1107 Focus Spring 2020 Print - Page 9



are your assets
and estate
exposed to risk?
by David Birchall
head of private wealth
beswicks legal
Are you aware of the inheritance tax risk that your
estate is exposed to and the opportunities available
to reduce the generational inheritance tax burden?
Can you say for sure what, if any, inheritance tax
could attach to your hard-earned assets? If not, you
may like to find out.
Various tax allowances and tax reliefs are available
that either automatically apply to an estate on
death or can apply if, for example, properly drafted
wills are in place. Very often a will, when drafted
correctly, can remove 100 per cent of an estate
from being exposed to inheritance tax.
If there is significant wealth to pass onto the next
generation, the use of companies and trusts are
very efficient. It is a myth that trusts are no longer
helpful when in fact they are as big a part of the
planning toolkit to help manage wealth as they
have ever been.
There is sometimes a perception that anything
to do with tax planning falls into the category of
risky tax avoidance schemes. This is simply not the
case and there are many tax allowances and reliefs
contained in legislation from which we are all
explicitly and legally allowed to benefit from.
At a fundamental level everyone that earns an
income has the first £12,500 free of tax and
everyone who dies has the benefit of being able to
pass on the first £325,000 of their estate free of
inheritance tax.
Problems come about when tax allowances and
reliefs are only captured if assets pass to certain
people or meet certain criteria and when the
taxpayer has to take action to benefit
from the relief.
People failing to take action to claim the relief they
are entitled to is expected to have generated £6.5
billion of inheritance tax revenue for HMRC in 2019.
We all pay tax during our lives anyway and the
main driver for most people is to make sure family
and dependants receive the maximum benefit
from all that we have worked so hard to acquire.
Why wouldn’t you want to do that in the most tax
efficient way using the allowances the government
makes available?
For advice about protecting your estate contact
David Birchall at enquiry@beswicks.com
or call 01782 205000.
9.

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