Talk to the ‘financially privileged’ amongst our focus groups and there is a common theme – they would, if possible, like to avoid Inheritance Tax being taken from their estate – but somehow they just never seem to get around to doing anything about it!
There is always a reason, ‘it’s too soon’, ‘I need to talk to someone’ – one spritely couple, both in their 90s, continue to argue that they might need it – ‘for their old age’! A leading firm of financial advisors told me that about 80% of the prospective clients they see, who they know would benefit from their advice, never act.
However there is one option that, despite ticking all the boxes, is rarely mentioned by the professionals. It offers:
- tax efficiency
- a requirement the money to be returned if needed
- full HMRC compliance
- no advisory fees
- real and immediate benefits
What is this ‘wonder’ solution? – lend your assets to the family. As we all live longer the natural flow of finance through families is delayed, sometimes for decades. Today’s ‘sandwich’ generation may not receive their inheritance until after the children have left home and the mortgage is paid.
So instead of procrastination, why not think inter-generationally. Lending your nest egg to children and grandchildren – only as and when you determine appropriate – helps them pay off expensive loans or find a deposit for a house. By doing this assets you want, but don’t need, are put to work helping your wider family while you are around to see the benefit.
Because these are ‘loans’ rather than gifts they will remain yours, and part of your estate but the benefit they generate (reduced interest payments, increased property values) is outside your estate and not subject to IHT.
This is not a complete solution, but it is far better than doing nothing…..