Fears that families are not taking IHT seriously

A new study suggests that almost half of Britons have never discussed Inheritance Tax (IHT) with their family, while just over a quarter (26 per cent) believe that Wills and IHT are ‘not a priority’.

The survey, which was recently highlighted by yourmoney.com, quizzed 4,000 UK adults and found that one in seven (14 per cent) did not like talking about death, while a further 11 per cent said that they did not like to discuss ‘morbid subjects’ with their loved ones, or with others.

The news comes at a time when an ever-increasing number of UK adults are finding their estates liable to pay IHT, yet families are failing to seek specialist advice to determine whether their estate is liable and, if so, whether they might be able to mitigate their IHT liability.

In the UK, IHT is levied at a rate of 40 per cent of the value of an estate. Britons are entitled to a tax-free ‘nil rate band’ of £325,000, below which no IHT needs to be paid.

However, this nil rate band has been frozen at £325,000 for several years, and property price inflation is pushing more and more estates above the threshold every single year.

Last year, the Treasury collected a record-breaking £4.67 billion in IHT – representative of a four per cent increase over figures published the previous year.

Britons are advised to seek the advice of a specialist solicitor, who can undertake an assessment of their IHT circumstances and advise on appropriate tax-saving measures to be implemented into their Wills.

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Nigel is the Managing Partner and Head of Litigation and Dispute Resolution in the London office of Mackrell Turner Garrett.