In a previous blog I’ve talked about the finite and infinite mind-sets but this week I’ve seen just how profound that distinction can be.

In one corner are those with a finite mindset – as the ravages of all age take hold, interest wanes, and they want everything ‘left alone’ – just as it is. No one else can touch it.

In the other corner are those with the infinite mindset. For them the latter stages of old age is their apex – that final critical stage of their relay race when they pass the batten on to the next generation. Everything they have done in life, their achievements and successes all come together here and team success hinges on a successful transfer to the next generation.

The infinite players are easy to spot – At the end their affairs are all ship shape and ready for inspection. They have planned well and done all they can to ensure the family avoids the voluntary tax that is IHT. But this is not about tax, it’s about making a difference to the next generation while they could. The infinite plays have helped future generations to become mobile, opened they eyes by encouraging travel and helped then on to the property ladder when they were struggling. The smart ones didn’t make life too easy by just writing a cheque and only helped when they thought it was the right thing to do.

The finite players are different. For them the game of life ends with them and the winner is the one with the biggest bank balance. Their affairs have run away with them and so they just walk away … and their executors face the nightmare of unravelling it all. They are the chancellor’s best friends. Not only do they pay the maximum IHT, their affairs are so complex that the Chancellor gets an added bonus by being able to fine their estate for late returns. Nor is the chancellor alone at this feast. Every financial institution gets to keep the funds until probate is granted and is free to wrack up fees along the way.

Pick your corner…..