G.M. Hewett Legal Services:

Wills

It is important to make a valid Will and keep it updated as your personal circumstances changes.

Without a will when you die your estate will be distributed according to the law of intestacy. This means everything that you have worked for during your lifetime might go to someone that you would not want to benefit from your estate. If you have no living relatives that are entitled to your estate under the intestacy rules your estate will go to the Crown.

Even if you have no living relatives you can always make a Will and leave your estate to a charity. There are so many worthy causes.

Make a will and decide what happens to your estate give yourself the peace of mind you deserve.

Contact this firm to request a Will questionnaire

Home visits can be arranged if required

You will be sent a draft Will for your approval

The contents of the Will, will be discussed with you, then when you are satisfied with it’s contents, your Will, will be prepared ready for your signature.

Arrangements will be made for the Will to be validly signed.

When completed the Will can be store for you free of charge.

Some people have to pay Inheritance Tax on their estate.

This is a tax levied by the government on your estate when you die. It is a charge of 40% on the net value of everything that you own (including your home, any second property, cash, savings, investments, cars, boats, furniture, jewellery, clothes and some life assurance policies) above a designated threshold called the Nil Rate Band.

1. All people have an annual £3,000.00 per year exemption. This means that you can give away this amount of money each year without being liable to pay Inheritance tax on the gift.

2. If you fail to give away £3,000 one year, you may carry it forward to the next year. This means that you can give away £6,000.00 in that next year. However, you can only carry forward one year but not thereafter giving a maximum of £6,000.00.

3. You can give away small gifts to any number of individuals of not more than £250.00 per tax year to each individual without being liable to pay IHT on the gift.

4. Normal Expenditure Exemption are gifts that are considered to be made from income. These gifts must be made regularly (say annually or monthly) and must come from genuine income after tax (as opposed to capital). Examples are Birthday presents or the payment of Insurance Policy premiums. There is no upper limit on the amount which can qualify for this exemption.

5.If your child marries or enters into a civil partnership, a parent can give away £5,000.00, and a grandparent £2,500.00, to the bride/groom, other people can give £1,000.00 to the couple.

6. There is a sliding scale reduction on inheritance tax charged on gifts which are given away within 7 years of death as follows:-

0-3 years before death - 100% IHT payable
3-4 years before death 80% IHT payable
4-5 years before death 60% IHT payable
5-6 years before death 40% IHT payable
6-7 years before death 20% IHT Payable
Full 7 years No IHT payable

7. Gifts to the following are exempt:- Charities, spouse, civil partner, political parties universities and the National Trust.

8. Some business attract 100% inheritance tax relief.

9. Some woodland and Agricultural land if certain conditions are complied with can gain 100% inheritance tax relief.

10. Insurance policies can be arranged to cover IHT due on death. You could contact an appropriate company yourself to arrange this or go through a broker who is authorised to give advice under the Financial Services Act. These policies are often written in trust to cover the anticipated inheritance tax payable by a beneficiary on a gift affected by an inheritance tax charge. If such a policy is written in trust the sum insured does not form part of the deceased’s estate for inheritance tax purposes.

11. You can buy a smaller property and give the surplus equity acquired from the sale of the large property to a beneficiary. If you survive 7 full years from the date of the gift there will no inheritance tax to pay on the gift.

This guide is intended as general information only it does not seek to summarise the relevant legislation which is a complex and technical area of law. This guide should therefore not be relied upon and you should take specific professional legal advice relating to your personal circumstances.

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