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Estate planning for grandparents

Your children may be grown up and financially secure. If your assets pass to them, you will be adding to their estate and to the IHT which will be charged on their deaths. Instead, you might consider leaving something to your grandchildren, or reducing your taxable estate by helping them out during their education.

Estate planning for singles

Single people might not have given much thought to estate planning. But you should make a will to set out your preferred funeral arrangements, how you want your estate to devolve on your death and who will have responsibility for it. Your net estate might pass to your parents or your siblings under intestacy rules but would you prefer to leave your wealth to your nieces or nephews?

Gift strategy: Use the nil-rate band

Most transfers of property between spouses or civil partners are exempt from IHT. This means that when one partner dies leaving some or all of their property to their spouse/civil partner they may not make full use of their own £325,000 nil-rate band. In these circumstances, it is possible to transfer unused nil-rate band allowances between spouses or civil partners. Read More

Gift strategy: Gifts out of income

Another way to build up capital outside your own estate and save IHT is to make regular gifts out of income, perhaps by way of premiums into an insurance policy written in trust for your heirs. Regular payments of this type are exempt from IHT.

Gift strategy: Appreciating assets

Gifts do not have to be in cash. You could save more IHT or CGT by giving away assets with the potential for growth in value. Give while the asset has a lower value so that the appreciation then accrues outside your estate.

Gift strategy: Business assets

There will be no capital gains tax (CGT) and perhaps little or no IHT to pay if you retain business property until your death. This is fine, so long as you wish to continue to hold your business interests until death and recognise that the rules may change. Read More

Do you need a will?

Anyone who owns property – a home, a car, investments, business interests, retirement savings, collectables or personal belongings – needs a will. A will allows you to direct by and to whom your property will be distributed after your death. If you die without a will, your property will normally be distributed according to intestacy laws. Assumptions about how these rules work is a very common mistake.

Selling your business: Business factors

External factors can also be important in timing your sale. If you can time your business sale to coincide with a period of economic growth, when buyers outnumber sellers and will pay premium prices, you will most likely secure the best price. Read More

Planning your estate

Estate planning should start early in life. If your estate is worth in excess of £325,000 it could be subject to inheritance tax (IHT). Even if it isn’t, careful planning and a well-drafted will can ensure that your assets will go to your chosen beneficiaries.


When you raise that final sales invoice and bank the proceeds from the sale of your business, you should be completing one of the last steps in a strategy aimed at maximising the net return by minimising the capital gains tax (CGT) on sale. Read More

Maximising profitability

Increasing profitability is always important but no more so than in the years leading up to the sale. So, what is the range of values for your business? Although you may think you can make an educated guess, a professional valuation gives you more solid ground. Read More

Selling your business

If you consider your business to have a market value, or if you want your business to provide you with a lump sum on sale, it is essential to start planning how you will realise that value. This is particularly important if you envisage selling your business within the next 10 years. Read More

What qualifies as a ‘mobile phone’?

The first thing to figure out is whether an appliance is a mobile telephone. In recent years we have seen smartphones that are capable of doing many things other than just making telephone calls. Conversely, we have seen computers and tablets acquiring telephony facilities. In short, computers and telephones are slowly merging. Read More

Tax-effective employee benefits

Employers may provide many benefits to employees in addition to their salary or wages. Some of these benefits can be tax-effective, in that the employer or employee (or both) may save tax by providing a benefit rather than cash. Read More
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