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Lawyers tip boom in wills following Budget

Lawyers expect boom in people making and changing their wills following the announcement that charitable donations will result in a reduced inheritance tax (IHT) liability.

By Cara Waters | Published Mar 24, 2011 | comments

Lawyers are bracing themselves for a "significant increase" in people making and changing their wills following yesterday's (23 March) Budget announcement, which saw George Osborne announce a change to the inheritance tax (IHT) regime.

Those making a charitable donation of 10 per cent or more will now see their IHT liability reduced from 40 per cent to 36 per cent.

Carla Brown, senior solicitor at wealth management lawyers Moore Blatch, said she expected to see a significant increase in people making and changing existing wills following the announcement.

For a single person, inheritance tax is currently charged at 40 per cent on estates of more than £325,000.

Anyone with a modest property is likely to exceed the limit, but up until now and, assuming they were happy with the legal provision under intestacy laws, Ms Brown said people had little incentive to make a will.

"We would expect to see many more people either making a will for the first time or reviewing their existing arrangements as, other than the nominal cost of the will, the benefits to charities could be huge."

Anna Sofat, director of Addidi Wealth Management, was also positive about the changes to IHT, calling it "a step in the right direction".

"We expect more of this kind of reform over the coming years as the government seeks to create a more balanced economy where striving for wealth goes hand in hand with philanthropy and charitable giving."

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