Planning for the future means looking after your loved ones after you’ve gone and ensuring they get the full benefit of your legacy. The UK’s older generation has seen their wealth grow by 45%* in the last decade, resulting in more money being passed on as inheritance to the younger generation than ever before. However, this increased wealth means executors are left dealing with complex financial circumstances and legal paperwork. This could see a large chunk of your estate going on professional fees, leaving less money for your loved ones. But it doesn’t have to be this way explains Tom Curran, Chief Executive Officer of Kings Court Trust.
“Kings Court Trust offers a modern, affordable alternative to the traditional approach, which translates into direct savings, often tens of thousands of pounds. We offer fixed fees and specialist help in supporting executors, every step of the way. Our fee is agreed at the start of the process and that doesn’t change, no matter what happens. We understand that dealing with a late relative or friend’s affairs is never easy, but the added stress of tax, spiralling fees and ensuring all the beneficiaries get what’s left to them can be a daunting task. At Kings Court Trust we focus on reaching a fast, satisfactory conclusion for everyone that ensures more money goes to the beneficiaries rather than being tied up in costly legal fees.”
Rising property prices means property is expected to account for over 70%* of the wealth transferred in the coming years. However, this increase in wealth will also see more families liable for Inheritance Tax (IHT). Currently, families can be liable for IHT on estates worth more than £325,000 (or £650,000 between spouses. £325,000 plus the transferable allowance). The good news is, from April 2017 the government introduced the Transferable Main Residence Allowance (TMRA), allowing families to pass on more of their property wealth tax-free.
Of course you can take steps now to minimise the amount of IHT tax your loved ones have to pay after you are gone. Legally, you can give away up to £3,000 ever tax year without it being liable for IHT, or larger amounts should the individual survive for 7 years or more after the gift has been given. In addition, you could make smaller financial gifts of up to £250 to as many people as you want, but each gift has to go to a different person to be IHT-free.
It’s not just beneficiaries who have to worry about IHT, as executors of a Will are responsible for a person’s legal and tax affairs after they’ve died. Whilst around 6 million people have experience of acting as the executor of a will, just 4% realise that they are legally responsible for the accurate distribution of the estate that is entrusted to them.
Many people don’t realise that as an executor of a Will they are responsible for administering the estate and they are accountable to HMRC and the beneficiaries. The process can lead to a daunting level of legal paperwork, tax calculations and tasks, including cancelling accounts, dealing with utilities and even re-homing pets. On top of possibly losing someone close to them, the executor may have to deal with all the assets and liabilities, but you don’t have to leave them to deal with all this stress alone.
Tom adds, “Kings Court Trust takes care of everything on behalf of the executor, ensuring your legacy is distributed as quickly as possible. We will look after all aspects of your estate, from dealing with your will and assets, to redirecting post and dealing with the tax or closing bank accounts and paying debts.
“Many people don’t realise that executors are personally liable for any mistakes made during the process, which is why professional support is so vital. Crucially, Kings Court Trust takes on the risk, so your executor and beneficiaries don’t have to worry and you know they won’t have any added stress at an already difficult time.”
*Source Kings Court Trust report conducted by The Centre for Economics and Business Research 2017