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InicioEconomyWhy Your Family's Financial Future Depends on Understanding Inheritance and Gift Tax

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Why Your Family’s Financial Future Depends on Understanding Inheritance and Gift Tax

Understanding Inheritance and Gift Tax: A Crucial Step Towards Securing Your Family’s Financial Future

Inheritance and gift tax are two concepts that can have a significant impact on your family’s financial future. Often, individuals fail to take into account these taxes and their implications, leading to adverse consequences.

As a responsible individual, it is essential to educate yourself on these topics and plan your finances accordingly. This article discusses the fundamental aspects of inheritance and gift tax, the impacts they can have on your family, and how you can mitigate any potential damage.

What is Inheritance Tax?

Inheritance tax is a tax levied on the assets, including property, money, and possessions, a deceased person leaves behind. The tax applies to the estate’s total value, which includes all assets owned by the deceased owned not just at death but at any point in the past seven years.

In the UK, inheritance tax is levied at 40% after the estate’s value exceeds the inheritance tax threshold, which currently stands at 拢325,000. There are also additional charges to be paid on estates above certain thresholds. For instance, the UK introduced an additional main residence nil rate band in April 2017, meaning a limit that increases by 拢175,000 each year until 2020. Therefore, individuals who elect to leave their main residence to their descendants can enjoy an extended inheritance tax relief.

What is Gift Tax?

Gift tax is a tax on property or money you give away while you are alive. It is important to note that there is no specific inheritance and gift tax in the UK as we have an integrated system of inheritance tax.

In the US, however, gift tax is levied on the donor rather than the recipient. When you make a gift to someone, the value of the gift is added to your total gift and estate tax exemption limit. If the amount exceeds the limit, a gift tax is levied on the excess amount at a rate of around 40%.

The Implications of Inheritance and Gift Tax on Your Family

The implications of inheritance and gift tax on your family can be significant. Failing to plan for these taxes can result in your beneficiaries receiving less money, and they may have to sell some of the assets to pay the taxes. This can lead to financial hardship for your loved ones.

Moreover, when the estate is passed down to the heirs or beneficiaries, they may also inherit the tax liability underlying the assets. This can generate a significant tax bill, which can, again, lead to financial stress, and there may not be sufficient funds available to cover the expense.

Therefore, it is essential to consider these taxes when planning your estate and making gifts, ensuring that your family does not suffer any financial losses in the future.

How to Mitigate the Impacts of Inheritance and Gift Tax

There are several strategies you can put in place to reduce the impact of inheritance and gift tax on your family’s financial future. Some of these strategies include:

Estate Planning

Estate planning is the process of arranging your assets to minimize the tax liability for your beneficiaries.

One of the most efficient ways to reduce your inheritance tax liability is to create a trust that enables you to transfer your assets to your beneficiaries, while allowing you to still maintain some degree of control over them. The beneficiary will gain control of the assets after a specified time or event, as defined in the trust.

Gifting

In some cases, you can avoid inheritance and gift tax by gifting your assets to your beneficiaries while you are still alive. This can also be a significant way to support your heirs financially while you are still alive.

The UK offers an annual exemption on gifts of 拢3,000 per tax year, and gifts made within this limit are exempt from inheritance and gift tax. There is also a small gifts exemption, whereby you can give gifts of up to 拢250 to any number of people each tax year.

In the US, the annual gift exclusion per recipient is $15,000. Couples can combine their exclusion to give up to $30,000 per recipient without incurring any gift tax.

Life Insurance

Life insurance is another strategy you can put in place to mitigate inheritance and gift tax. By taking out a life insurance policy, you can ensure that your beneficiaries receive the full value of your estate, regardless of any inheritance tax liability.

Moreover, the proceeds from the life insurance policy are exempt from inheritance tax, allowing the beneficiaries to receive the full amount of the benefit amount specified in the policy.

Conclusion

Inheritance and gift tax can significantly impact your family’s financial future, and it is essential to plan for these taxes when arranging your estate and making gifts to your beneficiaries.

Understanding the fundamental aspects of these taxes, implementing appropriate strategies to reduce their impact, and seeking professional advice when necessary can help secure your family’s financial future and ensure that they do not have to encounter any financial distress in the future.

Daniel Harrison

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