Succession Planning & Tax

Tax planning is a complicated legal area, and can be critical in determining how you leave your estate in your will, whether you are able to set up a lifetime trust and/or make gifts and whether, if you are already a beneficiary to a trust, how you take your entitlement. 

We can assist you with your inheritance tax and capital gains tax planning and advise you on how your wealth can be passed on in the most tax efficient way.

Working with independent financial advisers and accountants we can advise on how best to use the exemptions and reliefs accepted by HMRC to minimise your tax liability. We will discuss your individual circumstances and your plans and concerns for the future in order to provide the best solution. In some circumstances inheritance tax will always be payable. However, tax law often changes and proactive and effective inheritance tax and capital gains tax planning can help reduce your tax bill during your lifetime and upon your death.

Here at LBMW we have a team of experts in our private client department with the depth of knowledge to advise you and your family about how to plan for your future. LBMW have been advising families for generations and provide quality, accessible and tailor made advice you can trust.  

Our succession planning and inheritance tax planning services

Succession Planning

If you own your own business one of your biggest concerns could be what will happen to that business if you pass away and if your family will have to potentially sell the business in order to pay for Inheritance tax. Planning the future of a business when the owner/founder steps down or even passes away can be a difficult to contemplate let alone discuss. It is better to start succession planning for your business as early as possible instead of waiting for a trigger such as ill health by which time it could be too late. Here at LBMW we can work with you to prepare for your retirement or death to ensure a smooth succession of your business for future generations. We can assist you with the following:-

  • We can assist with transferring business assets, whether this is tangible property or shares to others during your lifetime and advise you of the tax consequences including Inheritance tax and Capital gains tax.
  • We can advise you on the likely impact of Inheritance tax on your business and consider what exemptions will apply such as business property relief or agricultural relief.
  • We can assist you in drafting your Will in the most tax efficient way for your business.

Inheritance tax planning

Inheritance tax planning is hugely important for you and your family, as if done correctly it can, in certain cases, avoid Inheritance tax completely and ensure that your family wealth is protected for future generations. By failing to plan or by planning incorrectly you may be liable to pay more Inheritance tax than you need to. Inheritance tax is charged on the value of your estate when you pass away, as well as on some lifetime gifts you make and it is usually charged at 40% (or 36% if you leave at least 10% of your estate to charity) on the value of your estate once the allowable nil rate bands to Inheritance tax have been deducted. 

It is never too early to start thinking about Inheritance tax planning whether this is by planning gifts to family during your life, or having a Will in place and we can assist you with Inheritance tax planning advice in the following ways:-

  • Advise you on the Inheritance tax consequences of any lifetime gifts you make or lifetime trusts you set up and help you plan them accordingly to mitigate tax where possible.
  • Assist you in preparing your, and potentially your spouses, Will to ensure your Will is drafted in the most tax efficient way possible.
  • When dealing with your estate on death we will prepare the Inheritance tax account ensuring that all possible Inheritance tax savings are secured.
  • We can assist your Executors in preparing post death variations of Wills in order to mitigate Inheritance tax.

Lifetime trusts

A trust is an arrangement whereby you can transfer the ownership of your assets to people known as 'trustees' who then hold the asset for the benefit of others, known as 'beneficiaries'. Trusts set up during your lifetime can be a very useful tool in mitigating Inheritance tax as well as safeguarding assets for future generations. By removing the asset from your own estate and placing it into a trust you can potentially avoid Inheritance tax. In addition you may wish to put assets into a trust for the benefit of your children, grandchildren or great grandchildren, ensuring future generations are provided for. 

We can work alongside you to understand your aims and assist you with the following:-

  1. We will consider your individual financial situation and advise you on the most appropriate and tax efficient trust to set up as well as the amount to put into trust
  2. We can set up the trust and assist the trustees in the running and the management of the trust for generations.
  3. We can advise you of the tax consequences of the trust and prepare the necessary paperwork to submit to HM Revenue and Customs when applicable.

Gifts in wills

Preparing your Will is very important in order to ensure your loved ones are provided for after you are gone and your estate is dealt with in accordance with your wishes. A correctly drafted Will is essential in estate and Inheritance tax planning. We provide a fully comprehensive Will writing service at LBMW and can advise you on the how to makes gifts in your Will in the most tax efficient way. For example if you intend to leave charitable gifts, you may wish to consider leaving at least 10% of your estate to charity in order to benefit from a reduced rate of Inheritance tax on the remainder of your estate at 36% as opposed to 40%. We can also advise you how to structure the gifts in your Will to take advantage of your nil rate band to tax.

Our Fees

It is very difficult to give an exact idea of the likely cost of assisting you with Succession and Inheritance tax planning as the total cost will depend on a number of different variables. Please contact one of our solicitors who will be able to assist.

Clients always ask us...

Is Inheritance tax always due when someone passes away?

The short answer is no. There are a number of situations in which Inheritance tax will not be payable on your estate when you pass away. Here are some examples:-

  1. If when you pass away the value of your estate is less than the nil rate band, which is currently £325,000 then there will be no inheritance tax to pay on your estate.
  2. If a married couple prepare Wills which leave everything to each other on death, then when the first spouse dies the estate will pass to the survivor and be known as 'spouse exempt' as Inheritance tax does not apply to transfers between spouses. Therefore there will be no Inheritance tax due on the first death and it will only be when the surviving spouse dies that Inheritance tax may become due on their estate.
  3. If you were to leave your estate entirely to a charity, regardless of the value, then there would be no Inheritance tax due as charities are exempt from Inheritance tax.

Why choose LBMW?

LBMW has been advising clients for over 165 years, since 1855 when John Benjamin Lee and Thomas Bolton entered into partnership and some of their descendants remain loyal clients to this day. We have several long standing clients whose families' have used LBMW for generations and continue to do to. We pride ourselves on the comprehensive and accessible advise we provide to our clients during their life as well as the sympathetic and supportive service we provide families when dealing with the death of a loved one. We work alongside financial advisors, investment managers and accountants on a daily basis to ensure we provide you with the best possible legal advice, tailored to your circumstances,  to allow you to plan for your future and the future of your family whatever life may bring.

Speak to our expert succession planning and tax solicitors in Westminster, London 

To find out more about how we can help you please call us on 020 7222 5381, or by filling out our enquiry form.



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