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After the Christmas Party

Congratulations. You’ve survived Christmas but the chances are all that rich food has done nothing for your waistline and there are other matters that should be demanding your attention too. How about your Will for starters? First, be honest with yourself. Do you even have one?

Pat yourself on the back if you have as that’s more than 60% of the adult population. Don’t get complacent though, because the tax man giveth with one hand and taketh away with the other. Just as he has with the new Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB). Heard of it?

Well, if you are a homeowner, make it your business to find out about this new tax relief. At first glance, all couples can leave £1 million free of inheritance tax to their nearest and dearest. But scratch beneath the surface and you’ll quickly discover it’s far from that simple. You have to be married and own a home. So far, so good. Next, there’s a list of those who must inherit your property and if your beneficiaries are not on it, you won’t save any tax. And don’t forget to update your Will if it contains any sort of trust as the tax man is checking trusts in Wills as some don’t qualify for the new tax relief. The devil is in the detail as they say!

Now for your main course. You’ve sorted out your Will to take advantage of the RNRB, but how does paying 40% in tax on your estate make you feel? Or, to put it another way, how happy will your children be if they have to dish out a large portion of your worldly goods to HMRC? There are simple (and sometimes not so simple) ways to reduce your inheritance tax bill. Try to avoid being the richest person and the highest tax payer in the graveyard.

If you have any energy left for a little more, consider if everything in your world would be rosy if you became seriously ill, forgetful or even worse, unable to remember what day it is. What will become of you if this happens? Who’s going to care for you and look after your home, your pets, your money and, if things get really bad, decide where you will live and with whom? Sort it all out while you can by signing and registering a Lasting Power of Attorney, unless of course you’re happy to leave everything up to the Local Authority to have the final say on your behalf.

So, before you go out and pound the pavements to shift those extra inches around your waist, first take a moment to hunt out that old Will from the bottom drawer and call or email the legal team at Kreston Reeves Private Client so we can help you line up your New Year ducks in a row for a worry (and tax) free future.

For further information, contact Philip Lansberry, Sarah Kench or Gemma Spencer on 01403 253282.

Kreston Reeves Private Client Services offer a full range of private client services to individuals, families, executors, trustees and attorneys click here to find out more.

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