Inheritance Tax  

Clients have plenty of queries regarding IHT

This article is part of
Guide to IHT planning after the pandemic

Clients have plenty of queries regarding IHT

A crisis such as the coronavirus has brought into sharp focus our mortality, as it is a disease that affects anyone and can be passed on by anyone.

As a result, advisers such as Jason Street, a senior wealth management consultant from Mattioli Woods, are spending more time dealing with estate planning.

“I would imagine that most families will be affected in some way, either directly or through friends, which will probably be far reaching,” Mr Street says. 

“What can reassure is that they have their affairs in order and should the worst happen, they know that they won’t be leaving a mess behind them.”

At investment company The Ingenious Group, investment director Simon Harryman says as the reality of the Covid-19 epidemic was becoming evident, initially, the firm experienced a phase of quiet.

The impact of Covid-19

But as the weeks have passed, clients have become more acutely aware of their family’s mortality and this has led many investors to review their finances.

Mr Harryman says: “After seeking reassurance about their existing arrangements, the current circumstances are prompting investors to question if they have all the later life or legacy planning investments in place that they and their loved ones could benefit from.”

“For those who already have legacy planning in place, we are seeing more questions relating to some of our value-add services, which some investors include as a bolt on to their estate planning service. 

“We have been able to help advisers to support clients and their families who have later life care needs, which is particularly invaluable at this time.”

Likewise, the firm has also seen an increase in enquiries into group life insurance which covers inheritance tax (IHT) liabilities from day one as opposed to the usual two-year qualifying period for business relief investments.

With increased focus on mortality many people will be thinking about how they can protect themselves, their family and their finances.

Tim Morris, an adviser at Russell and Company, says he has been fielding a lot of protection-related calls.

He says: “We always discuss trusts and again this leads to wider trust conversations. 

“​Most questions have been about the impact of the market falls on their investments and the knock on impact this may cause to their plans.

“As well as protection enquiries for life, illness and redundancy cover, I've had a few younger clients ask about making their will. Despite raising this with them in the past, the impact of the virus has focused their minds.”

Concerns about mortality and protection all feed into discussions around estate planning.

Mr Harryman says investors and advisers are taking a greater interest in the underlying trading strategies that sit within the firm's estate planning solutions. 

They are asking more detailed questions regarding how the investee companies are operating and the opportunities and risks relating to various scenarios that could play out.