IHT planning

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If you want to make plans for your own estate

If your estate is worth more than £325,000 (or £650,000 for married couples and civil partners) it’s likely that some of it will be liable for inheritance tax (IHT). This tax bill could amount to 40% of everything over the threshold – a huge chunk of what you might be hoping to pass on to your loved ones. You may be wondering if you can reduce the tax burden on your beneficiaries, and how to go about it.

Reducing your IHT bill

The most obvious way to reduce your inheritance tax bill is to make your estate smaller by giving money away while you’re still alive. Any gifts you make more than seven years before you die won’t be eligible for IHT up to a certain amount. But if you die less than seven years after making a gift, the law says that the recipient could have to pay tax on it. And if you give something away but still benefit from it – such as your home – HMRC may treat it as part of your estate and will levy tax on it in the normal way.

How we can help

If you want to reduce your IHT bill without falling foul of the law, our legal experts can help. We’ll explain how you can make sure your loved ones receive the maximum possible benefit from your estate and what your options are. And we’ll help you understand the rules around gifts, and the common pitfalls and misconceptions around IHT liability.

We’ll:

  • listen while you explain your circumstances and your plans for your estate
  • explain how IHT is calculated and how it applies to you
  • explore your options for reducing your IHT liability

All advice contained within this section relates to England and Wales only.

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Meet your experts
Ben Rosser Sq Ben Rossor Ben joined Which? in 2015, prior to this having worked in private practice. He now enjoys using his knowledge to aid members with their issues and queries on wills, probate and estate management.
ID Photo Sarah Henley Sarah specialises in supporting our members on Wills, the probate process, Powers of Attorney and estate administration. See profile
Paul Hanford Sq Paul Handford With over 20 years of varied legal experience, Paul now specialises in private client work, which includes drawing up wills and deeds of trust. See profile
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