22 Oct 2020 2:11 PM

With the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget postponed to next March we have a good measure of time to put some serious inheritance tax planning in place. Along with the usual fears that PETS (potentially exempt transfers) will be cancelled, other common areas of concern are:

‘What will happen to the transferable nil rate bands from one spouse to the other on death?’

’What will happen to the main residence nil rate band, which together allow couples to pass assets worth up to £1,000,000 down to the next generation free of IHT, (provided their total estate is less than £2.35 million)?’

So we currently have a window to make some family estate planning moves which may not be available to us next year. Strategies I am currently using include:

  • Parents gifting lump sums of cash to children on the understanding that they will invest in the family property business.
  • Moving second homes or buy to let properties into a family trust for the benefit of children and grandchildren with no capital gains tax payable on the transfer.
  • Making regular gifts of excess income to family.
  • Using deeds of variation to alter the direction of some assets under a will after a death and so to use the nil rate band now.

Of course with all family estate planning we need to be sure that what is left in parents’ hands will be sufficient to cover their income needs in this difficult economic climate, and provide a cushion to cover any longer term healthcare needs. This can be a difficult conversation and so sometimes it is easier to have a professional to ask the awkward questions in a family meeting.

If you would like any more information about inheritance tax planning, please contact us