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Greene & Greene is a long established firm of solicitors based in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. Our lawyers advise individuals and businesses based all over the UK.

We regularly attract new clients who have been using firms in London, but now receive a more cost efficient and more personal service from us here in Bury St Edmunds.

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Entries in Inheritance Tax (2)

Thursday
Aug152013

Louisa Bradberry joins Greene & Greene’s Probate and Taxation Department

This article first appeared in the East Anglian Daily Times on 13th August 2013.

 

Greene & Greene Solicitors in Bury St Edmunds have appointed Louisa Bradberry to its Probate and Taxation Department. 

Louisa was raised and schooled in Suffolk. After qualification she worked in Cambridgeshire until 2009 when she took time out to raise her family. She is glad to be back in the county she considers to be home. Louisa said “I am very happy to have joined Greene & Greene. They have a wonderful department and reputation and I am pleased to be working with some highly respected members of the profession back in the area of law that I love”. 

Louisa specialises in probate administration and the drafting of wills and therefore has direct experience of both the planning prior to and the process following a death. She prides herself in treating clients with compassion and understanding during what is often a difficult and stressful time. 

The Probate and taxation head said: “Louisa brings both further experience and practical knowledge that we know our clients appreciate.”

Louisa Bradberry, a solicitor in Greene & Greene’s Probate and Taxation Department, can be contacted on 01284 717432 or louisabradberry@greene-greene.com.

 

Tuesday
Aug212012

Inheritance tax planning

From birth to death, and increasingly, nearly every event in life is a taxable event.  There are, however, a number of simple strategies anyone can put into place themselves to avoid paying unnecessary tax.  Suzanne Alston, a dual qualified solicitor and chartered tax adviser, answers the most common questions which arise in relation to inheritance tax.

Can I give away assets during my lifetime to reduce the Inheritance Tax liability, and, if so, how much? Yes, but the first questions should be, “is this the right time?” and “how much is safe?” 

For gifts between individuals, the figure which is “potentially exempt” is limitless.  If you survive the gift for seven years, it will be exempt.  However, if you die within that period, the gift is added back into the death tax calculations.   If you survive between three and seven years and tax is payable on the gift, the tax bill tapers away.  So despite the uncertainties it is still well worth giving, if you don’t need the money. 

Are any gifts completely exempt from IHT? Yes, three types of gift are exempt even if you don’t survive for seven years:

1. If the total of one individual donor’s gifts do not exceed £3,000 each year (6th April to following 5th April) they will be exempt from day one. 

2. In addition, one individual can give up to £250 to as many individual donees as he/she wishes.  Again these will be exempt as of day one.

3. Gifts given in contemplation of marriage (£5,000 from a parent, less from more remote relatives).

Cumulatively, these reliefs are very effective and if you don’t feel you can afford the gifts in any year, you don’t have to make them.

Year on year I am not spending all of my income.  Is there something I can do? You can give away surplus income each year but you need to establish a pattern of giving, and document it preferably at the outset.

My biggest asset is my home.  Can I give this to my children and continue to live there? Broadly speaking; no.  If you take a benefit from property given away, such as continuing to live in it, you will be treated as though you still own that asset up until the date you die. 

Is there any general advice you would give to people considering lifetime gifts? You need to think about other taxes on gifts of assets such as Stamp Duty Land Tax on property, Capital Gains Tax, Income Tax and sometimes VAT.  It is worth incurring a professional fee in setting up a strategy which suits you personally.  After that, the key to success is (a) keep good records; (b) keep it simple; (c) keep it under review.

If you would like to find out more about tax planning and asset protection contact Wayne Perrin on 01284 717454 email wayneperrin@greene-greene.com

Article published in East Anglian Daily Times, Business Monthly, 21 August 2012