Pensions in divorce

Preparing for an independent future should a relationship break down

When disputes arise within families, emotions run high and rash decisions are made. This is why divorce is an arena fraught with acrimony. But seven in TEN couples don’t consider pensions during divorce proceedings, leaving some women short-changed by £5 billion[1] every year. Research shows that more than half of married people (56%) would fight for a fair share of any jointly owned property, and 36% would want to split their combined savings.

Inheritance Tax

Planning could save a family hundreds of thousands of pounds payable

Effective estate preservation planning could save a family a potential Inheritance Tax (IHT) bill amounting to hundreds of thousands of pounds. IHT planning has become more important than ever, following the Government’s decision to freeze the £325,000 lifetime exemption, with inflation eroding its value every year and subjecting more families to IHT.

Residence nil-rate band

Owning a residence which is left to direct descendants

The Inheritance Tax residence nil-rate band (RNRB) came into effect on 6 April 2017. The RNRB provides an additional nil-rate band where an individual dies on or after 6 April 2017, owning a residence which they leave to direct descendants. During the 2017/2018 tax year, the maximum RNRB available is £100,000. This rises in £25,000 increments in subsequent tax years until it reaches £175,000 in 2020/2021, after which it will be indexed in line with the Consumer Prices Index.

Lifetime transfers

Potential implications of such gifts with regard to Inheritance Tax

Some people like to transfer some of their assets whilst they are alive – these are known as ‘lifetime transfers’. Whilst we are all free to do this whenever we want, it is important to be aware of the potential implications of such gifts with regard to Inheritance Tax. The two main types are potentially exempt transfers (PETs) and chargeable lifetime transfers (CLTs).

Making a Will

Failure to take action could compromise the long-term financial security of the family

If a person wants to be sure their wishes will be met after they die, then it’s important to have a Will. A Will is the only way to make sure savings and possessions forming an estate go to the people and causes that the person cares about. Unmarried partners, including same-sex couples who don’t have a registered civil partnership, have no right to inherit if there is no Will. One of the main reasons also for drawing up a Will is to mitigate a potential Inheritance Tax liability.