Being from Hampshire, I have picked up on the fact Hampshire solicitors and Wills solicitors alike, are warning people to have a look at their inheritance tax planning and Wills as the worth of family inheritances will be falling dramatically due to the recent economic state of affairs. Family estates have lost a staggering £1 billion in value due to the current economic crisis, which has seen equity and property markets falling since as early as August 2007.
So at the moment, the advice the Hampshire solicitors are giving to us local folk is to make sure Wills you draw up reflect the current environment because otherwise the intended beneficiaries could suffer disproportionately if they are being left specific gifts, which is common when drafting Wills up with Wills solicitors.
Statistically, over 600,000 people die each year in the UK and about 70% of the deceased are homeowners. It would be no surprise to know that most of these deceased would have seen house prices drop by around 20%, with the FTSE dropping by over 40% in the same period.
However, it is not all doom and gloom, with assets plummeting in value every which way; the value of chattels and other assets has grown, especially in the case of precious metals including gold and other jewelery or certain commodities.
To help you with inheritance tax planning, the following advice was given to me by a Hampshire solicitors firm and is invaluable in making sure you Will is properly prepared for this economic climate.
For Wills that are already in existence, the following is advised:
• Consider revaluing the assets to take into account price movements.
• For assets that have lost value and are not needed, consider giving them away in order to reduce current IHT liability now, but as importantly, crystallize their value at current rates.
For estates where the death has already occurred, the following is advised:
• Consider revaluing the property at its sale date, if this is less than the value calculated at the time that the value was calculated by the HMRC.
• An HMRC 10-year instalment plan can be used, for instances where properties won't realise a reasonable value, with 1/10th of the tax paid before probate and the remaining instalments on the anniversary of death. Interest is charged, currently at 1 per cent per annum.
Hopefully the above information will help you when dealing with Wills at a difficult time and mean you are prepared and will receive what is deserved.
Click here if you need help on inheritance tax planning from a Wills solicitor now!
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