The Department of Work and Pensions issues a very informative
leaflet for survivors following a death in England and Wales. D 49 is currently 80 pages long and full of helpful information.
A separate document exists for Scotland D 49S.
We have prepared a Personal Planning Worksheet which you
can view / download. The sheet suggests things you should document for family. Please use the link below and the back button to get back to the website.
For the Personal Planning Worksheet click here
Wills, Inheritance Tax, Power of Attorney
Please always get professional
9th October Budget Statement all financial comments/ numbers should be checked and are not to be taken as up to date. Please
seek professional advice.
N.B. In some cases Scottish
Law will result in different interpretations / actions.
Firstly write a Will, your estate
otherwise may not be passed on as you require.
A common misunderstanding is that all your estate will get
passed on to a surviving partner. This is not necessarily true.
If you make a Will, after all assets are accumulated, above
£650,000 for married couples or civil partners will probably incur
Inheritance Tax at 40%. If you were married or in a civil partnership this
Single person's get £325,000 Inheritance Tax allowance.
Some Trusts, Property sell offs are being reviewed and may
be tax saving or necessary, get advice.
Couples with assets of £650,000 or more can save
their heirs £120,000 by providing a discretionary trust so both parties
can use the tax-free IHT allowance.
haven’t a Will and your estate would be worth over £450,000,
then partners may only get £250,000 and the rest is shared
between blood and marriage relatives. Tax will be paid at 40%.
Think about what you want to leave and to whom.
Remember codicils to a
Will can be cheaper than getting your Will rewritten, but also document where you file them and tell people where they
are. Also the codicils highlight your most recent thoughts.
Secondly on Inheritance Tax.
If all assets
are very low i.e. less than £10,000 then things can be
If all assets are below £240,000 then you need to complete forms in
If assets are above £240,000 then you need to complete forms
IHT200 and others.
Be prepared to specify all gifts ( property & money) given in the last
seven years. Note Gifts between husband and wife are exempt.
Annual gifts to children can be £3000, and £5000 on marriage.
You can make as many gifts of £250 as you want to different
Be prepared to provide a cash flow over the last seven years to
demonstrate gifts can come out of income.
Be prepared to complete possibly in excess of 50 pages of forms.
You will need an evaluation of all stocks and shares, property, and
other assets. So get the financial pages on the day of death so
you get the correct evaluation.
If you have made a Trust in order to avoid IHT please try and check it is still working within
the allowed rules and correct yearly by seeking professional advice. The rules are changing with every budget. For example it has recently been announced that non-working spouses who did not contribute financially to building
up a couple's assets could not take advantage of a commonly used device involving a loan arrangement to shield some of their
wealth from IHT.
The Times has information on Inheritance Tax and other Tax planning, please click here.
Thirdly on Lasting Power of Attorney.
Get your solicitors to prepare a Lasting Power of Attorney well
before you feel it may be needed, you or the designated people can
activate it at the appropriate time. Basically it allows the person/
people you designate to control your financial affairs.
form is over 20 pages with 30 pages of notes!!!! Also the LPA cannot be registered until the donor lacks capacity. Costs
have rise substantially.
It is also possible that a relative or partner may be under an EPA enacted
by the deceased and that may result in making representation to the Court of Protection.
Points of General Interest.
Please try to arrange your financial affairs so someone i.e. your
executors, can find all the records and can interpret them.
Remember to record where your Will and details of major assets are.
Remember to keep at least seven years of financial history.
In some cases having Joint Tenancy ownership means that only one
person can claim the allowance on property, whereas Tenants in
Common ownership enables each of you to own 50% of the property
and each claim that as part of your £600,000 Inheritance Tax
allowance. Please seek financial advice.
You can minimise your Inheritance Tax exposure by seeking
professional advice, but remember this should be verified annually as
the Chancellor has a habit of trying to remove the facilities that avoid
people paying this tax.
Plan for the bank accounts of the deceased person to be closed, joint
accounts can under some circumstances also be closed on death
unless you have stated joint account and surviving spouse.
Remember Probate can take a number of months so you must plan to
be able to pay bills from a surviving spouse’s account for this period
(six to twelve months or more if a complicated estate). A limited
number of expenses ( like funeral expenses) can in some case come
from a closed account.
Are you trying to track a lost Pension?
There is a government service which can help you track lost pensions.
Or call the Pension Tracing Service on 08456002537.
Are you trying to find accounts/savings?
The tracing schemes of the British Bankers Association (BBA) , the Building Societies Association (BSA)
, and National Savings & Investments ( NS&I) - which also covers Premium Bonds, have been combined so users can start
their search. The system prepares the forms which can take upto 3 months to process.
For lost pensions try the free tracing service.
For £18 you can search the Unclaimed Assets Register for "lost" Life Policies, Pensions, Unit Trust Holdings
and share dividends from many companies.
For information on "lost" company shares call 08703333636 or
If you suspect a company has gone into liquidation you may find information
The New Capital Gains Tax:
From April 2008 new provisions for Capital Gains will be introduced, you should seek
advice. Hargreaves Lansdown has developed a CGT calculator that lets you check what the tax changes mean for you.
Click here to go to the government tax site on CGT.