Protecting your estate is ultimately about securing more of your wealth for your loved ones and planning for what will happen after your death.
You don't have to be wealthy for your estate to be liable for taxation - and it isn't something that is paid only on death, it may also be paid on gifts made during someone's lifetime.
However, with the correct advice, there are steps you can take to protect your assets and make things easier for your family.
Our independent financial advisers and lawyers can help you structure your finances correctly. We can help with:
Your estate will be liable for Inheritance Tax if it is valued over the current threshold of £325,000 when you die.
This is the nil band rate and you will pay no tax on your estate up to this figure. Everything above that £325,000 figure is taxed at 40%.
There are ways to reduce your liability, by making gifts or giving to charity, for example. New rules could also give you an additional flexibility if your house passes to your children, grandchildren or great grandchildren.
Taking out a life insurance policy written under an appropriate trust could be used towards paying any Inheritance Tax liability, thus shielding your family.
Under normal circumstances, the payout from a life insurance policy will form part of your legal estate and may therefore be subject to Inheritance Tax.
By writing a life insurance policy in an appropriate trust, the proceeds from the policy can be paid directly to the beneficiaries rather than to your legal estate, and will not be taken into account when Inheritance Tax is calculated.
Broadly speaking, there are two types of trusts to choose from: a discretionary trust and a bare trust.
They each have different structures and purposes and our advisers can help you decide which best fits your needs.
If you would like to speak to one of our Inheritance Tax planning experts, click here.
I used Aberdein Considine after having them recommended to me. They sorted out my pension but also pointed out other areas I hadn't even considered and which were equally important.
A. Templeton, personal financial planning client
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