Reducing your beneficiaries’ potential Inheritance Tax bill – or mitigating it out altogether With careful planning and professional financial advice, it is possible to take preventative action to either reduce your beneficiaries’ potential Inheritance Tax bill or mitigate it out altogether.

Estimating how much liability you could leave behind for your loved ones

Usually the ‘executor’ of the Will or the ‘administrator’ of the estate pays Inheritance Tax using funds from the estate.

Small gifts that don’t create an Inheritance Tax liability

HM Revenue & Customs allows you to make a number of small gifts each year without creating an Inheritance Tax liability. Remember, each person has their own allowance, so the amount can be doubled if each spouse or registered civil partner uses their allowances. You can also make larger gifts, but these are known as ‘Potentially Exempt Transfers’ (PETs), and you could have to pay IHT on their value if you die within seven years of making them.

Assets that pass on free of Inheritance Tax

Inheritance Tax reliefs allow some assets to be passed on free of IHT or with a reduced bill.

Reducing an Inheritance Tax – it’s good to give

A n estate can pay Inheritance Tax at a reduced rate of 36% on some assets (instead of 40%) if 10% or more of the ‘net value’ of their estate is left to charity.

What happens when someone dies?

When someone living abroad dies, the rules for paying Inheritance Tax usually depend on:

When was the last time you revisited your investment goals?

It’s vital to know why you’re investing. The first step is to have a good think about your financial situation and your reasons for investing. Whatever your personal investment goal may be, it is important to set your time horizon at the outset, as this will impact on the type of investments you should consider to help achieve your goals. It also makes sense to revisit your investment goals at regular intervals to account for any changes to your personal circumstances.

Exposure to a range of assets through a single investment

In performance terms, the attraction of investment trusts is consistently evident. They allow you to pool your money with that of other investors to get exposure to a range of assets through a single investment and are listed companies that issue a fixed number of shares quoted on a stock market, such as the London Stock Exchange.

The picture of retirement income in the UK is not as bleak as some would like us to think

A report has revealed those approaching retirement are expecting to receive £23,700 per year when they retire. The same survey shows that the average income in retirement today is currently just £19,000 – a shortfall of £4,700 per year, or 25%.

Divergent monetary policies and growth trends could be key themes of 2015

The return of volatility – as valuations and investor complacency remain elevated – will make it vital for investors to consider hedging against downside risk and cut back on ‘me too’ investments this year, according to the BlackRock Investment Institute’s (BII) 2015 Investment Outlook.

Two thirds of over-50s plan to lengthen their working lives

Nearly two thirds of over-50s workers would consider retraining so they could work longer in retirement, according to new research from MetLife.

Positive impact on earnings, and a small positive impact on dividends

Despite the so far rather negative response of equity markets, the oil price falls could be seen as a ‘shot in the arm’ for oil consuming economies, with many viewing the oil price decline as being deeply beneficial because it amounts to a reduction in input costs and a dividend to consumers.

Spotlight firmly on people rolling over into the holding provider’s own annuity

The Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) thematic review into annuity purchases has shone the spotlight firmly on people rolling over into the holding provider’s own annuity.

Almost 1 in 5 women are now the main household breadwinner

Nearly one in five (17%) of women claim to be the main breadwinner in their relationship, according to new research commissioned by Scottish Widows to mark its 200th anniversary.

Sorting out our finances is high on our list of priorities in 2015

The British population is determined to get more savvy about their saving and spending habits in 2015, with three quarters (76%) of adults admitting they are prepared to moderate their lifestyle, according to a new survey by Standard Life.