1. Didn't the Chancellor double the IHT Nil Rate Band ?
This is certainly what the headlines said, however this is NOT the case, the NRB is still £325,000 (11/12). Within the 2007 Pre Budget report the Chancellor did however announce that when a Widow or Widower dies the unused proportion (%) of a former partner can be transferred and applied to their estate on their death. Importantly though this is capped at TWO NRB's. Our clients could retain the benefit of more than two NRB's
2. Couldn't couples get two NRBs before the PBR announcement?
This is true, clients who have used Asset Angel have always been able to benefit from both of their NRBs, the principles we employ have been achieving this outcome for years so effectively the Chancellor has very cleverly given couples the ability to get what they already had access to.
3. I understand the new measure creates new dangers?
This is true, we see the biggest problems arising from married/CP couples not needing to use Wills to save Inheritance Tax as leading to an increased apathy to take proper Estate Planning advice and plan for what happens to their estate. While it is true doing "nothing" would now appear to make a Tax saving, the risks of one's family losing much more than the Inheritance Tax saving to other factors has increased.
4. I have heard that if a Widow & Widower marry they could be disadvantaged, is this true?
This is true, under the new measures, a Widow/Widowers family have the ability to claim the unused proportion of their former partners NRB, so a Widow could have effectively the value of "two estates" and the ability to transfer the unused proportion of her former partners NRB, so she also has the availability of "two NRB's"
A Widower could be in the same position, he could have the value of "two estates" and the availability of "two NRB's" Singularly each individual has available NRBs of £650K (11/12), however if they marry the new couple would then LOSE access to £650K of NRB due to the 2 NRB Cap. This effectively costs the couple £260,000 in IHT (11/12)
HOWEVER using Asset Angel initially, before losing their first partner we can ensure that each individuals NRB is protected irrespective of future remarriage, if the 4 individuals in this example had Asset Angel in place they would not have lost £260,000 to IHT
5. I have heard that there are extra benefits to using Asset Angel
This is true, we would be delighted to explain how Asset Angel can help you to avoid loss of your Estate due to Disinheritance, Long Term Care Fees, future Marriage breakdown. We believe it is now more important than ever to ensure your estate is protected to ensure your estate benefits who you want to benefit rather than leaving it to chance.
6. I already have Asset Angel planning in place, I have read I need to re write my Wills because of the PBR changes, is this true?
There have been uninformed press comment about needing to unwind existing Estate Planning measures, similar to Asset Angel, due to the new IHT measures. Of course this is not the case. All Asset Angel provisions are designed to be flexible and importantly "discretionary" therefore Executors and Trustees can decide at the appropriate time what the benefits of activating the Trust arrangement, we can help to explain the many many benefits of activating the trust arrangements at the appropriate time rather than leaving things to chance. We do of course recommend regular reviews of Estate Planning when your circumstances change.
7. It sounded like everything had changed but in reality it looks like very little has changed for most people, is this the case?
This is certainly the case for everyone who is not married and not in a civil partnership. Even those who it is supposed to provide benefit to, who are married/CP, are likely to be surprised to discover that in practice the headlines are not as attractive to them as they at first may seem. We strongly recommend that everyone explores the reality of proper Estate Planning, to discover what can be achieved against what may happen if no planning takes place and things are left to chance.
Some Facts about Asset Angel
Asset Angel advice and documentation is produced by our in-house team and in association with carefully selected independent solicitor firms.
For ease with readability and client understanding, The Law Partnership use the latest precedents which were led by James Kessler QC, who is a founder member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), for whom he drafted the STEP standard provisions.
Asset Angel is made available on a ‘fixed fee’ basis and at rates, which are at a fraction of those charged by large city based firms of solicitors. We can keep our fees low, because The Law Partnership has been developed to specialise in Estate Planning. In doing so, we have built systems and processes, which allow most of our services to be provided without the need for, and the cost that is normally associated with, a ‘face to face’ solicitor consultation. With this in mind, we do not need to employ large armies of expensive staff, who occupy elaborate and highly expensive premises, thus meaning we can keep our overheads to a minimum. We are happy to pass the benefit of these major cost savings on to you.
All you need to do is complete a simple application form which merely provides information. We provide detailed supportive guidance notes in plain English
We then take care of the legal advice and production of all of the necessary documentation, including Will documentation, Discretionary Trusts, Severance of Tenancy, Land Registry searches and re-registration and all supporting documents.
We can supply full details of how Asset Angel can help you ensure you do not lose your Nil Rate Band whilst avoiding unnecessary Inheritance Tax, whilst protecting your assets from disinheritance and unnecessary future erosion.
As you simply complete the Asset Angel application, assisted by the supportive Guidance Notes, we take full responsibility for the legal advice and documentation. Alternatively an Asset Angel introducer can assist you with the application process. Please contact us to talk to a local Asset Angel introducer.