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Forward planning the key to financial security

24th August 2017

Forward planning the key to financial security

News that veteran entertainer Bruce Forsyth left his entire £17m estate to his wife to avoid inheritance tax is proof that good financial planning is key, suggests a West Midlands’ specialist.

Kate Newton, an expert in wills and inheritance tax planning with Black Country law firm Higgs & Sons, says there are various exemptions and reliefs available which can reduce or even prevent an inheritance tax liability arising.

“Gifts on death to a spouse or civil partner are exempt from inheritance tax and it is sensible inheritance tax planning to use the spouse exemption whenever appropriate.”

When all assets have been left to a surviving spouse, and when he or she subsequently dies, it is possible to claim not only their nil rate band inheritance tax allowance, but also the nil rate band of their deceased spouse.

Sir Bruce died last week reputedly leaving all of his fortune to third wife and former Miss World Wilnelia. This means that upon her death, taking into account her own nil rate band allowance and that which she inherited from Sir Bruce, she can legally leave up to £650,000 free of inheritance tax.

Kate Newton added: “In relation to inheritance tax planning, there are various exemptions and reliefs available which, if put to good use, can reduce or even prevent an inheritance tax liability arising. 

“For second marriages, it is often necessary to balance the needs of a spouse with a wish to pass family wealth on to children from a previous relationship. With careful planning, the spouse exemption can be used in these circumstances to improve the inheritance tax position. 

“In addition, steps should be taken to fully utilise business or agricultural property relief and the newly introduced residence nil rate band.”

However Kate concludes that that seeking advice from a professional specialising in wills and inheritance tax planning is essential.

For further information or specialist advice, contact Higgs & Sons on 0345 111 5050.

 

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