Inheritance Tax Planning Solicitors
We help plan your estate so your loved ones receive the maximum benefit
Making your estate as tax efficient as possible can significantly increase the amount that your beneficiaries receive when you are no longer here. Our inheritance tax planning solicitors can structure your estate in a sensible, tax efficient and legally compliant way.
You may have a fairly straightforward estate or there may be more complex issues, such as a family business, large investment portfolio or land ownership to consider. We can navigate you through this complexity, introducing you to accountants, specialist tax advisers or valuation experts as necessary so you receive the best advice possible.
How we can assist with inheritance tax planning
The Longmores team can help with various inheritance tax planning matters, including:
- Lifetime gifts
- Tax-efficient Wills
- Contesting HMRC claims of underpaid inheritance tax
- Capital gains tax advice
- Family business succession planning
Reasons to choose Longmores for inheritance tax planning
- Our Private Client team is consistently ranked in leading client guide the Legal 500
- Several of the team are members of the prestigious Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), reflecting their high level expertise
- We listen to you, so we can ensure all of your concerns are answered
- We keep things simple, always explaining everything in plain English
- We will work closely with you, ensuring your estate is planned in the most tax-efficient way possible for your goals
Speak to our inheritance tax planning solicitors
To discuss your requirements with our inheritance tax planning solicitors, please get in touch.
Our inheritance tax planning solicitors’ expertise
Trusts can be a helpful inheritance tax planning (IHT) tool. Setting up a trust can help you to reduce the tax your estate may be liable for when passing on assets to your loved ones, when you are no longer here.
Our solicitors can assist clients to create and manage trusts, as part of an effective inheritance tax planning strategy. We have expertise in many different types of trusts including bare trusts and discretionary trusts.
To discuss your options today, please contact our specialist inheritance tax planning lawyers at Longmores.
By starting the process of asset distribution before you pass away, your loved ones can receive gifts from your estate immediately and, potentially, these gifts can be exempt from inheritance tax liabilities.
Our solicitors can support client to make lifetime gifts such as Potentially Exempt Transfers (PET). If an individual gives a loved one a lifetime gift, so long as that individual does not pass away within the next seven years, that gift will be exempt from inheritance tax.
Other types of lifetime gifts which can help individuals to reduce their inheritance tax liabilities include small gifts up to the value of £250 and wedding or civil partnership gifts, up to the value of £5,000 (depending on your relationship to the recipient).
There are various different conditions and restrictions associated with giving each type of lifetime gift, all of which our solicitors can provide guidance on, to help you to make well informed decisions.
Tax-efficient Wills refer to Wills that have been especially drafted to reduce inheritance tax. There are many different tactics our solicitors can use to help you to draft tax-efficient Wills, including:
- Ensuring that you make use of any tax reliefs or exemptions that you qualify for
- Transferring certain assets between civil partners or spouses to ensure IHT exemption
- Making use of lifetime gifts or trusts, to reduce inheritance tax liability
Contesting HMRC claims of underpaid inheritance tax
It is not unusual for HMRC to claim that inheritance tax has been underpaid, especially where there are more complex and/or high value assets that form part of an estate. Knowing how to respond to these claims is essential to avoid the risk of overpaying for assets that HMRC has overvalued.
Our team can work with valuation experts or accountants to provide evidence to contest HMRC claims of underpaid inheritance tax, helping to resolve these claims as quickly as possible. This can give you confidence that you have paid the right amount of tax on an estate and avoid the risk of overpaying, as well as other penalties HMRC might apply.
Capital gains tax advice
Capital gains tax must often be considered when planning an estate for inheritance purposes. It is important to understand where CGT liability may arise and what measures you can take to allow for this and, where appropriate, minimise such liability.
Our inheritance tax advice experts can guide you on whether capital gains tax may apply to your estate and what steps you can take to plan for this.
Family business succession planning
It is commonplace for business owners to transfer their companies to family members, so that their family can take over the business when they are no longer here.
Family business succession planning is useful to reduce inheritance tax, for example, by utilising business property relief, transferring business assets as lifetime gifts or transferring company assets into a trust.
Our inheritance tax planning solicitors at Longmores can provide comprehensive assistance with family business succession planning, no matter how complicated your needs are.
Inheritance tax planning FAQs
What does an inheritance tax planning solicitor do?
An inheritance tax planning solicitor helps individuals to reduce their inheritance tax liabilities, so that a person’s loved ones can benefit from their estate when they pass away. The idea is to ensure that the estate does not incur unnecessary or excessive tax.
Our solicitors at Longmores can provide inheritance tax planning advice, as well as assisting individuals to put tax and estate planning strategies in place.
How can I legally avoid inheritance tax?
There are many ways that you can legally avoid inheritance tax:
Drafting a Will: Unless you draft a Will, your estate will be divided according to intestacy rules. Consequently, your estate may be liable for inheritance tax that could have been avoided had you drafted a Will. At Longmores, we can ensure that your Will is as tax efficient as possible.
Lifetime gifts: Transferring cash gifts to your loved ones within your lifetime can mean that these funds are exempt from inheritance tax. There are various different types of lifetime gifts, each subject to different restrictions and values. Such gifts include PETs, small gifts and wedding or civil partnership gifts.
Trusts: Inheritance tax planning solicitors can assist clients to create and manage trusts, another effective tool to reduce tax, as well as a form of asset protection.
How does HMRC know how much inheritance tax is owed on an estate?
HMRC have different strategies that they use to collect information about inheritance tax and ensure compliancy with inheritance tax laws.
For example, when a person passes away the estate administrator or Will executor will need to complete Form IHT400, providing details of the deceased’s estate, including their liabilities, assets or inheritance tax reliefs or exemptions if appropriate.
HMRC also gathers information from organisations such as building societies, banks and insurance companies. HMRC may carry out compliance checks or analyse the value of a deceased person’s assets, as provided in their IHT return.
It is incredibly important that inheritance tax forms are completed accurately, so as not to trigger a tax investigation. Working with inheritance tax advisers can help you to protect yourself, legally and financially.
How far back can HMRC go for inheritance tax?
HMRC are able to assess inheritance tax within a 4-year time frame, starting from the end of the tax year to which the inheritance tax charge applies.
However, it is possible for HMRC to assess inheritance tax within longer time frames, depending on the circumstances.
For instance, if HMRC has reason to believe that a person has intentionally evaded tax, then there is no set time limit, they may make assessments within any timeframe that they wish, to recover the tax owed.
If HMRC discovers that an individual has made a mistake on a tax return, it can investigate within a six-year time frame. Alternatively, if there has been an underassessment, where an individual has not disclosed the correct information, HMRC may carry out an assessment within a 20-year time frame.
If your loved one has passed away and you are responsible for completing their inheritance tax return, our solicitors can provide assistance, guiding you through the processes to ensure compliance. Working with UK inheritance tax experts is the best way to safeguard your interests.
Speak to our inheritance tax planning solicitors
To discuss your requirements with our inheritance tax planning experts, please get in touch.