Imagine a lifetime of dedication and hard work, creating a secure future for yourself and your loved ones, only to have a significant portion of your estate taken by the UK government, leaving your beneficiaries with less than you intended.
You don’t want that to happen, and rightfully so. As a retiree who has worked diligently in the UK, you deserve to retain as much of your hard-earned assets and estate as possible.
However, without proper financial planning, you might end up paying a staggering 40% to the UK government on assets exceeding your inheritance tax threshold.
Let’s explore how inheritance tax works and how you can protect your estate with effective planning. To start, here’s a brief introduction from our CEO and senior IFA in this video below.
The Inheritance Tax Threshold & Urban Living
The UK inheritance tax threshold is currently set at £325,000 per individual, meaning any assets above this amount are subject to a 40% tax. For married couples or civil partners, the combined threshold can reach £650,000. Proper financial planning can help you and your spouse pass down a significant portion of your estate without excessive taxes.
Urban living can significantly impact your inheritance tax threshold, as property values in areas like London are typically higher, pushing your estate value over the limit. Assessing how your assets may appreciate over time and planning accordingly is essential to prevent unanticipated tax liabilities.
Understanding UK Domicility Rules
Your domiciliary status plays a crucial role in inheritance tax liability. Many international clients mistakenly believe they are exempt from UK inheritance tax simply because they have resided outside the UK for a long duration.
Domicility is determined not by your tax residency but rather by your birthplace or your father’s birthplace. Even if you have lived overseas for a decade and acquired tax residency in another country, your UK domicility for inheritance tax purposes is unlikely to change, meaning you could still be subject to UK inheritance tax.
The Role of an IFA in Your Financial Journey
Enlisting the expertise of a qualified independent financial advisor (IFA) specialising in pension transfers and estate planning is vital. Our experienced team at Cameron James offers bespoke advice to ensure you’re capitalising on all available tax-efficient strategies and reducing your tax liabilities.
To arrange a complimentary consultation with one of our qualified and FCA-regulated IFAs, click on book a free appointment button on the right side. We’ll handle everything else, providing you with customised advice and solutions tailored to your needs and aspirations.
The Benefits of UK Pension Wrappers
Examining the type of pension wrapper you have is crucial when devising estate plans and aiming to minimise inheritance tax liabilities. Pension wrappers such as DB, DC, SIPP, and QROPS are exempt from being included in the estate for inheritance tax purposes, allowing funds within these pension wrappers to be transferred to your beneficiaries without incurring inheritance tax, provided it’s done appropriately.
The 7-Year Rule & Timely Preparation
The 7-year rule, or the seven-year gifting regulation, is a UK government directive concerning inheritance tax that applies to gifts or the transfer of assets during an individual’s lifetime. If you grant assets and survive for at least 7 years following the gifting, the assets are no longer deemed part of your estate for inheritance tax purposes.
Starting your tax planning early allows you to sidestep financial pitfalls more easily. It’s never too early or too late to engage in astute planning, ensuring that your inheritance tax obligations are no more than essential.
A Range of Solutions
We can establish discretionary trust funds or special purpose vehicles, particularly if you own properties in the UK. Our qualified tax advisor will discuss various strategies to reduce your inheritance tax liability with you. This is likely the most significant concern for clients and often the least addressed.
If you have a sizable estate, such as £5 million in property assets, and you’re hesitant to give it away to your children due to concerns about their age or maturity, there is a straightforward solution.
Instead of distributing the wealth, maintain your £5 million and consider the inheritance tax implications. For example, on £4 million, there would be a 40% tax bill, resulting in £1.6 million owed to the UK government upon your family going through probate.
You can take a life insurance policy for £1.6 million to address this. When you pass away, your family retains the entire £5 million. The life insurance payout of £1.6 million covers the inheritance tax bill owed to HMRC.
This approach is particularly beneficial as it allows your family to preserve assets, such as a cherished family home, without needing to sell them to pay government bills. While contemplating our mortality may be uncomfortable, we must acknowledge that death is inevitable for all of us. Having a plan for one’s passing is just as crucial as planning for life.
At our distinguished UK pension transfer specialist firm, we appreciate that mapping out your financial future can seem overwhelming, mainly when dealing with the intricacies of tax legislation.
For this reason, we provide bespoke solutions that cater to your individual requirements and aspirations. Get in touch with us today to discover how we can assist you in protecting your assets and creating a lasting legacy for your loved ones. Book a free initial consultation with one of our IFAs by clicking the button on the right side, and start planning your financial future today.