Inheritance Tax & Estate Planning
Estate planning is important if you want to ensure that you protect your wealth, both for yourself and for your loved ones.
Every estate is different. We understand that each person, and their family, has different priorities and circumstances. We will work closely with you, and others as needed, in order to help you work out what is important to you and to put plans in place to achieve what you want to see happen.
In our experience there are three primary areas to consider when it comes to estate planning. The first of these is the likely impact of inheritance tax on your estate and then, often closely linked to this, the related areas of gifting and trusts.
Having considered all the relevant elements of effective estate and tax planning during your lifetime, it is critically important to ensure that this is reflected through an appropriately structured and drafted Will to operate upon death.
Inheritance tax law – including the various tax reliefs and exemptions that are available – can be highly complex. It is also an ever-evolving area of law that is constantly developing and changing. Expert and timely legal advice is vital to make sure that your estate is, and remains, inheritance tax efficient and that you have taken whatever steps you can to minimise your tax liability. This is particularly important if you own any foreign assets or a business. It is advisable to review your plans regularly – especially if your circumstances change – to make sure they remain relevant and reflect your intentions.
Gifting exemptions and tax reliefs
We can also advise you on lifetime exemptions available for optimal inheritance tax planning such as:
- Small gifts exemption
- Gifts on marriage
- Annual exemption
- Gifts to charity
- Gifts made from disposable income
A trust is a way of protecting wealth and passing on assets in a more controlled manner than giving it outright to the persons concerned. It is a means of separating the ownership and the control of the assets (such as land, property, money and investments). A trust can be created during a lifetime or on death.
Establishing suitable trust arrangements can be a very effective way of mitigating inheritance tax and both protecting and maintaining family wealth. It is important, however, to establish the most appropriate trust type as well as ensure that the right trustees are selected to manage and control the trust arrangements according to the aims and objectives of the trust on behalf of the beneficiaries.
We work with families, individuals, business owners, landowners, entrepreneurs, trustees, and charities – all with different situations and assets, both in the UK and abroad. Our services cover the full spectrum of estate planning requirements including:
- Inheritance tax planning and gifting – we help ensure that your beneficiaries receive the full benefit of your estate. This includes planning for inheritance tax, capital gains tax and income tax as well as the complex area of lifetime gifting.
- Cross border estate planning – we help you ensure that your affairs are efficiently ordered across international jurisdictions.
- Trusts – we advise on setting up and managing your assets for a particular purpose or for specific people. We know, for example, that in some families inheriting modest wealth at a young age, or when vulnerable, may not be appropriate. We create bespoke trust arrangements to maintain and protect family wealth.
- Succession planning – we help business owners ensure that their business continues successfully as they, or others, would wish. If you own your own trading business, our expert advice will help you ensure that it passes to the next generation without incurring unnecessary inheritance tax charges. We help business owners to structure their affairs to ensure that Business Relief is maximised effectively.
Where shareholder agreements or partnership agreements need to be reviewed as part of your estate planning, we work closely with our corporate colleagues to provide the necessary specialist advice.
- Wills – an appropriately structured will is the cornerstone of estate planning. We advise on structuring, drafting and executing your will to ensure that your wishes for your estate happen as you would want them to.
- Complex wills – having an appropriately structured Will is the cornerstone of estate planning. We advise on structuring, drafting and executing your will to ensure that your wishes for your estate happen as you would want them to. We specialise in drafting wills for clients who have considerable wealth and for clients with complex family arrangements. Having an appropriately structured Will may enable your executors to further minimise any liability for your estate after your death.
- Retirement planning – We advise on all aspects retirement planning, in particular ensuring that your assets aren’t depleted through care home fees.
At LCF Law, wherever possible, we provide detailed estimates on the time involved and likely charges to the best level that we can. Based on our experience we can usually give a good indication of the level of cost that may be involved depending on the type of work and the specific circumstances involved. We closely monitor all of our charges and time costs and we keep our clients fully informed throughout so there are no surprises.
Why Clients Choose Us
We work collaboratively with our clients and our LCF colleagues to deliver the best outcomes for those clients.
We listen. We communicate. We act.
Our team of estate planning and inheritance tax lawyers are experts in family wealth planning and will work closely with you to guide you through all of these aspects of estate and succession planning and the most tax efficient ways of protecting your assets. This includes anticipating and mitigating any likely family disputes or disagreements that might arise, for example due to the impact of any pre- or post-nuptial agreements, or resulting from previous relationships.
Inheritance tax law overlaps considerably with other areas such as probate, trusts and property. LCF Law’s multi-disciplinary team of solicitors works closely together across all aspects of tax, succession planning, wills, trusts and probate. We also work in close cooperation with other professional advisors, in particular accountants and IFAs, to ensure an individual’s or a family’s aims are met.
Call Us Now
Our solicitors are ready to help you. Click on Contact Us, use the Contact form above, or send a message direct to one of the team working in this area from their business cards below.
We are always available for a free initial chat in order to understand what is involved and to give some guidance on the best actions to take, whatever they may be.