When the chancellor found a hole in his balance sheet he took the easy option and turned to taxing the dead. Inheritance tax thresholds have already been frozen for over a decade – progressively dragging more people into the net and increasing the tax raised. However Covid needed a faster solution so the chancellor looked to limit a concession granted to property owners leaving their home to family. Now if the total estate is valued over two million the concession goes, and the estate pays an addition £140,000 tax.
The irony is that IHT is a voluntary tax – only paid by those who mistrust their family more than they mistrust the chancellor. If you wish to avoid IHT, your assets need to be passed on at least seven years before you die – and that for many is the challenge too far. Having spent a lifetime accumulating wealth they find they suddenly have to spend it – including giving it away – something that goes against their deeply held values.
This new stage of life (passing it on) requires every bit as much thought as the accumulation phase if you are to avoid ruining the lives of those you seek to help.
For most the careful planning required is just too difficult – it is far easier just to let the chancellor take his share – after all you’re dead!
However, if you do spend the time (and get it right!) you can transform your families prospects for generations to come.