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Wills review urged following inheritance tax changes

Homeowners who have historically used trusts as a way of reducing inheritance tax bills should review their Wills as soon as possible.

That’s the advice from Wills, probate and trusts specialist Richard Howard from law firm Fidler & Pepper Solicitors.

Changes came into force in April that mean people could have an additional £100,000 (in basic terms, a total of £425,000 per person) before they pay any inheritance tax, provided that an estate includes a property which has been or is their residence and that property is closely inherited.

The term closely inherited means direct descendants, so siblings or nephews will not qualify, but a spouse or civil partner, or children and grandchildren, will.

According to Richard, before 2007, a lot of people put trusts in their Wills to help reduce their inheritance tax bills. Rules changed in 2007 but many people left their Wills as they were because the changes were not seen as major.

But the latest rule changes could mean that if they continue to leave trusts in their Will, they won’t get the benefit of the new changes.

Richard said: “People may not qualify for the extra £100,000 if their home falls into a certain kind of trust or it isn’t closely inherited.

“Many people want to make sure that their relatives benefit as much as possible but unless they check the Wills, this simply might not happen.”

For more information about Richard’s work and the services offered by Fidler & Pepper Solicitors, visit www.fidler.co.uk.

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