Dealing with the administration of an estate single-handedly can be overwhelming for some, particularly when overcoming the grief of losing someone close.
Probate or Estate Administration is dealing with all of the deceased’s affairs
From Self-assessment tax returns, selling stocks and shares or re-homing the family pet
Typically takes 12 months, it is time consuming & you are personally liable
Not got time, prefer not to do it for whatever reason
Fixed price quotations from us to take it off your hands
Estate administration is the process of dealing with a person’s legal, financial and personal tax affairs after they have died.
It involves far more than obtaining a Grant of Probate which is just one element of the process. This means dealing with all their assets (such as property, shares and personal possessions), paying debts and paying any Inheritance Tax and Income Tax. Whatever is left in the estate is then transferred to the beneficiaries. Estate administration can be extremely complex and is required after every death, whether or not there is a Will.
In order to complete the estate administration process, there are a number of tasks that need to be carried out, including:
- Notifying beneficiaries and dealing with their questions
- Redirecting post and cancelling or transferring utilities
- Dealing with any Income Tax liabilities
- Advising on the distribution of assets to avoid or mitigate tax liabilities
- Calculating and paying Inheritance Tax where relevant
- Dealing with specialist legal work
These are just some of the tasks that are involved and every estate is different. While some people decide to administer the estate themselves, this can take a significant amount of time and effort; and it leaves them personally liable for any mistakes made during the process.
Whether their estate is simple or complex, the issues faced with the death of a loved one are rarely straightforward. That’s why we have partnered with Kings Court Trust, our preferred provider of estate administration, to deliver this service.
Kings Court Trust is one of the leading specialist estate administration service providers in the UK and, like us, they place their clients at the very heart of everything they do.
Top 10 Inheritance Tax Tips
- The Annual Exemption – you can give away £3,000 each year, so a couple can give away twice this amount. If you don’t use this allowance one year, you can use it in the next year.
- Gift Assets to your Children – these are known as ‘potentially exempt transfers’ (PET’s) and provided you survive 7 years then the job is done. Who should make the gift? Will you lose control of the asset that you’ve gifted? Well, you can protect the gift in the hands of the recipient so you don’t need to lose total control of it.
- Gift part of your house to your children – after 7 years it is out of your estate for IHT. The trouble is you have to pay full market rent to your children. They in turn have to pay income tax on the rent received. If they sell it they will be liable for Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on the gain on their share, and if you get it slightly wrong the gift will fail entirely. The better solution is for one spouse to sell their half share of the house to the other spouse in exchange for an IOU, which is then gifted to the children as a 7 year PET. After 7 years, half the ‘value of the house’ is out of the estate for IHT, but the married couple still owns the entire house.
- IOU Scheme – as tip no. 3 above but it can be done with any asset, e.g. a share portfolio, second property and so on. When set up properly, the value of the asset will be taken out of the estate after 7 years.
- Deed of Variation (DoV) – say a relative dies and leaves you an inheritance that creates you an IHT liability. Use the DoV procedure to vary that Will after death and set up a Trust to receive the inheritance for the benefit of you, and your family. There are time limits but this works very well if set up correctly.
- Gift out of regular income – if you have an IHT estate and your income is higher than your expenditure, the problem will only get worse as time goes by. Gifting the excess out of regular income to your children is immediately exempt from IHT. The rules can be tricky to implement but this is a very significant exemption if used correctly.
- Business Property Relief (BPR) Scheme – if you hold investment assets in a BPR scheme for only 2 years they will be 100% exempt from IHT. You need to retain these assets until you die but you can get an income and, since you have not given these assets away, you can cash them in at any time if you need to.
- Settlor Excluded Trust – if you want to gift an asset to your children to avoid your IHT after 7 years, but the asset has gone up in value (like a house) and would trigger a CGT liability if you sell it, you could instead set up a Settlor Excluded Trust and transfer the asset to that trust. As you are the Settlor and a trustee you therefore retain control of the asset, but as you will have no benefit from it, given 7 years it will be out of your estate for IHT and you will get holdover relief for CGT as well.
- Discounted Gift Trust – can seem attractive and you can get an immediate IHT exemption for part of your initial investment. The trouble is the portion that is exempt is based on your age and health so it may not be as great as you had wished for.
- Family Protection Trusts (FPT’s) – avoid the problem in the first place. If inheriting from your parents is going to give you an IHT problem, get them to set up FPT’s because with their assets ‘in trust’ you will have the option of borrowing your inheritance from the trust in exchange for a valid IOU so that you get the full benefit of the inheritance without incurring an IHT liability.
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