It’s interesting to note that just 4% of estates in the UK are subject to inheritance tax (IHT), which is usually applied on those with a value of £325,000 or above. So, if you’re classed as a high-net-worth individual, you’re likely to have an estate worth well in excess of £325,000 and one that’s subsequently subjected to a 40% tax levy.
Your estate will include everything that you own, so it’s important to prepare this ahead of your passing. Here are some steps to keep in mind:
Understanding the Challenges with a High Value Estate
If you have a high value estate, you’ll encounter significantly more challenges in addition to having to pay 40% on the value of your estate at the time they’re distributed. For example, you may have assets in multiple countries, creating a challenge when distributing them as part of your estate.
You should also take the time to keep abreast of any relevant tax legislation changes in the UK, which can impact on the management and distribution of your estate and how tax levied by the government.
There’s also a concept such as gifting, through which you can ‘gift’ assets to beneficiaries seven years prior to your death and avoid paying any tax on this at all. By following legal and legislative changes, you can act accordingly and utilise your estate to its maximum potential.
Creating a Will
If you don’t already have one, it’s absolutely crucial that you create a last will and testament as part of the wider process of estate planning.
Without a will, you’ll have far less control over how your estate is managed and distributed in the event of your death, while opening up the floor to potential conflicts between beneficiaries that could rumble on indefinitely. While you can set up a will by yourself and appoint ‘executors’ to help manage this once you’ve passed, high-net-worth individuals may prefer to liaise and partner with market leading estate planning services.
This way, you be guided on how to create your will, while taking further advise about how to minimise the IHT levy that’s ultimately applied to your estate.
When to Start
Typically, many of us don’t start planning our estates or make a will until later life, with only four-in-10 Brits having currently made a last will and testament.
However, experts believe this to be an oversight, and instead believe that you should start the process of estate planning and creating a will once you reach early adulthood. This certainly provides far greater peace of mind, while allowing you time to adapt and adjust your plans as you age rather than suddenly having to create a formal will from scratch.