We will bring you a financial feature every fourth issue, if you have a financial
question, please write in to the paper.
Three letters that could give you a
shock! Having worked hard all your life, paid taxes, bought your home and built up
savings, you probably want your family to get the benefit of them when you die, not the
tax man. But if you fail to plan the tax man may get a much more than you think. The
good news is that the first £263,000 of your assets, broadly speaking all you own, is IHT
exempt. It sounds a lot, but is it? Many houses are now worth a lot more than that. House
prices have risen by 88% since Labour came to power (Source CML), but IHT thresholds have
only gone up 16%, so property values have consistently outstripped IHT threshold
increases. More good news is that almost all transfers made to your spouse, during
your lifetime or upon death are IHT exempt (no exemption applies if you are not married to
your partner, no matter how long you have been together and whether or not you have
children). That sounds good, but you cannot transfer the exemption limit along with
assets, it dies with you, meaning that if everything passes to your spouse when you die,
when your spouse dies, they owned your combined wealth but have only one exemption to
offset it against instead of two. This means that if you and your spouses combined
wealth comes to more than £263,000, it pays to think about IHT planning. There are
various things that you can do during your lifetime to reduce IHT and it can even be
possible for your Executors to do things up to two years after your death. Importantly,
they do not necessarily mean giving away, or losing control of your assets. A simple
way to reduce IHT would be to make gifts using annual gift allowances. Allowances are
modest but if used annually, soon add up. Larger gifts do not fully escape IHT until you
survive for seven years after making them. A problem with relying on these types of gifts
is that you never know what life has in store and few people can be absolutely certain
that they will never need their assets themselves in the future. This brings us to
the topic of trusts. There are effective trusts to suits all kinds of planning needs and
they can reduce IHT liability, whilst still allowing the donor to get access to the trust
money if needed. However expert advice is essential because get it wrong and you could
make matters worse not better. What happens if, like most people your biggest asset
is your home? Not many people feel happy giving their home away and a solution can be
equity release to enable the gifts or trusts you want to be made. You could of course take
out a life insurance policy which is not designed to reduce IHT, but to pay it when you
die, thus leaving your estate IHT tax paid. IHT is charged at 40%, but planning to
avoid it should take into account what would happen if the need for long term care ever
arose. Long term care has to be paid in full until your total assets fall below
.so you could still be paying for care and using up savings and the value in
your home long after your assets fell below the £263,000 IHT exemption. For more
information about anything covered in this article or other financial planning ask for a
free consultation with the author, Pam Blyth MLIA(dip), financial futures ifa limited , 1
Augusta Street, Sheringham. 01263 825037
|Diary Date - Carnival Day 4 August
||Sheringhams Fisherman Painter In Wools.
Sheringham Museum is staging a very special exhibition throughout this coming season. On
show are 15 original embroideries by Sheringham born fisherman John Craske.
|They include stunning works drawn from a
variety of sources, including three held by Sheringham Museum plus the rarely exhibited
masterpiece, The Evacuation of Dunkirk, a magnificent 12 3 x
1 6 embroidery full of detail, including over 200 individual soldiers.
Its poignancy lies in the fact it was the last embroidery to be made by John Craske, and
he died before he could finish it- as testified by the small area of unfinished stitching
near to the top left corner.
All of the pieces are individually captioned and the Museum has produced a special
booklet, with colour illustrations, tracing the life and times of this often unappreciated
artist. The new exhibition follows one devoted to the work of another Sheringham artist,
Tom Armes and is part of the Museums policy in promoting the work of local artists.
It is difficult to put into words the impression this new display makes on the visual
senses- see it to believe it!
One of the new displays in Sheringham Museum for the coming season is devoted to the
Upcher family whose members were such benefactors to the struggling fishing community
during the early and mid 1880s.
Photographs of family members, information sheets on their lives, together with
photographs and information on the Augusta and Henry Ramey Upcher lifeboats provide a
wealth of information on this familys important contribution to the history and
culture of Sheringham during its formative years.