Nobody likes to think about it too much, but inevitably one day you will have to leave your business or farm, whether by selling up, retiring or leaving for health reasons.
It is very important to have a succession plan in place that makes the transition easy not only for yourself but also for your family or employees and minimises the chances of the business or farm having to be sold up when you leave.
Estate planning goes beyond drafting a will – it includes:
The assessment of assets
The assessment of likely taxation
Advice regarding the possibility of claims against the estate by third parties
The protection of assets
Estate planning is an active process of re-evaluating the estate when circumstances in life change, such as:
Newly married couples or those divorcing
A change to the family’s asset pool
A change in working conditions such as the buying or selling of a business
Changes to superannuation, insurance policies or taxation levels
The establishment of discretionary trusts
A successful plan is made involving all family members as it will take into account not only provisions for your retirement income but also the plans, aptitudes and existing assets of younger generations.
What is Tax Planning?
Tax planning involves arranging and/or disposing of your assets in the most tax efficient way.
Inheritance tax is paid where a person’s total Estate, including certain gifts made prior to death, is valued at over £325,000.00.
There are a number of reliefs and/ or exemptions available, detailed below, which can wipe out, or reduce, the amount of Inheritance Tax due from the deceased’s Estate.
The reliefs and/ or exemptions available are
The Residence nil rate band, available where property is being left to children - £100,000.00 to £175,000.00 depending on the year of death.
Assets left to Spouses, or Civil Partners.
Certain Business, Agricultural and National Heritage Reliefs
It is also possible, in certain circumstances, to use the Nil Rate Allowance (£325,000.00) and the Residence Nil Rate band (£100,000.00 to £175,000.00 depending on the year of death) of a deceased Spouse, or Civil Partner.
The rules on claiming the reliefs can be complex and, if not used properly, can result in significant tax liabilities which could have been avoided. Our experienced Solicitors can advise and assist you so this does not happen to you. Dealing with these issues thoroughly now can seem expensive but can help you pay less Inheritance Tax on death, therefore, maximising the amount of your Estate that passes to loved ones.