, this means that you will not be expected to pay any Inheritance Tax if the total value of your estate is lower than the current threshold. If the estate you intend to pass on is worth more, you may pay the UK's standard 2020 tax rate of 40% on anything above the threshold.
Ways to minimise Inheritance Tax
There are several ways in which to minimise the amount of Inheritance Tax you will be expected to pay, and making effective use of them can provide significant tax savings depending on what your estate is worth. These include:
- Writing or updating your will, ensuring that your wishes are documented in a legally-binding, tax-efficient way
- Making use of tax reliefs and exemptions such as Business Property Relief (BPR), Agricultural Property Relief (APR) or annual exemptions
- Lifetime gifting, for example through gifting assets to a family member or charity over the course of your lifetime
- Deeds of Variation, which enable you to transfer assets to another beneficiary
- Creating a Trust, for example to exclude assets from your personal estate
No estate is exactly the same, and there are many other ways of reducing your Inheritance Tax burden. For this reason, getting the right legal advice is crucial to determining the solution that's right for you.
Do I need legal advice?
Enlisting legal assistance can go a long way in providing peace of mind that your heirs are provided for in the best way possible. An experienced solicitor can help you make sense of the many rules and regulations surrounding estate and Inheritance Tax planning, offering value for money in the process.
You may also want to seek legal advice if you:
- Are the owner of assets that are held abroad
- Are cohabiting or sharing a property with someone other than your spouse
- Recently got married or divorced
- Are a business owner
Estate planning made easy
Although the legal aspects surrounding Inheritance Tax planning can be complex, our legal services have been purposely designed to make estate planning as easy as possible. Making the most of your assets shouldn't have to be difficult – so our dedicated inheritance tax planning solicitors take every opportunity to ensure a friendly and straightforward service, providing a bespoke approach to each individual circumstance.
From private clients to businesses, we offer practical legal advice throughout our offices in Leicester, Burton upon Trent, Derby, Swadlincote and Stoke-on-Trent, as well as remotely via email or telephone. As one of the leading law firms in the East Midlands region, we proudly combine first-rate legal expertise with a personalised approach free of unnecessary jargon.