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@ Sheringham Community Paper Issue No 36 - Friday 14th May 2004 - Choose another issue
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finance.jpg (2080 bytes) FINANCE

We will bring you a financial feature every fourth issue, if you have a financial question, please write in to the paper.
IHT…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 spouse’s 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 19,500….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
Sheringham Community Paper Sheringham’s 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 Museum’s 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 family’s important contribution to the history and culture of Sheringham during its formative years.
Sheringham Community Paper
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