Inheritance tax can eat 40% of the taxable part of your estate – a huge amount when you have spent your adult life working and saving money for your loved ones. However, with the right legal advice and a creative outlook, there are many ways that any inheritance tax liability can be reduced.

Nobody knows what the future holds, so the best time to start planning is now. Our Lifetime Planning team are here to help you make sure that your wishes are respected and your loved ones provided for after you die.

We can provide simple, practical advice about the many ways you can structure your estate (your money, property and financial obligations) to reduce or even eliminate the amount of inheritance tax you have to pay, maximising the amount of inheritance passed on to your family, friends and/or favourite charities.

Book a free 30-minute consultation with our specialist inheritance tax solicitors in Eastbourne and Hastings

 We offer a free, no obligation 30-minute chat with one of our specialist lifetime planning solicitors to all new clients.

To arrange your initial consultation, you can:

How we can help you with inheritance tax planning

We offer a simple, straightforward inheritance tax planning service for individuals across Eastbourne, Hastings and the wider East Sussex area. We will set out all your options in plain, understandable English, tailoring our advice so you can make the best choices about how to move forward.

Our expertise covers:

  • Making a Will with inheritance tax in mind
  • Transferring your tax-free allowance to your spouse or civil partner
  • Leaving property to children and dependents
  • Lifetime gifting and ‘potentially exempt transfers’
  • Charity gifts and legacies
  • Creating and managing trusts
  • Inheritance tax planning for complex estates, such as high net worth inheritance tax planning and advice for people with business assets

We can also advise beneficiaries (heirs) about deeds of variation to change a Will after the death of the testator (the person who made the Will).

Why choose Stephen Rimmer for inheritance tax planning?

Our Private Client team is led by Joe Richardson, a skilled lawyer and a Partner within our firm. As well as his inheritance tax planning expertise, Joe has over 10 years’ experience handling complex estate administration matters involving inheritance tax issues, including liaising with HMRC, challenging tax decisions and dealing with court applications.

Joe is supported by a committed and highly experienced team, including consultant, Nicholas Manning, who is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP). STEP is a leading global organisation of succession and lifetime planning experts and is a valuable qualification for experts in this area.

As a firm, we are proud of our strong track record of producing positive outcomes for our clients. Many of our clients have been with us for many years and consult us regularly to ensure their lifetime planning matters are up-to-date, particularly after major life changes.

We are also always happy to accept new clients, so we offer a free 30-minute consultation for people looking for Wills, probate and lifetime planning advice – this is an informal chat where we can get to know you and recommend a course of action so you can decide whether we are right for you.

Inheritance tax planning FAQs

What is inheritance tax?

Inheritance tax is a tax that sometimes falls due on the money and property (the estate) of a person after they die.

Only estates that have a high enough value attract inheritance tax. So, people who own homes and/or have lots of savings, investments, high value personal belongings (such as cars, artwork and jewellery), business interests and other financial interests should be aware of it and plan for it.

What is the inheritance tax free threshold?

There is usually no tax to pay if:

  • The value of your estate is under £325,000
  • You leave all your estate over £325,000 to your spouse, civil partner, a charity or an amateur sports club

This is called the ‘nil rate band’, your tax free allowance or the tax free threshold.

There are also ways to increase your tax free allowance (see below).

How much Is inheritance tax?

Inheritance tax is 40% of the taxable value of your estate.

For example, if your estate is worth £400,000 (and no reliefs or exemptions apply), the taxable value above £325,000 is £75,000. 40% of £75,000 is £30,000.

As you can see, this is a huge sum. However, with some careful planning it is often possible to significantly reduce or even eliminate your liability for inheritance tax.

How does the main residence nil rate band work?

The ‘main residence nil rate band’ applies an additional tax free allowance if you leave your main home to your children or grandchildren in your Will. This additional allowance is currently £175,000, which means you could pass on up to £500,000 tax free.

However, High Net Worth individuals beware – if your estate is worth over £2 million, you lose £1 of this tax free allowance for every £2 above £2 million. We have significant experience advising individuals with high value estates about their options to make their estate as tax efficient as possible.

Can you transfer your inheritance tax allowance to your partner?

Assets left to your spouse or civil partner (but not unmarried partners) can be passed on inheritance tax free. You can also pass on your own inheritance tax free allowance.

For example, Adam dies and passes assets worth £1 million to his husband – Bob – tax-free. Bob also gets Adam’s £325,000 tax free allowance and £175,000 for the main residence allowance.

Bob then dies, leaving assets of £1 million, including his main home, to his daughter. Adam and Bob’s combined tax free allowance is £650,000 and a combined main residence nil rate band of £350,000 also applies. The total tax free allowance is therefore £1 million and no inheritance tax falls due.

Does leaving money to charity reduce inheritance tax?

Any money you leave to registered charities, political parties or local sports clubs will not attract inheritance tax. Additionally, if you leave over 10% of your taxable estate to these types of organisation, the overall inheritance tax due on your estate will fall from 40% to 36%.

Who pays inheritance tax?

Inheritance tax is paid out of your estate and is usually handled by your executors, administrators or their probate solicitors, after you die. You do not need to worry about paying inheritance tax during your lifetime (although taking steps to reduce it is an entirely different story).

Book a free 30-minute consultation with our inheritance tax planning solicitors in Eastbourne

From our offices in Eastbourne, our specialist inheritance tax solicitors work with clients all across East Sussex, including in Hastings, Bexhill-on-Sea, Hailsham, Polegate, Battle, Pevensey and St Leonards-on-Sea.

To arrange a free, no obligation 30-minute interview with our team, you can:

Our wills & probate team

Contact us for a free 30 minute interview

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