Estate Matters Part 1

Structuring your affairs efficiently means starting the correct planning early enough

Inheritance tax (IHT) is payable by some people who, for the most part, could have avoided it. If you want your estate to go to your loved ones with the minimum amount of IHT payable, you should obtain professional advice. There are currently a number of generous reliefs relating to IHT.

New main residence transferable nil-rate band
From 6 April 2017, there will be a new main residence transferable nil-rate band (family home allowance) that will apply when a main residence is passed on to a direct descendant. This new main residence transferable nil-rate band will work alongside the existing IHT nil-rate band which is currently £325,000. In the same way as with the current nil-rate band, any unused main residence transferable nil-rate band will be transferred to a surviving spouse or registered civil partner.

A property which was never a residence of the deceased, such as a buy-to-let property, will not qualify. The allowance will initially be set at £100,000 in 2017/18, increasing to £125,000 in 2018/19, £150,000 in 2019/20 and up to £175,000 in 2020/21 (and then increase each year in line with inflation (CPI)).

Inherited from a spouse
It is possible therefore that by 2020/21, an individual will have their own nil-rate band of £325,000 as well as a main residence transferable nil-rate band of £175,000 in respect of their main residence, plus a nil-rate band of £325,000 inherited from their spouse and a main residence transferable nil-rate band of £175,000 inherited from their spouse.

This gives the much advertised total of £1 million. It is worth noting that the current nil-rate band of £325,000 is now set to remain until 2020/21. There is also going to be a tapered withdrawal of the main residence transferable nil-rate band for estates worth more than £2 million.

Come back on Tuesday when we cover the second part of this chapter in this month’s series.

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