When you have spent a whole lifetime building up your personal wealth, you want to think that upon your death your estate will pass into the hands of your chosen beneficiaries and not into the hands of the Taxman.
And yet, all too often we meet clients who are shocked at how much of their inheritance is taken from them before they even see it! At present rates, the Taxman can take up to 40% of your estate! Yes almost half its value!
Inheritance tax (IHT) used to be referred to as a 'voluntary tax' for the very wealthy, but with the recent dramatic increases in property values without a corresponding increase in the IHT threshold, many more estates have come within of the Taxman's reach.
This makes estate planning all the more necessary - and all the more urgent.
There are a number of ways to reduce the potential tax liability on your estate, but they all involve careful planning - often over a long period.
Lifetime gifts, the judicious use of trusts, and care with transfer of agricultural and business property can all help to reduce IHT liability.