It is important that you consider inheritance tax, especially as the value of many people’s property has risen and it is quite easy to now pass the Inheritance Tax threshold. If you are in this camp, it is worth considering some actions that may reduce liability. This is typically done by giving some of your assets away while you are living.
Please note that there are limits to how much you can give away. The limit changes but in 2011 the annual limit for a large gifts is £3,000, but you can give as many gifts up to £250 if you wish. There is also the opportunity to give larger gifts for weddings and gifts to children.
There are parts of your estate that may not attract inheritance tax; for example, where you own a property with your spouse jointly or have a joint bank account, the transfer of assets to the surviving joint owner does not usually attract inheritance tax.
There are many different scenarios and fortunately, with some planning, over 90% of estates do not attract inheritance tax. For the latest information, including thresholds, you should refer direct to the HM Revenue & Customs website.
Who’s in charge when I die
Your next of kin and your executor(s) are in charge when you die. If you have no will or no close relatives there can sometimes be complications.
Should I make a will
By making a Will you will ensure that your assets, no matter how small, are distributed in line with your wishes.
Making a Will
A will sets out how your estate (your assets) should be distributed, and names an executor(s) to take care of this task. A will is only valid if your signature has been witnessed by 2 adults who are not beneficiaries of the will in anyway.