Inheritance Tax & Gifting

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Advice that puts you back in control of your finances

When it comes to your money, we know just how hard you’ve worked for everything you’ve earned. That’s why our inheritance tax planning advice focuses on passing as much of the proceeds of an estate as possible to chosen beneficiaries, rather than to HMRC. Careful inheritance tax planning is also about maintaining flexibility and control over any arrangements that are made.

The levels and bases of taxation and reliefs from taxation can change at any time. The value of any tax relief depends on individual circumstances.

Our qualified advisers are available to help you find solutions for your money that prevent unnecessary amounts being lost to tax. This is a completely legal approach to voluntary inheritance tax that can be used to your advantage; we’re here to help you and your family get the most out of your money.

How we work

The rules surrounding inheritance tax

Inheritance Tax (IHT) now affects more families than ever before, designed to collect a portion of the inherited wealth or estate. It’s typically determined based on the value of the assets being passed down.

An estate will be subject to Inheritance Tax if, on death, it exceeds the individual nil-rate band which currently stands at £325,000. (frozen until 2027/28). To add to this, in 2015 the Chancellor introduced an additional tax allowance; the ‘residence nil-rate band’ (RNRB), meaning an additional £175,000 is available for those who qualify. For more information on the Inheritance Tax thresholds, or to learn about our Inheritance Tax planning advice, get in touch with a member of our team. We’re happy to provide face-to-face support in a no-obligation consultation.

Protect your assets for future generations


In an age where the online world is at our fingertips, why shouldn’t your wealth management be there as well? Our Online Services allow you to access all your wealth investments in one smart place. Whether you’re already registered, or just about to, here are some great features that can help you get the most from your online account.

Online registration:

Registering for Online Services with an activation code allows instant access. If you haven’t got a code, please contact your adviser. Registering online ensures all information is password protected.

Set your preferences:

Set your communication preferences to receive your digital reports and electronic correspondence.


Make online debit card payment for ISA and any JISA top ups with a debit card

linked to your account, on demand and at a time that suits you. Make payments to Unit Trusts, Retirement Accounts and new ISAs. (Speak to your adviser in order to get this process started) View the value of your investments in a range of currencies and see a breakdown of

this valuation. Instant notifications when a new document is available to view.

For every client opting for paperless correspondence, St. James’s Place will donate £5,to the St. James’s Place Charitable Foundation.

The value of an investment with St. James’s Place will be directly linked to the performance of the funds you select and the value can therefore go down as well as up. You may get back less than you invested.

The favourable tax treatment of ISAs may not be maintained in the future and is subject to changes in legislation.

Investing in their future:

Less well-known is that children can also have a pension fund as soon as they are born – and setting one up can bring significant tax advantages. Even if your child is a non-taxpayer, they will still get basic-rate tax relief on contributions. That means a maximum of £2,880 a year is automatically grossed up to take account of tax at 25%, giving an annual investment of £3,600

What we offer

Will writing

Drawing up a Will*, and ensuring it properly expresses your wishes, is one of the best ways to carefully manage inheritance tax. Our team can help refer you to a suitable Will writing service.

Asset transfer

Asset transfer, through the prudent use of lifetime gifts, can minimise the amount of inheritance owed on money compared to if all assets were received in a lump sum.

Fund creation

Creating an Inheritance Tax- efficient fund can enable the beneficiaries of an estate to meet the tax liability without disturbing family wealth.

The value of an investment with St. James’s Place will be directly linked to the performance of the funds selected and may fall as well as rise. You may get back less than the amount initially invested.

The levels and bases of taxation and reliefs from taxation can change at any time. The value of any tax relief depends on individual circumstances.

*Will writing involves the referral to a service that is separate and distinct to those offered by St. James’s Place and is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

Inheritance tax planning

When it comes to mitigating inheritance tax, there are a number of methods that can be employed. At Lester Brunt, we aim to find the most suitable approach for your individual circumstances and requirements. Whilst there’s no single ‘complete solution’, the use of gifting and trusts are some key strategies for protecting assets. Keep reading to find out more about gifting or follow the link to learn about our Trust planning services.


Gifts and gifting

Gifting is a straightforward way to mitigate your inheritance tax and is achieved by giving money to family and loved ones throughout your lifetime. Should a liability to inheritance tax be triggered by your death, a large proportion of your wealth, including your assets such as the family home, investments and even heirlooms will be included in your Estate.

However, by gifting, steps can be taken to reduce the value of your estate, encourage intergenerational wealth and leave assets for future generations.  Whilst there are no limits on gifting (subject to some exceptions), you must normally survive each gift by seven years to avoid any potential tax implications.

Reasons to use gifting

When it comes to taking full advantage of the exemptions on your Inheritance Tax, gifting can be one of the most valuable options available to you. There are several approaches you can take with gifting and, working together, we can help you better understand which are best suited to your own individual circumstances. This will allow you to maximise any exemption opportunities as much as possible. Sitting down with one of our advisers will allow you to have any questions answered and plan for the future. Remember, you don’t have to make all your decisions on ‘day one’!

Here are some of the ways that gifting can be used to your advantage:


Gift giving can be a reasonably simple solution that allows certain amounts of money or assets to be exempt from Inheritance Tax.


You can give away up to £3,000 each tax year (your ‘annual exemption’), as well as make any number of small gifts up to £250 per person, and not incur Inheritance Tax. You can carry any unused allowance over for one tax year, meaning you could give away up to £6,000 in a tax year.

Inheritance Tax Benefits

Almost all gifts become Inheritance Tax exempt if you survive for seven years after giving the gift. Gifts above the nil rate band, made between three and seven years before your death are taxed on a sliding scale – known as ‘taper relief’. The longer the time, the less you pay.

Wedding presents

Intergenerational wealth gifts to children or grandchildren who are getting married or forming a civil partnership can be exempt from Inheritance Tax and are considered separate to the £3,000 annual exemption. You can give up to £5,000 to a child or £2,500 to a grandchild (as well as £1,000 to a non-family member celebrating a wedding).


Gifts to charities, donations to political parties or institutions which exist for public benefits, (universities, national museums and the National Trust) are limitless in scope and are immediately free from inheritance tax.

Protect your assets for future generations

No matter what you want to happen with your money and estate after you die, it’s advisable to take precautions in order to maximise the amount that will be available to beneficiaries.

With help from our team of advisers at Lester Brunt, we can help you minimise the assets that will be liable to Inheritance Tax after you pass. Working through a careful Inheritance Tax plan is the best way to protect your assets for future generations. Get in touch today for a no-obligation consultation by giving us a call on 01202 695 801 or clicking the button below.

The levels and bases of taxation and reliefs from taxation can change at any time. The value of any tax relief depends on individual circumstances.


Can I give money without the recipient having to pay tax?
Yes, up to a certain amount. Any gift that is deemed to be ‘regular’, paid out of income, with no reduction to lifestyle is both immediately free from inheritance and limitless in amount. This covers regular day-to-day gifts, birthdays and Christmases. It’s best to get in touch with a financial adviser if you aren’t sure what constitutes a regular gift. Gifts to your spouse or civil partner are also exempt from tax during your lifetime, or upon death.

Why is Inheritance tax referred to as a ‘voluntary tax’?
Inheritance tax, commonly referred to as a voluntary tax, offers the possibility of circumvention through strategic planning, enabling individuals to sidestep the obligation of paying taxes on inherited assets. By implementing effective financial strategies and utilising legal mechanisms, individuals can potentially avoid or minimise the burden of inheritance tax on their estates.

How much can you inherit without paying tax?
This depends on your situation. Generally, an estate will be subject to Inheritance Tax if it exceeds £325,000 at the time of passing. However, in 2015 a ‘residence nil-rate band’ (RNRB) was introduced; this potentially provides a total nil-rate band of up to £1 million for married couples or people in civil partnerships if they leave their main residence to their children.

How can I work out how much inheritance tax will be owed?
Count up the value of all the assets remaining on death, subtract the nil-rate band remaining and what is left is taxed at 40%. If your spouse dies before you without fully using their nil-rate band, the proportion of the unused amount can be carried forward to use on your death. The measure is effective for transfers of property on or after 6 April 2017. The transfer can only be made on death, but could be by Will, under the rules of survivorship. The introduction of the Residence Nil-Rate Band was phased in as follows:

  • £100,000 for the tax year 2017/18
  • £125,000 for the tax year 2018/19
  • £150,000 for the tax year 2019/20
  • £175,000 for the tax year 2020/21

The 2020/21 limit was frozen at this level until 2027/28 by HMRC, having scrapped the previously planned timeframe. The allowance is available to those estates that are ‘direct descendants’ and contain a ‘qualifying residential interest’ – this latter point means that the individual must have owned the property and have lived in it at some point. Therefore, in the 2017/18 tax year, if you gave away your home to your children (including adopted, foster or stepchildren) or grandchildren, your threshold would have increased to £425,000 or £850,000 for married couples and registered civil partners. So, in the tax year 2023/24 the Residence Nil-Rate Band is £175,000 making the threshold £500,000 or £1,000,000 for married couples and civil partners.


The levels and bases of taxation and reliefs from taxation can change at any time. The value of any tax relief depends on individual circumstances.

For more details about services that we offer reach out to us on 01202 695801, or click the button below.


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