3. Charitable gifts
Gifts to registered charities can be made entirely free from Inheritance Tax, which can help you to reduce the size of your estate to within the Inheritance Tax threshold.
Additionally, if at least 10% of your total estate is gifted to charity, it will reduce the rate of Inheritance Tax payable on your remaining estate (above the nil-rate band) from 40% to 36%.
It is possible to take out a life insurance policy written in an appropriate trust that can provide a lump sum on your death to be used to pay the resulting Inheritance Tax bill. If this policy is within a trust, the lump sum paid out will not count towards your estate.
Insurance can also be taken out when making large financial gifts to cover the Inheritance Tax bill if you were to die within the following seven years (for example, before they are excluded from your estate). This is called a ‘term assurance’ policy.
Typically, though with some exceptions, pensions are excluded from the calculation of your estate and can be passed on free from Inheritance Tax. It is important to name a beneficiary to whom you wish to pass on your pension benefits.
It is also possible to make payments in your lifetime into another person’s pension, which will protect this money from Inheritance Tax. For example, you can set up a Junior Self-Invested Personal Pension for a grandchild under the age of 18 and pay in up to £2,880 a year. But they will not usually have access to this money until they reach age 55.
6. Discretionary trusts
A discretionary trust can help you to reduce your Inheritance Tax liability by holding money in the name of your beneficiaries while you retain control. You can use your nil-rate band to pay in up to £325,000, which will be excluded from your estate after seven years. Funds above the nil-rate band may attract a lifetime tax charge.
7. Loan trusts
If you would like to protect your money in a trust but need to know you can withdraw it if you need it, it’s possible to loan money to a trust. You will always have the option to withdraw the original capital you loaned, but any growth on that capital will be protected within the trust from Inheritance Tax.
8. Discounted gift trusts
If you would like to earmark some wealth to be passed to a beneficiary or beneficiaries on your death, but you want any income generated to be paid to you in your lifetime, you can do this through a discounted gift trust. This will exclude the contents of the trust from your estate for Inheritance Tax purposes but still provide you with regular payments from it.
9. Business Relief
Business assets can usually be passed on either in your lifetime or after your death with Inheritance Tax relief of up to 100%. A business, interest in business or shares in an unlisted company will usually qualify for 100% Business Relief. Land, buildings and machinery related to the business will usually qualify for 50% Business Relief, as will shares controlling more than 50% of the voting rights of a listed company.
10. Agricultural Relief
If you own agricultural property (land or pasture used to grow crops or rear animals as part of a working farm), this can usually be passed on in your lifetime or after your death free from Inheritance Tax.
THE FINANCIAL CONDUCT AUTHORITY DOES NOT REGULATE TAXATION AND TRUST ADVICE AND WILL WRITING. TRUSTS ARE A HIGHLY COMPLEX AREA OF FINANCIAL PLANNING.
INFORMATION PROVIDED AND ANY OPINIONS EXPRESSED ARE FOR GENERAL GUIDANCE ONLY AND NOT PERSONAL TO YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES, NOR ARE INTENDED TO PROVIDE SPECIFIC ADVICE.
TAX LAWS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE AND TAXATION WILL VARY DEPENDING ON INDIVIDUAL CIRCUMSTANCES.