The Probate Department

Inheritance Tax Review

Inheritance Tax Review & Advice.

The primary intention of this review is to save Inheritance Tax, but you will usually get a few pointers on Estate Planning in a wider context.  These IHT Reviews are normally carried out by our Head of Legal, Ingrid McCleave who is both a solicitor and s206 Tax Barrister.   Despite this expertise, the reviews are very affordable.

Who could benefit from an IHT Review? This version is specifically aimed at people who are significantly over the Inheritance Tax Threshold or know that they will be soon.  If it is for the estate of someone who died significantly less than 2 years ago, it can be the executors who request the review.  But lifetime planning is far easier and more effective.

Ingrid McCleave, our  Head of Legal, solicitor and Tax Barrister was formerly a tax consultant with Price Waterhouse Cooper and Andersons, both leading firms of tax advisers. As a practice, we have authored a book on Inheritance Tax Planning (though we have been too busy to update it recently!)

IHT Advice and Reviews – why should your beneficiaries pay too much towards a legally avoidable tax?

Inheritance Tax is very much a tax payable by the beneficiaries of those who are unwilling to pay for professional advice.   So if you wish future generations of your family to benefit, then advice is essential.  Most people will take advice from a financial adviser or an accountant, which is great.   However, they both come at the problem from a particular viewpoint rather than looking at the situation as a whole.  There are also advisers who propose expensive leading edge solutions, which just could end up bogging your estate down in years of litigation – that is not an area we operate in, though we accept that many of these schemes will work, we are not risk takers – if you are, let us know and we’ll pass you on to a more adventurous firm.

When we create a full Estate Plan for clients, we take an overview which includes pointing out unused Inheritance Tax breaks, financial services product areas which could be considered (we leave the specific recommendations in this area to your financial adviser).  Vitally, we ensure that the dynamics of the family are taken into account, that as much flexibility as possible is built in and that the Legal Planning is sound (we see the end results of bad planning in our Probate Department on a regular basis as we try to improve the situation.)

The Initial Review is an informal 25 minute telephone discussion with our barrister to discover in summary your situation, generic assets, family relationships and objectives and for Ingrid to apply her specialist estate planning knowledge to make suggestions that may assist you.  15 minutes is not enough for a detailed review but should enable Ingrid to make suggestions for further investigations or specific solutions and to indicate costs for those solutions or investigations, as well as giving a few pointers for things you can do yourself.

Some parts of our advice may involve your financial adviser (we are not IFAs).  If you don’t have one, we can introduce you to one.

Cost is £195 for 25 minutes, including VAT. Ingrid’s charge out rate many years ago when working for one of the larger firms was almost £9 a minute, to put things in perspective. We keep our overheads low to provide good value.

You will receive an outline verbal and email report and estimate where relevant.  In the vast majority of cases, that is more than enough to point the way forward, but you can pay for extra time if you wish.  If you want Ingrid to review any paperwork, then that can be done during the phone call, but the standard fee does not allow for any reading in advance, and extra time might have to be charged.

Always bear in mind that the legal, tax and family situation will never remain static and you should contact us for regular reviews, especially if you do not join our Peace of Mind Service.

To instruct us to proceed, either ring us card in hand, send us a cheque or we can email an invoice you can pay online. This service is free to established Peace of Mind Service members.