Your Will and Inheritance Tax

With the beginning of any new tax year, it is the ideal time to review your Will, especially if you haven’t done so for a while.

As things stand, the current inheritance tax rate is 40% and if there is anything you can legitimately do to minimise your estate’s exposure to this this, ultimately reducing the taxman’s cut of your loved one’s inheritance, we’re sure you would want to take appropriate action.

Each person has an initial tax-free allowance on death known as the nil-rate band, which refers to the amount of your estate that will not be taxed after your death. Currently, this is set at £325,000. The good news is, this can now be supplemented by the main residence nil-rate band, which adds an additional tax-free allowance of up to £150,000 for deaths on or after 6th April 2019.

However, you won’t be surprised to know that there are conditions which must be met in order to qualify for the for this additional tax relief. These include:

  • You may only claim the allowance against a residential property which forms part of your estate and has been your residence at some point;
  • The residence must be left to one or more of your direct descendants on your death;
  • If your estate is worth more than £2million then you may not qualify for the additional allowance
  • The amount of the allowance will be staged – £150,000 for 2019/20; and £175,000 for 2020/21.

This is just a brief overview of the key components of inheritance tax. As you can see, there are lots of issues and complications to be considered to fully minimise the cost you your estate. This is where we can help.

We would always recommend regularly reviewing your Will with a qualified solicitor. They will be able to expertly guide you through the process, highlighting any potential pitfalls and how best to avoid them. We regularly see clients who have current Wills made over 10 years ago, who have complicated trust arrangements, which may not be the most cost-effective way of dealing with their affairs, under the current law.

If you have any questions around inheritance tax or wish to review your Will to ensure you are leaving the maximum possible to your loved ones, we are always here to help. Please call 0161 928 3848 or email to arrange.

Why you should use a professional to write a Will

You may have noticed articles in the press recently about the increasing number of Wills that are challenged. It seems as a society we are more inclined to challenge a validly executed Will if we are unhappy with the content.

It can be distressing for all parties involved when a Will is challenged not to mention, expensive and time consuming.
So what can you do to prevent this happening?

In the first instance I would strongly suggest you consult a qualified Solicitor who specialises in dealing with this area of Law. In some circumstances there is nothing you can do to prevent a challenge taking place. However by discussing your individual circumstances with an experienced professional we can do everything possible to ensure that your wishes are in as legally robust format as possible.

In some circumstances we recommend that a Solicitor and a Doctor act as witnesses to your Will. I suppose you would call it a “belt and braces” approach and it really depends on your personal circumstances as to whether this is the best way forward.

A Will made with a qualified Solicitor is not necessarily as expensive as you may think.
The service includes:

• Personal attention from a qualified Solicitor who will apply their knowledge to your individual circumstances and often ask you to consider things you have never thought of.
• Drafting of the Will to meet your needs and an explanation of any relevant legal issues
• Ensuring the Will is Executed in accordance with the law. Executed basically making sure that the Will is drafted and signed correctly so that when it is needed for Probate it can be presented effectively.
• Storage – we store your Will for free and provide copies as required.
• In addition, like all Solicitors firms we are insured and therefore you are protected by our Professional Indemnity Insurance policy.

Don’t leave it too late. We would strongly recommend ensuring you write a Will to provide for what happens after you’ve gone. It may not be as expensive as you think and we will do our best to make the process as simple and easy as possible for you.

We are always here to help so please call Philippa, Helen, Michaela or Philip on 0161 928 3848 or email

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