Inheritance tax

 

If someone dies and leaves assets that are worth more than £325,000, their estate will normally have to pay inheritance tax at the rate of 40% for every pound over this threshold (at time of writing).

Inheritance tax can also become due if you give a gift during your lifetime. In these circumstances it is vitally important to get legal advice about the inheritance tax you might have to pay before you make the gift.

Calculating inheritance tax

The estate of the deceased person will usually be looked after by what is called the executor. It is the executor’s responsibility to calculate any inheritance tax that is due and make the payments. All the assets of the estate must be taken into consideration, not just the property that the estate owns.

As some property could have been jointly owned, taking legal advice about whether to include these assets in the estate’s value is very important. This will ensure your valuation is accurate.

Typically, inheritance tax is thought of as a sum paid on the death of an individual; however, this is not always the case, as certain transfers made during the lifetime of the person who is now deceased might trigger inheritance tax to be charged.

Exemptions

Inheritance tax also has a number of exemptions that you should be aware of:

  • The main exemption is if a spouse or civil partner jointly owns any assets within the estate. In these cases, inheritance tax won’t normally be due
  • Further, any gifts made to charities will normally not pay any inheritance tax

In some cases the estate of the deceased will be disputed. If this is the case, the support and help of a qualified solicitor will be essential.

The probate court which hears any grievances will want to see proper legal representation for the deceased’s estate. And if your handling of the estate as the executor is also disputed or criticised, a solicitor can also help you defend your case.

As you can see, inheritance tax laws can be quite complex as much of the work involved requires acute calculations and a very sound knowledge of the tax reliefs and exemptions available. Professional assistance is available throughout the UK so instruct a specialist inheritance tax lawyer for help with your tax problems.

Do you need inheritance tax planning advice in dealing with your estate, or the estate of which you are the executor? Contact Law can put you in touch with a specialist wills and probate solicitor who is experienced in giving inheritance tax planning advice. Please call us on 0808 129 5761 or fill out the web-form above.

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