10th November 2017
Making gifts to loved ones during your lifetime can be immensely rewarding and tax efficient, but it is important to be aware of the rules that dictate what you can and cannot do and the problems that can arise if you do not take proper advice.
In the first part of a two-part series of articles on this subject, Stephen Myers, director and wills and probate solicitor at Myers & Co Solicitors in Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, explains why lifetime gifts might benefit you and what you can safely give away each year. A second article will look at the slightly more complicated rules around potentially exempt lifetime transfers.
If the value of your estate (any property, money or other assets you own) is likely to exceed the threshold at which inheritance tax becomes payable, you may be able to take advantage of rules which allow you to give away some of your wealth during your lifetime without paying some, or all, of the inheritance tax that would be payable when you die.
The inheritance rules are complicated, but:
You can give away:
£3,000 each tax year by taking advantage of your annual exemption allowance, with provision included to allow one year’s exemption to be rolled over to the next year if it is not used, meaning that if you do not gift £3,000 in this tax year, you can gift £6,000 in the next tax year;
Specialist legal advice can help you determine the gifts that can be made to take maximum advantage of the exemptions and allowances available, while still ensuring that you are able to continue to enjoy your current standard of living and to meet any future care costs or unexpected expenses, should these arise.
For advice on inheritance tax planning, making a will, or applying for probate, contact Stephen Myers on 01782 525007 or email Stephen.Myers@myerssolicitors.co.uk.
The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.