Inheritance Tax and Financial Planning Solicitors

Inheritance Tax is not just an issue that affects the wealthy. With increasing property prices, many people may find that their estates would exceed the Inheritance Tax threshold.  

At Symes Bains Broomer, we can give general advice on ways to minimise your Inheritance Tax liability, whether that is through lifetime gifts/trusts or within the creation of your Will. We also have significant expertise in advising business owners and those in the agricultural sector in respect of tax reliefs and tax planning.

Unfortunately, we are unable to offer more specific financial and investment advice, which tends to be offered by specialist accountants or financial advisors. We would work closely with your own professional advisor or, should you not have your own, we have very strong links with accountants and financial advisors in the local area whom we can work with to ensure that your needs are fully met.  

Get in touch with our Inheritance Tax planning solicitors

For more information about our Inheritance Tax planning services, get in touch by giving us a call at your local branch in Scunthorpe or Goole or by filling in our online enquiry form for a quick response.

What our financial planning solicitors can do for you

It is important to ensure that all the money and property you have worked for during your lifetime is passed on to the people who matter most when you no longer need it.

There are many ways you can make sure your family, close friends and chosen organisations can benefit from your estate, both during your lifetime and after you pass away. Structuring your estate carefully means things can be done as tax-efficiently as possible.

That is where we can help.

Our friendly and reliable Wills, trusts and probate solicitors help people across Lincolnshire, East Riding of Yorkshire and beyond plan for the future.

We provide general advice as part of our lifetime planning services to help our clients reduce their Inheritance Tax liability.

We often work closely with our client’s accountant or independent financial advisor to implement their financial strategy and put it into effect through legal instruments such as setting up trusts or making a Will.

If you do not have an independent financial advisor and require specialist tax advice, we are more than happy to refer you to our trusted connections in the local area.

Our expertise includes:

Making a Will

Inheritance Tax liability arises after death, so your Will and the way your final affairs are handled is intrinsic in how much liability arises. A testator (the person who makes the Will) has the freedom to leave their money and property to whomever they like. There are also many tax reliefs and exemptions available depending on the circumstances. For example:

  • Anything you leave to your spouse or civil partner (but not your unmarried partner) above the nil rate band (currently £325,000) is tax-free. You also transfer any unused basic tax-free allowance to your spouse/civil partner.
  • You can get tax relief if you leave your home to your children or grandchildren. Unused residence nil rate band can also be passed on from you to your spouse or civil partner.
  • Anything you leave to charity or a community amateur sports club above the nil rate band is tax-free. If you leave at least 10% of the net value of your estate to charity, Inheritance Tax liability on other aspects of your estate can be reduced to 36%.

These are some of the general rules. It is important to seek our advice about how you could use your Will to reduce your Inheritance Tax liability in your particular circumstances.

We can provide bespoke advice and draft your Will on your behalf, ensuring it is valid and fully reflects your wishes.

Read more about Making a Will here.

Trust creation and management

Trusts are affected by tax differently and are often not affected by Inheritance Tax if set up correctly.

A trust is a legal instrument that allows you to put aside money or property for the benefit of someone else. The trust property is looked after (and legally owned) by chosen trustees who are legally required to hold and manage the property for your chosen beneficiaries.

The classic example is grandparents who set up a trust fund for a grandchild to become entitled to once they turn 18 years old. However, you can have all sorts of trusts for all sorts of reasons. For example, to set aside money for vulnerable family members or to leave money to a group of potential beneficiaries (a discretionary trust).

Depending on the circumstances, a trust may have to pay some Inheritance Tax. Trusts are also affected by different types of tax, such as Income Tax and Capital Gains tax. So, it is vital to seek legal advice and the advice of a specialist tax professional.

We can handle a wide range of trust matters, including:

  • Advising on the different types of trusts
  • Setting up trusts
  • Managing and administering trusts
  • Advising trustees and beneficiaries
  • Acting as professional trustees

Read more about Trusts here.

Lifetime gifts

Gifts that you give during your lifetime may be exempt from Inheritance Tax – they are referred to as ‘potentially exempt transfers’.

If you die seven years after giving the gift, it is not counted for Inheritance Tax purposes. If you die within seven years of giving the gift, it is affected by tapered bands of Inheritance Tax. For example, gifts given in the last three years of life attract the full 40%, but gifts given between three and four years before death attract 32% tax. The tax rate continues to reduce until seven years.

There are other rules and allowances which affect lifetime gifts. We can talk you through your options and how your estate and beneficiaries may be affected depending on when you pass away. We will help you plan accordingly to provide you and your family with as much certainty as possible.

Advice for business owners

We have specialist expertise advising business owners about estate planning, including reducing liability for Inheritance Tax. Business property relief is often available for both lifetime transfers and transfers upon death, meaning you could save 50% or 100% on tax depending on the circumstances.

Agricultural estate planning

Estate planning is important for everyone, but it is particularly vital for farming families and agricultural business owners.

Agribusinesses are unique in that they are often family-run, in many cases with the farm and its assets being passed from parent to child over many generations. It is vital to plan for the future to ensure that your wishes come into fruition and that everyone is aware of their rights and responsibilities.

We have acted as trusted legal advisors for farming families and businesses for many years. Our agricultural law solicitors can provide guidance on all farming succession planning matters, including making Wills and structuring farming estates.

Agricultural property can typically be passed on free from Inheritance Tax. We can provide general advice on agricultural property relief and all other options for making your estate as tax-efficient as possible.

Read more about our Agricultural Law expertise here.

Why do you need to think about Inheritance Tax planning?

Inheritance Tax used to be perceived as a tax for the wealthy. However, more and more people are being affected every year.

The tax-free threshold (the nil rate band) has remained unchanged at £325,000 since 2010. Standard Inheritance Tax rules, where no other reliefs or exemptions apply, mean that the value of an estate over £325,000 attracts Inheritance Tax of 40%. This can take a huge chunk out of an inheritance.

For people who own a home, you can exceed the tax-free threshold very quickly. As property prices continue to rise rapidly, and with the average property price being around £250,000, Inheritance Tax is no longer just a tax for high net worth individuals.

Everyone should think about whether their estate may be liable for Inheritance Tax. There are many options to reduce your liability, boosting the amount of inheritance you can leave to your chosen beneficiaries.

Get in touch with our Inheritance Tax planning solicitors

For more information about our Inheritance Tax planning services, get in touch by giving us a call at your local branch in Scunthorpe or Goole or by filling in our online enquiry form for a quick response.