Q: What is estate planning?
Although it will inevitably include an element of tax planning, estate planning is much more than that.
It includes considering how you want your assets to pass to the people you want, when you want, and what restrictions, if any, you want to add.
Having established all of that, plans need to be laid to make that happen in the most tax-efficient manner.
Advisers can be of great assistance in estate planning, since not only will they have access to considerable expertise from product providers but also they will be able to make recommendations for products that will meet your specific objectives.
According to HM Revenue & Customs, the number of estates caught by inheritance tax has increased by more than 25 per cent over the last two years.
With a huge deficit to address, it is not likely that the government will be able or willing to take action to make the situation any more favourable in the future.
And yet, with sufficient forward planning, the impact of IHT can be reduced or avoided altogether.