Author Archives: Fish Saltus

Have You Written a Will Yet

Have You Made A Will Yet?

Recent research shows that as many as three in five UK adults have not yet made provisions.

It’s important to make sure that after you die, your assets and possessions go to the people and organisations you choose, such as family members and charities you want to support.

Wills and Inheritance Tax planning more broadly are sensitive subjects for households across the UK and are often thought of as slightly taboo topics. However, the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has focused minds and given us space to think.

And it seems that it’s prompted more people to take action, from making changes to existing Wills to encouraging them to think about writing one for the first time. But worryingly, three in five (59%) UK adults have not written a Will, new research[1] reveals.

This equates to 31 million people, whose property, financial and other assets could be left to someone they have not chosen when they die. Of those who have not written a Will yet, 22% are over the age of 75 and 39% are aged 65-74. Worryingly, a third (32%) of those aged 75+ haven’t even started thinking about writing a Will yet. 
Started thinking about writing a Will
Since the start of lockdown, those aged between 25-34 have, however, started the Will writing process or made changes to their existing one. During this period, a fifth (21%) of 25-34-year-olds started thinking about writing a Will for the first time and one in ten (12%) wrote one. A further 30% updated an existing Will.

Respondents were also asked if they had a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in place yet, finding that just 12% of UK adults had an LPA in place before the COVID-19 lockdown. However, 6% said they had engaged a legal professional or the Office of the Public Guardian during the pandemic to put an LPA in place.

Types of Lasting Power of Attorney

Health and Welfare LPAs
A Health and Welfare LPA allows you to appoint an Attorney to make decisions about matters such as:
> Your medical care
> Where you live
> Your daily routine, such as what you eat and what you wear
> Whom you have contact with
> Whether you have life-sustaining treatment – although only if you have given express permission

Property and Financial Affairs LPAs
A Property and Financial Affairs LPA gives your Attorney the power to do things such as:
> Buy and sell your property
> Pay your bills
> Collect your pension or benefits
> Manage your bank accounts

Emotional and financial pressure
A Will can provide peace of mind that not only will the correct beneficiaries benefit from any estate distribution, but also that it is done as efficiently as possible. But only 13% of UK adults have written a living Will, which is used to provide advanced decisions on refusing medical treatments if you become terminally ill or lose the ability to make decisions around medical treatment yourself. A further 6% said they had made a living Will, now more commonly called an ‘advance decision.’

While no one likes to think about their own mortality, getting your house in order by having the right legal instructions can take away much of the emotional and financial pressure at a very difficult time. Taking the first step is always the most difficult but puts you as the benefactor in the driving seat.
Especially important if you have children
A Will can help reduce the amount of Inheritance Tax that might be payable on the value of the property and money you leave behind. Writing a Will is especially important if you have children or other family who depend on you financially, or if you want to leave something to people outside your immediate family.

If you die without a valid Will, you will be dying intestate and your estate will pass to those entitled under the intestacy rules. Under the intestacy rules, your estate could pass to unintended beneficiaries and leave your loved ones in a very difficult situation at an already emotionally challenging time.

Source data:
[1] Research from Canada Life 25/09/20

Margaret Smith

More Fizz at Fish Saltus!

Champagne to celebrate exam success.

Hearty congratulations to Fish Saltus ‘s Margaret Smith on gaining her Certificate in Financial Services – pictured here having just received a well-deserved bottle of celebratory champagne, at our Gostrey House office in Farnham.

This comes hot on the heels of July’s successes and celebrations, read more here…

Lasting Power of Attorney

Do You Need a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?

Taking control of decisions even in the event you can’t make them yourself.

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) enables individuals to take control of decisions that affect them, even in the event that they can’t make those decisions for themselves. Without them, loved ones could be forced to endure a costly and lengthy process to obtain authority to act for an individual who has lost mental capacity.

An individual can create a LPA covering their property and financial affairs and/or a separate LPA for their health and welfare. It’s possible to appoint the same or different attorneys in respect of each lasting power of attorney, and both versions contain safeguards against possible misuse.

Own financial affairs
It’s not hard to imagine the difficulties that could arise where an individual loses the capacity to manage their own financial affairs and, without access to their bank account, pension and investments, family and friends could face an additional burden at an already stressful time. LPA and their equivalents in Scotland and Northern Ireland should be a consideration in all financial planning discussions and should be a key part of any protection insurance planning exercise. Planning for mental or physical incapacity should sit alongside any planning for ill health or unexpected death.

Losing mental capacity
Commencing from 1 October 2007, it is no longer possible to establish a new Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) in England and Wales, but those already in existence remain valid. The attorney would have been given authority to act in respect of the donor’s property and financial affairs as soon as the EPA was created.

At the point the attorney believes the donor is losing their mental capacity, they would apply to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) to register the EPA to obtain continuing authority to act.

Similar provisions in Scotland
Similar provisions to LPAs apply in Scotland. The ‘granter’ (donor) gives authority to their chosen attorney in respect of their financial and property matters (‘continuing power of attorney’) and/or personal welfare (‘welfare power of attorney’).

The latter only takes effect upon the granter’s mental incapacity. Applications for powers of attorney must be accompanied by a certificate confirming the granter understands what they are doing, completed by a solicitor or medical practitioner only.

LPAs don’t apply to Northern Ireland. Instead, those seeking to make a power of attorney appointment over their financial affairs would complete an EPA. This would be effective as soon as it was completed and would only need to be registered in the event of the donor’s loss of mental capacity with the High Court (Office of Care and Protection).

Concerning medical treatment
It’s usual for the attorney to be able to make decisions about the donor’s financial affairs as soon as the LPA is registered. Alternatively, the donor can state it will only apply where the donor has lost mental capacity in the opinion of a medical practitioner.

A LPA for health and welfare covers decisions relating to an individual’s day-to-day well-being. The attorney may only act once the donor lacks mental capacity to make the decision in question. The types of decisions covered might include where the donor lives and decisions concerning medical treatment.

Life-sustaining treatment
The donor also has the option to provide their attorney with the authority to give or refuse consent for life-sustaining treatment. Where no authority is given, treatment will be provided to the donor in their best interests.

Unlike the registration process for an EPA, registration for both types of LPA takes place up front and is not dependent on the donor’s mental capacity. An attorney must act in the best interest of the donor, following any instructions and considering the donor’s preferences when making decisions.

They must follow the Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice which establishes five key principles:

1. A person must be assumed to have capacity unless it’s established he or she lacks capacity.
2. A person isn’t to be treated as unable to make a decision unless all practicable steps to help him or her do so have been taken without success.
3. A person isn’t to be treated as unable to make a decision merely because he or she makes an unwise decision.
4. An act done, or decision made, under the Act for or on behalf of a person who lacks capacity must be done, or made, in his or her best interests.
5. Before the act is done, or the decision is made, regard must be had to whether the purpose for which it’s needed can be as effectively achieved in a way that is less restrictive of the person’s rights and freedom of action.

Legally binding duties
A donor with mild dementia might be provided with the means to purchase items for daily living, but otherwise their financial matters are undertaken by their attorney. The code of practice applies a number of legally binding duties upon attorneys, including the requirement to keep the donor’s money and property separate from their own or anyone else’s.

Anyone aged 18 or over who has mental capacity and isn’t an undischarged bankrupt may act as an attorney. A trust corporation can be an attorney for a property and financial affairs LPA. In practice, attorneys will be spouses, family members or friends, or otherwise professional contacts such as solicitors.

Replacement attorney
Where joint attorneys are being appointed, the donor will state whether they act jointly (the attorneys must make all decisions together), or jointly and severally (the attorneys may make joint decisions or separately), or jointly for some decisions (for example, the sale of the donor’s property) and jointly and severally in respect of all other decisions.

An optional but useful feature of the LPA is the ability to appoint a replacement attorney in the event the original attorney is no longer able to act. The donor can leave instructions and preferences, but if they don’t their attorney will be free to make any decisions they feel are correct. Instructions relate to things the attorney should or shouldn’t do when making decisions – not selling the donor’s home unless a doctor states the donor can no longer live independently or a particular dietary requirement would be examples.

‘Certificate provider’
Preferences relate to the donor’s wishes, beliefs and values they would like their attorney to consider when acting on their behalf. Examples might be ethical investing or living within close proximity of a relative.

The following apply to both forms of LPA. A ‘certificate provider’ must complete a section in the LPA form stating that as far as they are aware, the donor has understood the purpose and scope of the LPA. A certificate provider will be an individual aged 18 or over and either, someone who has known the donor personally well for at least two years; or someone chosen by the donor on account of their professional skills and expertise – for example, a GP or solicitor.

Concerns or objections
There are restrictions on who may act as a certificate provider – these include attorneys, replacement attorneys, family members and business associates of the donor. A further safeguard is the option for the donor to choose up to five people to be notified when an application for the LPA to be registered is being made.

This allows any concerns or objections to be raised before the LPA is registered which must be done within five weeks from the date on which notice is given. The requirement to obtain a second certificate provider where the donor doesn’t include anyone to be notified has now been removed as part of the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) review of LPAs.

Court of Protection
A person making a LPA can have help completing it, but they must have mental capacity when they fill in the forms. Otherwise, those seeking to make decisions on their behalf will need to apply to the Court of Protection for a deputyship order. This can be expensive and time-consuming and may require the deputy to submit annual reports detailing the decisions they have made.

There are strict limits on the type of gifts attorneys can make on the donor’s behalf. Gifts may be made on ‘customary occasions’, for example, birthdays, marriages and religious holidays, or to any charity to which the donor was accustomed to donating. Gifts falling outside of these criteria would need to be approved by the Court of Protection. An example would be a gift intended to reduce the donor’s Inheritance Tax liability.

Increased Wealth

Increased net worth and rising mortality rates

The earlier you put plans in place the more options you may have

With careful planning it may be possible to reduce significantly the need for your estate to pay Inheritance Tax. We spend a lifetime generating wealth and assets but not many of us ensure that it will be passed to the next generation – our children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and so on. Intergenerational wealth transfer is the passage of wealth from one family generation to the next.

It’s becoming increasingly important for more people to consider succession planning and intergenerational wealth transfer as part of their financial planning strategy. As the baby boomer generation reaches retirement age, we’re on the brink of a vast shift in assets, unlike any that we have seen before.

Wealth transfers
By 2027, it is expected that wealth transfers will nearly double from the current level of £69 billion, to £115 billion[1], coined as ‘the Great Wealth Transfer’ of the 21st century.

Intergenerational wealth transfer can be huge issue for all family members concerned. If done well and executed properly, it can make a real difference to the financial position of the recipients. If misjudged or poorly handled, it can cause enormous issues, conflicts and resentments that are never forgotten nor forgiven.

Financial implications
One aspect that hasn’t been widely considered is the impact on other family members, and in particular children, as their parents think about selling their business or retiring from their career, perhaps selling their family home, and starting life in retirement.

It is important that children are prepared to deal with this process, not least so they are aware of the financial implications and how they may be affected. For instance, children may be expecting to receive a certain amount of money from their parents – particularly those who are selling a business – and end up disappointed. Conversely, they may not be expecting to receive anything, and are therefore not equipped to deal with a windfall.

Contributory factors
According to the King’s Court Trust, £5.5 trillion will move hands in the United Kingdom between now and 2055, with this move set to peak in 2035[2]. Why? Well, there are a number of contributory factors that account for this. The two main reasons are increased net worth and rising mortality rates.

For those approaching, or in, retirement, it’s important to have frank and open conversations with children about expectations and also whether children have the knowledge and understanding to manage financial matters.

Approaching retirement
This is not an easy exercise, as you may not want to discuss your financial affairs with your children. You may find your children’s eyes are opened when they see what their parents have been able to achieve financially. They may even want to know how they can do that themselves and change their own habits.

Everyone works hard to provide for their family, and perhaps even leave them a legacy. However, parents approaching retirement shouldn’t feel that their family is solely reliant on them, or that they need to be responsible for their children’s financial situation.

Expressing wishes
A good approach is to help your children establish their own strong financial footing and be ready for intergenerational wealth transfer. For instance, introducing them to your professional advisers can provide comfort that there is someone they can go to for advice.

Having open conversations with your children and expressing wishes and goals will also ensure that your family are all on the same page, which can help reduce potential conflict later when managing intergenerational wealth transfer.

These are some questions you should answer as part of your intergenerational wealth transfer plans:

>  When did wealth enter my life and how do I think this timing influences my values and family relationships?
>  What impact does affluence have on my life and the lives of my next generation?
>  What was the key to my success in creating wealth and how might telling this story to my future generation be helpful?
>  What is my biggest concern in raising my children or grandchildren with affluence?
>  What conversations (if any) did I have with my parents about money and wealth growing up?
>  How did my parents prepare me to receive wealth?
>  What lessons did I learn from my parents about money and finance that I would like to pass on to my heirs?
>  What family values would I like to pass down to the next generation and how do I plan on communicating this
family legacy?
>  What concerns do I have about my adult children when it comes to inheriting and managing the family wealth?
>  How can I help prepare my beneficiaries to receive wealth and carry on our family legacy?

Between generations
Despite the vast amount of wealth likely to be passed down between generations, those in line for inheritance could end up being over-reliant on their expected windfall. The key will be to ensure younger generations are able to get involved and understand how to handle the wealth they will be inheriting, as well as being able to make good decisions about the wealth that they generate themselves.

You need to consider who will receive what and whether you want to pass your wealth during your lifetime or on death. These decisions then need to be balanced by the tax implications of any proposed planning. This is especially important at what can be a highly stressful time. By making advanced preparations, the burden of filing complicated Inheritance Tax returns can be reduced. It’s worth noting that UK Inheritance Tax receipts exceed £3 billion from 17,900 estates[3]. l

Source data:
[1] Kings Court Trust, ‘Passing on the Pounds – The rise of the UK’s inheritance economy’.
[2] Resolution Foundation, Intergenerational Commission. ‘The million dollar be-question’.
[3] Prudential 2019.

Bare Trusts

Bare Trusts

Held for the benefit of a specified beneficiary

Bare Trusts are also known as ‘Absolute’ or ‘Fixed Interest Trusts’, and there can be subtle differences. The settlor – the person creating the Trust – makes a gift into the Trust which is held for the benefit of a specified beneficiary. If the Trust is for more than one beneficiary, each person’s share of the Trust fund must be specified.

For lump sum investments, after allowing for any available annual exemptions, the balance of the gift is a potentially exempt transfer for Inheritance Tax purposes. As long as the settlor survives for seven years from the date of the gift, it falls outside their estate.

The Trust fund falls into the beneficiary’s Inheritance Tax estate from the date of the initial gift. With Loan Trusts, there isn’t any initial gift – the Trust is created with a loan instead. And with Discounted Gift plans, as long as the settlor is fully underwritten at the outset, the value of the initial gift is reduced by the value of the settlor’s retained rights.

Income exemption
When family protection policies are set up in Bare Trusts, regular premiums are usually exempt transfers for Inheritance Tax purposes. The normal expenditure out of income exemption often applies, as long as the cost of the premiums can be covered out of the settlor’s excess income in the same tax year, without affecting their normal standard of living.

Where this isn’t possible, the annual exemption often covers some or all of the premiums. Any premiums that are non-exempt transfers into the Trust are potentially exempt transfers. Special valuation rules apply when existing life policies are assigned into family Trusts. The transfer of value for Inheritance Tax purposes is treated as the greater of the open market value and the value of the premiums paid up to the date the policy is transferred into Trust.

Parental settlement
There’s an adjustment to the premiums paid calculation for unit linked policies if the unit value has fallen since the premium was paid. The open market value is always used for term assurance policies that pay out only on death, even if the value of the premiums paid is greater.

With a Bare Trust, there are no ongoing Inheritance Tax reporting requirements and no further Inheritance Tax implications. With protection policies, this applies whether or not the policy can acquire a surrender value.

Where the Trust holds a lump sum investment, the tax on any income and gains usually falls on the beneficiaries. The most common exception is where a parent has made a gift into Trust for their minor child or stepchild, where parental settlement rules apply to the Income Tax treatment.

Trust administration
Therefore, the Trust administration is relatively straightforward even for lump sum investments. Where relevant, the trustees simply need to choose appropriate investments and review these regularly.

With a Bare Trust, the trustees look after the Trust property for the known beneficiaries, who become absolutely entitled to it at age 18 (age 16 in Scotland). Once a gift is made or a Protection Trust set up, the beneficiaries can’t be changed, and money can’t be withheld from them beyond the age of entitlement. This aspect may make them inappropriate to many clients who’d prefer to retain a greater degree of control.

Trust fund
With a Loan Trust, this means repaying any outstanding loan. With a Discounted Gift Trust, it means securing the settlor’s right to receive their fixed payments for the rest of their life. With protection policies in Bare Trusts, any policy proceeds that haven’t been carved out for the life assured’s benefit under a Split Trust must be paid to the Trust beneficiary if they’re an adult. Where the beneficiary is a minor, the trustees must use the Trust fund for their benefit.

Difficulties can arise if it’s discovered that a Trust beneficiary has predeceased the life assured. In this case, the proceeds belong to the legatees of the deceased beneficiary’s estate, which can leave the trustees with the task of tracing them. The fact that beneficiaries are absolutely entitled to the funds also means the Trust offers no protection of the funds from third-parties, for example, in the event of a beneficiary’s divorce or bankruptcy. 

Wealth Preservation

Keeping wealth in the family

Inheritance Tax receipts reach £5.32 billion in 2020/21

Inheritance Tax is a tax on an estate (the property, money and possessions) of someone who’s died. Inheritance Tax receipts in the United Kingdom amounted to approximately £5.32 billion in 2020/21, compared with £5.36 billion pounds in the previous financial year, which was a peak for this provided time period[1].

Raising the money to pay an Inheritance Tax bill may mean cashing in any savings accounts held by the deceased and potentially selling some of the assets in the estate.
There is no easy way to say it – anticipating one’s death is an uncomfortable topic. Yet it is often worth pushing past the initial discomfort to pursue the potential rewards of effective wealth transfer planning. There are three places your assets can go at your death: to your family and friends, to charity or to the government in the form of taxes.

Almost half of all Baby Boomers say they have enough personal wealth that they can afford to gift some of it away during their lifetime, new research shows[2]. The figures, collected by YouGov, show that 48% of Baby Boomers say they could afford to give money to family members before they die. Less than a third (29%) ruled it out, and 26% say they are unsure.

Larger one-off wealth transfers
Of those who say they can afford to make lifetime gifts, 40% say they would favour multiple small gifts and a third (33%) would prefer larger one-off wealth transfers. A further 30% are unsure which would better suit their needs.

Despite the large number of people who estimate they can afford to pass some of their savings and assets to family members, government statistics suggest only between 31% to 39% of people aged 50-69 have ever given a financial gift. And just a small minority appear to have a plan for regular annual gifting, with just 15% of 50-59-year-olds having gifted in the last two years.

Intergenerational financial advice
The statistics reveal the importance of wealth transfer planning and lifetime gifting advice. It is estimated that around £5.5 trillion of intergenerational wealth transfers will occur over the next 30 years[3]. An effective plan can lessen the likelihood of family conflict, reduce estate costs, reduce taxes and preserve wealth.

Obtaining professional intergenerational financial advice will increasingly become a key part of financial planning for the Baby Boomer generation. This generation has accrued significant personal wealth, having benefitted from rising house prices, stock market growth and the higher prevalence of generous pension schemes, and they want to give younger generations a financial boost.

Lifeline for some younger people
In contrast, younger generations often find themselves facing high house prices and the need to make significant personal contributions to their Defined Contribution pensions in order to secure a decent retirement fund.

Gifting between the generations will increasingly become a lifeline for some younger people as they struggle to get on the housing ladder, pay for school fees and deal with the ever-increasing expenses of living.

Careful balancing act to figure out
Passing on wealth to the next generation is one of the most important yet challenging aspects of financial planning. It’s vital that helping the younger generations doesn’t come at the expense of your own retirement funds and so there is a careful balancing act to figure out if you can afford it. If you can afford to gift, it’s vitally important to consider the various Inheritance Tax and gifting rules.

Despite this, there is still a clear ‘gifting gap’ between the number of people who can afford to gift and those who actually have a lifetime gifting plan in place. Gifting is a great way to help you make the most of your financial assets and enjoy seeing your life savings helping your children and grandchildren.

Wealth transfer planning process
Establishing who gets what, how they get it and when they get it, are, as a general rule, personal matters. But these decisions can have significant financial implications. Life events, as well as market and regulatory factors, can impact the wealth transfer planning process. Therefore, it is important for your wealth transfer plan to remain flexible and be revisited and adjusted periodically.

Source data:
[1] //
[2] Research commissioned by Quilter and undertaken by YouGov Plc, an independent research agency. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. The total sample size is 1,544 UK adults, comprised of 529 Baby Boomers, 501 Generation Xers and 514 Millennials. Fieldwork was undertaken between 07/07/2020 – 08/07/2020. The survey was carried out online.
[3] ‘Passing on the pounds – The rise of the UK’s inheritance economy’. Published May 2019. Author: Kings Court Trust

Lifetime Transfers

Lifetime transfers

Giving away money from your estate to reduce your Inheritance Tax bill

An outright gift falls into one of two categories, depending the type of gift and to whom it’s made. These categories are Potentially Exempt Transfers (PETs) and Chargeable Lifetime Transfers (CLTs).

Inheritance Tax exemptions can be achieved by means of making certain exempt transfers, which apply in a number of cases including wedding gifts, life assurance premiums, gifts to your family and charitable giving.

If appropriate, you can transfer some of your assets while you’re alive – these are known as lifetime transfers. Whilst we are all free to do this whenever we want, it is important to be aware of the potential implications of such gifts with regard to Inheritance Tax. The two main types are ‘potentially exempt transfers’ and ‘chargeable lifetime transfers’.

Exempt transfers
Potentially exempt transfers are lifetime gifts made directly to other individuals, which includes gifts to Bare Trusts. A similar lifetime gift made to most other types of Trust is a chargeable lifetime transfer. These rules apply to non-exempt transfers: gifts to a spouse are exempt, so are not subject to Inheritance Tax.

Where a potentially exempt transfer fails to satisfy the conditions to remain exempt – because the person who made the gift died within seven years – its value will form part of their estate. Survival for at least seven years, on the other hand, ensures full exemption from Inheritance Tax. Chargeable lifetime transfers are not conditionally exempt from Inheritance Tax. If it is covered by the Nil-Rate Band (NRB) and the transferor survives at least seven years, it will not attract a tax liability, but it could still impact on other chargeable transfers.

Seven years
Chargeable lifetime transfers that exceed the available NRB when they are made result in a lifetime Inheritance Tax liability. Failure to survive for seven years results in the value of the chargeable lifetime transfers being included in the estate. If the chargeable lifetime transfers are subject to further Inheritance Tax on death, a credit is given for any lifetime Inheritance Tax paid.

Following a gift to an individual or a Bare Trust (a basic Trust in which the beneficiary has the absolute right to the capital and assets within the Trust, as well as the income generated from these assets), there are two potential outcomes: survival for seven years or more, and death before then. The former results in the potentially exempt transfer becoming fully exempt and no longer figuring in the Inheritance Tax assessment. In other case, the amount transferred less any Inheritance Tax exemptions is ‘notionally’ returned to the estate.

Tax consequences
Anyone utilising potentially exempt transfers for tax migration purposes, therefore, should consider the consequences of failing to survive for seven years. Such an assessment will involve balancing the likelihood of surviving for seven years against the tax consequences of death within that period.

Failure to survive for the required seven-year period results in the full value of the potentially exempt transfers being notionally included within the estate; survival beyond then means nothing is included. It is taper relief which reduces the Inheritance Tax liability (not the value transferred) on the failed potentially exempt transfers after the full value has been returned to the estate.

Earlier transfers
The value of the potentially exempt transfers is never tapered. The recipient of the failed potentially exempt transfers is liable for the Inheritance Tax due on the gift itself and benefits from any taper relief. The Inheritance Tax due on the potentially exempt transfers is deducted from the total Inheritance Tax bill, and the estate is liable for the balance.

Lifetime transfers are dealt with in chronological order upon death; earlier transfers are dealt with in priority to later ones, all of which are considered before the death estate. If a lifetime transfer is subject to Inheritance Tax because the NRB is not sufficient to cover it, the next step is to determine whether taper relief can reduce the tax bill for the recipient of the potentially exempt transfers.

Sliding scale
The amount of Inheritance Tax payable is not static over the seven years prior to death. Rather, it is reduced according to a sliding scale dependant on the passage of time from the giving of the gift to the individual’s death.
No relief is available if death is within three years of the lifetime transfer. For survival for between three and seven years, taper relief at the following rates is available.

Taper relief
The rate of Inheritance Tax gradually reduces over the seven-year period – this is called taper relief. It works like this:

*How long ago was the gift made?
**How much is the tax reduced?

*0-3 years **No reduction
3-4 years 20%
4-5 years 40%
5-6 years 60%
6-7 years 80%

More than 7 years
No tax to pay.

It’s important to remember that taper relief only applies to the amount of tax the recipient pays on the value of the gift above the NRB. The rest of your estate will be charged with the full rate of Inheritance Tax – usually 40%.

Donor pays
The tax treatment of chargeable lifetime transfers has some similarities to potentially exempt transfers but with a number of differences. When a chargeable lifetime transfer is made, it is assessed against the donor’s NRB. If there is an excess above the NRB, it is taxed at 20% if the recipient pays the tax or 25% if the donor pays the tax.

The same seven-year rule that applies to potentially exempt transfers then applies. Failure to survive to the end of this period results in Inheritance Tax becoming due on the chargeable lifetime transfers, payable by the recipient. The tax rate is the usual 40% on amounts in excess of the NRB, but taper relief can reduce the tax bill, and credit is given for any lifetime tax paid.

Gift of capital
The seven-year rules that apply to potentially exempt transfers and chargeable lifetime transfers could increase the Inheritance Tax bill for those who fail to survive for long enough after making a gift of capital.

If Inheritance Tax is due in respect of a failed potentially exempt transfer, it is payable by the recipient. If Inheritance Tax is due in respect of a chargeable lifetime transfer on death, it is payable by the trustees. Any remaining Inheritance Tax is payable by the estate.

Appropriate Trust
The Inheritance Tax difference can be calculated and covered by a level or decreasing term assurance policy written in an appropriate Trust for the benefit of whoever will be affected by the Inheritance Tax liability and in order to keep the proceeds out of the settlor’s Inheritance Tax estate. Which is more suitable and the level of cover required will depend on the circumstances. If the potentially exempt transfers or chargeable lifetime transfers are within the NRB, taper relief will not apply.

However, this does not mean that no cover is required. Death within seven years will result in the full value of the transfer being included in the estate, with the knock-on effect that other estate assets up to the value of the potentially exempt transfers or chargeable lifetime transfers could suffer tax that they would have avoided had the donor survived for seven years.

Estate legatees
A seven-year level term policy could be the most appropriate type of policy in this situation. Any additional Inheritance Tax is payable by the estate, so a Trust for the benefit of the estate legatees will normally be required.

Where the potentially exempt transfers or chargeable lifetime transfers exceed the NRB, the tapered Inheritance Tax liability that will result from death after the potentially exempt transfers or chargeable lifetime transfers are made can be estimated.

‘Gift inter vivos’
A special form of ‘gift inter vivos’ (a life assurance policy that provides a lump sum to cover the potential Inheritance Tax liability that could arise if the donor of a gift dies within seven years of making the gift) is put in place (written in an appropriate Trust) to cover the gradually declining tax liability that may fall on the recipient of the gift.

Trustees might want to use a life of another policy to cover a potential liability. Taper relief only applies to the tax: the full value of the gift is included within the estate, which in this situation will use up the NRB that becomes available to the rest of the estate after seven years.

Whole of life cover
Therefore, the estate itself will also be liable to additional Inheritance Tax on death within seven years, and depending on the circumstances, a separate level term policy written in an appropriate trust for the estate legatees might also be required.

Where an Inheritance Tax liability continues after any potentially exempt transfers or chargeable lifetime transfers have dropped out of account, whole of life cover written in an appropriate Trust should also be considered.

Read more at Which? : //

Estate Planning 2021

More Families Subject to Inheritance Tax

Balancing your plan with other financial priorities is key

Making provision for Inheritance Tax needs to be balance the plan with your other financial priorities is key. Effective estate preservation planning could save a family a potential Inheritance Tax bill amounting to hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Inheritance Tax was introduced in 1986. It replaced Capital Transfer Tax, which had been in force since 1975 as a successor to Estate Duty.

Inheritance Tax planning has become more important than ever, following the Government’s decision to freeze the £325,000 lifetime exemption, with inflation eroding its value every year and subjecting more families to Inheritance Tax.

Automatic rights
Inheritance Tax is usually payable on death. When a person dies, their assets form their estate. Any part of an estate that is left to a spouse or registered civil partner will be exempt from Inheritance Tax. The exception is if a spouse or registered civil partner is domiciled outside the UK. Unmarried partners, no matter how long-standing, have no automatic rights under the Inheritance Tax rules.

However, there are steps people can take to reduce the amount of money their beneficiaries have to pay if Inheritance Tax affects them. Where a person’s estate is left to someone other than a spouse or registered civil partner (i.e. to a non-exempt beneficiary), Inheritance Tax will be payable on the amount that exceeds the £325,000 Nil-Rate Band (NRB) threshold. The threshold is currently frozen at £325,000 until the tax year 2021/22.

Deceased spouse
Every individual is entitled to a NRB (that is, every individual is entitled to leave an amount of their estate up to the value of the NRB threshold to a non-exempt beneficiary without incurring Inheritance Tax). If a widow or widower of the deceased spouse has not used their entire NRB, the NRB applicable at the time of death can be increased by the percentage of the NRB unused on the death of the deceased spouse, provided the executors make the necessary elections within two years of your death.

To calculate the total amount of Inheritance Tax payable on a person’s death, gifts made during their lifetime that are not exempt transfers must also be taken into account. Where the total amount of non-exempt gifts made within seven years of death plus the value of the element of the estate left to non-exempt beneficiaries exceeds the nil-rate threshold, Inheritance Tax is payable at 40% on the amount exceeding the threshold.

Tapered away
This percentage reduces to 36% if the estate qualifies for a reduced rate as a result of a charity bequest. In some circumstances, Inheritance Tax can also become payable on the lifetime gifts themselves – although gifts made between three and seven years before death could qualify for taper relief, which reduces the amount of Inheritance Tax payable.

From 6 April 2017, an Inheritance Tax Residence Nil-Rate Band (RNRB) was introduced in addition to the standard NRB. It’s worth currently up to £175,000 for the 2021/22 tax year. It starts to be tapered away if an Inheritance Tax estate is worth more than £2 million on death.

Residential property
Unlike the standard NRB, it’s only available for transfers on death. It’s normally available if a person leaves a residential property that they’ve occupied as their home outright to direct descendants.

It might also apply if the person sold their home or downsized from 8 July 2015 onwards. If spouses or registered civil partners don’t use the RNRB on first death – even if this was before 6 April 2017 – there are transferability options on the second death.

Personal representatives
Executors or legal personal representatives typically have six months from the end of the month of death to pay any Inheritance Tax due. The estate can’t pay out to the beneficiaries until this is done. The exception is any property, land or certain types of shares where the Inheritance Tax can be paid in instalments. Beneficiaries then have up to ten years to pay the tax owing, plus interest.

Fish SaltusFree Financial Review

It’s Good To Talk


The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has not only dealt a blow to the UK economy, many people and families have unfortunately experienced financial hardship. According to a recent survey, 31% of the population say they are struggling with their finances due to the effects of the pandemic[1].

With the pandemic causing many workers to lose working hours or their jobs, it’s more important than ever to
know what financial options you have.

But the survey shows that the impact is not spread evenly. It appears that people aged 18-35 have experienced the most financial difficulty and are most likely to seek help from others. During the pandemic, 18-35s have been four
times more likely than any other age group to receive financial support from their family or friends. They’ve also been twice as likely as other age groups to take out a loan to make ends meet.

Those in the 35-55 age group have been less likely to need to borrow than the under-35s, and also less likely to report a worsening of their financial situation than those aged 55-65. But that’s not to say that they have it easy. Nearly
one in three people in this age group say their finances are worse now.

Many people in the 55-64 age group have had to change their retirement plans. Income from work for one in four of these people has fallen 40%. A rise in unemployment has led to increasing numbers of people taking early retirement, with some relying on their property wealth to fund this.

Over-65s have been less affected than the general population, with 17% reporting that they are struggling financially. This is likely due to their pension income, which, in a lot of cases, will have remained level. More than one in ten of those aged over 65 say they have offered financial support to family members, which is the highest of any age group.
Before providing help to younger family members, it’s important to make sure that you can afford to without affecting your standard of living. Consider how your costs might rise later in life and ensure that you retain enough wealth to cover these additional expenses.

In response to the impact of coronavirus, the government agreed a raft of measures with providers across a range of sectors to ensure struggling consumers are treated fairly. For those still worried about paying utility bills or repaying credit cards, loans or mortgages due to the impact of coronavirus, support is still available. Visit

>  Contact providers: if you think you might have a problem paying bills, contact your providers to explain the situation and receive help.
>  Ask for help if it is needed: if you are struggling with your bills or credit commitments, free advice is available. Coronavirus has affected the entire nation and many people need support now, even if they never have before.
>  Explore payment options: if you are struggling with bills, it is better to agree a payment plan with your provider/s and keep making regular instalments, rather than cancelling direct debits and letting debt build.

Estate Planning 2021

Making suitable plans

Organise how much you could leave for the people you care about

Inheritance Tax can cost families thousands of pounds but there are various ways to legally avoid paying this tax. Without making suitable plans, your loved ones could face a tax bill of 40% on the value of everything you own above a certain threshold.

Whether you have earned your wealth, inherited it or made shrewd investments, you will want to ensure that as little of it as possible ends up in the hands of the taxman and that it can be enjoyed by you, your family and your intended beneficiaries.

If you pass away and don’t have provision in place to preserve and protect your assets, then your family may end up spending a substantial amount of time and money battling over your wealth.

This process of dividing up your assets could become complicated. Estate planning gives you control over what happens to your assets when you pass away. It is a fundamental part of financial planning, no matter how much wealth you have accumulated.

Not only does an estate plan help to ensure that those who are important to you will be taken care of when you’re no longer around, but it can also help ensure that assets are transferred in an orderly manner, and that Inheritance Tax liabilities are minimised.

The process involves developing a clear plan that details how you would like all of your wealth and property to be distributed after your death. It involves putting documentation in place to ensure that your assets are transferred in line with your wishes.

Your estate consists of everything you own. This includes savings, investments, pensions, property, life insurance (not written in an appropriate trust) and personal possessions. Debts and liabilities are subtracted from the total value of all assets.

What to consider when developing an effective plan for the future

Write a Will
One of the most important components of an estate plan is a Will. First and foremost, a Will puts you in control. You choose who will benefit from your estate and what they are entitled to. You also decide who will administer your affairs after your death.

If you don’t make a Will, the intestacy rules will decide who benefits from your estate – and that can produce undesirable results. The law also sets a hierarchy of who is able to handle your financial affairs after death, and that can lead to problems if the person is not suitable because of age, health, geographical location, or for any other reason.

Make a Lasting Power of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) can be made for Property and Financial Affairs, as well as Health and Welfare. These documents can be put in place at any time, and it is important to consider setting them up, no matter what age you are.

An LPA sets out your wishes as to who should assist you in relation to your property and financial affairs and your health and welfare. You can control who deals with these and set out any limitations and guidance.

Plan for Inheritance Tax
Once the Will and the LPA are sorted, the next step is to think about Inheritance Tax planning. Whenever someone dies, the value of their estate may become liable for Inheritance Tax. If you are domiciled in the UK, your estate includes everything you own, including your home and certain trusts in which you may have an interest.

Inheritance Tax is potentially charged at a rate of 40% on the value of everything you own above the Nil-Rate Band (NRB) threshold. The Nil-Rate Band is the value of your estate that is not chargeable to UK Inheritance Tax.

Gift assets while you’re alive
The amount is set by the Government and is currently £325,000, which is frozen until 2026. In addition, since 6 April 2017, if you leave your home to direct lineal descendants, the value of your estate before tax is paid will increase with the addition of the Residence Nil-Rate Band (RNRB). For the 2021/22 tax year, the Residence Nil-Rate Band is £175,000.

One thing that’s important to remember when developing an estate plan is that the process isn’t just about passing on your assets when you die. It’s also about analysing your finances now and potentially making the most of your assets while you are still alive. By gifting assets to younger generations while you’re still around, you could enjoy seeing the assets put to good use, while simultaneously reducing your Inheritance Tax bill.

Make use of gift allowances
A gift from one individual to another constitutes a Potentially Exempt Transfer (PET) for Inheritance Tax. If you survive for seven years from the date of the gift, no Inheritance Tax arises on the PET.

Each tax year, you can give away £3,000 worth of gifts (your ‘annual exemption’) tax-free. You can also give away wedding or registered civil partnership gifts up to £1,000 per person (£2,500 for a grandchild and £5,000 for a child). In addition, you can give your children regular sums of money from your income.

You can also give as many gifts of up to £250 to as many individuals as you want, although not to anyone who has already received a gift of your whole £3,000 annual exemption. None of these gifts are subject to Inheritance Tax.

Invest into IHT-exempt assets
For experienced suitable investors, another way to potentially minimise Inheritance Tax liabilities is to invest in Inheritance Tax exempt assets. These schemes are higher risk and are therefore not suitable for all investors, and any investment decisions should always be made with the benefit of professional financial advice.

One example of this is the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS). The vast majority of EIS-qualifying investments attract 100% Inheritance Tax relief via Business Relief (BR) because the qualifying trades for EIS purposes are very similar to those which qualify for BR. Qualification for BR is subject to the minimum holding period of two years (from the later of the share issue date and trade commencement).

Life insurance within a Trust
Writing life insurance in an appropriate Trust is one of the best ways to protect your family’s future in the event of your death. Your life insurance policy is a significant asset – and by putting life insurance in Trust, you can manage the way your beneficiaries receive their inheritance.
The proceeds from the policy can be paid directly to your beneficiaries rather than to your legal estate and will therefore not be taken into account when Inheritance Tax is calculated.

Keep wealth within a pension
A defined contribution pension is normally free of Inheritance Tax, unlike many other investments. It is not part of your taxable estate. Keeping your pension wealth within your pension fund and passing it down to future generations can be very tax-efficient estate planning.

If you die before 75, your pension will be passed on tax-free. However, if you die after 75, your beneficiaries will pay tax on the proceeds at their highest income tax rate. Your pension will not be covered by your Will, so you will need to ensure that your pension provider knows who your nominated beneficiaries are.

Preserved wealth for future generations
We all have one thing in common: we can’t take our assets with us when we die. If you want to ensure that your wealth is preserved for future generations and passed on efficiently, an estate plan is crucial.