With a little bit of planning now, you can make it easier (and hopefully less expensive) for your loved ones to sort out your affairs after your death. Not a nice thought, but it's good to get it all sorted out sooner rather than later.
Your action plan:
This job should be high on your list of priorities. Without a Will, the government decides how your estate should be distributed, with no regard for your wishes. This could mean friends, relatives and charities get nothing - even if you made promises during your lifetime.
It is possible to write your own Will, but it's not always advisable. It's easy to make mistakes, making it invalid. Using a Solicitor will ensure all the legal formalities are followed and they will be able to help ensure your Will is as tax-efficient as possible.
If you need help finding a solicitor in your area, then visit the law society website.
Whatever your circumstances, you should make a Will. It is essential for making sure your estate goes to where you want it to. If you have unusual circumstances or special requests, the law may not always recognise them, so it's important you discuss them with your solicitor.
Not the most exciting to think about, but with a little bit of planning now, you could maximise the amount of inheritance you leave for your loved ones and reduce the Inheritance tax they may have to pay to receive it.
Inheritance tax (IHT) is tax paid after you die if the total of your estate exceeds a certain threshold. It is also sometimes payable on gifts you made to others during your lifetime. The current IHT threshold is changeable with budget announcements. Check the current IHT amounts on the HM Revenue & Customs website.
The things that can count towards your state for IHT purposes, includes the following minus any debts or liabilities:
For some, this tax could be more than they've ever had to pay in their lives. And it doesn't just apply to your home. It's applies to many assets, including your savings and investments.
So what can you do to ease the tax burden on those you leave behind?