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Estate Planning

Did you know the Inheritance Tax Rate is a huge 40%?

And that the tax bill needs to be paid before your loved one inherits? This can often cause unnecessary worry and stress at a time of grief and bereavement.

To makes things worse Inheritance tax receipts for December 2022 totalled £545 million, up from £474 million in the same month a year ago. For the final quarter of the calendar year, the tax take hit £1.8 billion – the highest total on record and up from £1.4 billion last year.

Its looking likely the Treasury will collect a record amount of cash from inheritance tax this financial year with forecasts predicting nearly £8 billion will be raised. The troubling part is that many families simply are not aware that the level of their assets trigger a liability to tax, often until its too late.

inheritance Tax is an avoidable tax and only paid by those who fail to plan for it, the tax liability is calculated on the total value of your estate after all applicable allowances. A combination of factors, such as the freeze on the nil-rate band and rising property prices have contributed to the hike in tax.

In addition the fact that new reliefs have to be claimed by executors rather than granted automatically like the NRB (nil rate band) puts additional strain on non-professional executors who may often simply overlook the additional reliefs available and pay more tax then is necessary.

How you structure your assets again plays a huge part, indeed more than 6,000 estates have paid inheritance tax (IHT) on life insurance policies which could have been excluded if their policy was written into a trust, according to HMRC data. These policies were worth a total £709m, meaning that more than £280m of IHT may have paid out on them. However, if the policies were written into a trust, they would not normally form part of the deceased’s estate and would therefore not be liable for IHT.

It is this combination of factors that sadly continues to increase the levels of Inheritance tax being paid, often unnecessarily. It should serve as a reminder of the importance of regularly assessing the value of your estate which includes getting an up-to-date valuation of any owned property and investments. It is pointless to focus solely on growing your estate and doing nothing to protect your IHT level as your are simply growing your assets only to give it to the tax man on your death.

Our Professional advisors will help you work out the total value of your estate, calculate how much tax you may be likely to owe and understand what options you have to manage that tax bill.

With the right Will and Planning in place, you can protect your loved ones and secure your family’s inheritance.

Going into care- should you be concerned?

Nobody likes to think about going into care; for many people, it’ll be years before they even have to consider it, and some people won’t ever need to go into care at all. But is it really something you can afford to put off thinking about?

Let’s take a look at the facts. Care fees are more expensive than ever before;  an average of £30,000 per year. To make matters even worse, the cost of care is rising ten times faster than average pensioner income, and with interest rates at record lows it’ll be impossible for most pensioners to pay for care whilst also leaving something behind for their loved ones. It is estimated that close to 200,000 homes are sold every year so that their owners can afford to pay their care fees.

You may think this doesn’t apply to you, because your family will look after you rather than placing you in residential care. We’d all like to think this is true, but we also have no idea what awaits us in old age. Countless problems could befall us- do you really want your family to struggle to care for you whilst trying to juggle their own lives, their careers and their families? It may be simply not possible to care for you at home- then, the only choice is care.

However, that’s not to say you should be worried. Care homes are specialist facilities designed to provide the highest possible standard of care to those who need it. In addition, despite their cost, it is entirely possible to leave something behind for your loved ones after all.

By utilising special provisions in your Will, you can place your assets into trust. This safeguards them from care authority means testing, but it must be done sooner rather than later; this may be seen as “deliberate deprivation” if done too late. It is entirely legal and has been used by very wealthy people for centuries, but you don’t have to be an aristocrat to protect what you’ve worked hard your whole life for.

Speak to Accord Legal Services today on 01744 807048 for more information or to book a free home consultation.

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