An astonishing three quarters of those aged under forty-four years have not made a will. Millions of pounds are paid to the Treasury annually due to the fact that people have died intestate (without making a will).

Inheritance Tax (IHT) is charged on estates including the value of certain gifts made during and individuals lifetime.

Surviving spouses and civil partners with a permanent residence in the UK are generally exempt from paying IHT, even if the estate’s value exceeds the £325,000 threshold. In addition, the deceased spouse’s exemption threshold is effectively transferred to the surviving spouse, increasing their exemption threshold to £650,000.

This amount is insufficient to shelter the value of many homes from IHT, so the Government is introducing a new extra nil rate band to be applied only to the value of a home left on death to a direct descendant of the deceased. This home-related nil rate band will start at £100,000 per person from April 2017 and increase over four years to £175,000 per person, allowing a couple to eventually pass on a family home worth up to £1m with no IHT (2 X £375,000 plus 2 X £175,000). The home-related nil rate band will not apply in full if the total estate is worth over £2m, and will not apply to a house that has never been used as a residence by the deceased (e.g. a buy-to-let property).

Potentially exempt transfers are available for gifts made to other individuals under a seven-year rule. The gift must be made without future benefit to the donor. If the donor survives seven years following the gift, the gift is exempt from IHT. If the donor dies between three and seven years of making the gift, a sliding scale tax reduction applies.


By making a will, it ensures your estate will be distributed in accordance with your wishes. You may decide to leave certain items, for example, jewellery, paintings, etc. to an individual friend or member of your family, or leave a sum of money to a charity which you support; all of these can be incorporated into your will.


Established over thirty years, McFadden Perry Solicitors offer a professional and confidential will writing service. Phone Linda McFadden on 02891479494 to discuss your personal requirements.

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