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Personal Tax Planning

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We are without question, living in unusual economic times. The impact of the recent downturn, on top of a whole series of changes to the law over the past few years has meant that now, more than ever, families should ensure their assets are properly protected and preserved.

One way of preserving assets within a family over several generations is by the use of trusts. Although the ability to use trusts has been limited since 2006, there are still ways for families to use trusts to help plan with and protect their assets.

By creating a trust you can give assets away but retain flexibility over who will benefit from them and when. A trust allows you estate to be protected from children who are not yet financially responsible, from a fragile marriage or from uncertain financial circumstances.

If inheritance tax may be an issue for your family, it can be reduced; if not completely then often substantially, by making use of:

  • Personal gift exemptions
  • Gifts out income (rather than capital) so long as these do not leave you short of income to maintain your standard of living.
  • Planning, where possible with death benefits (either from employment or life assurance policies) and placing these into trust.

Some types of property including certain business assets (such as shares in a family partnership or company) and agricultural property can be passed on free from inheritance tax, or at a discounted value for inheritance tax purposes. This can be done while you're still alive or through your Will.