Inheritance Tax and Estate Planning

Leaving a Legacy & Inheritance Tax Planning

Estate planning is becoming more and more important and if not properly planned can lead to a significant tax bill and therefore fewer funds to your intended loved ones. However it isn’t all about passing on money when you die, it’s also about ensuring you have enough to live on and enjoy life now

That’s why it’s so important to start planning early so when the time comes, your wealth can be passed on according to your wishes as tax-efficiently as possible. We can show you how much money you will need, help you to pass on assets in the most effective way, and work with you to reduce or manage an Inheritance Tax bill.

Your liability

Inheritance Tax (IHT) is a tax charge (usually 40%) on any part of your estate that exceeds your personal allowance (also called the nil rate band). This is currently £325,000 per person, married couples and civil partners can pass their thresholds between them.

Your estate is determined by adding all of your assets including, Property, Savings, Investments, Other assets (which can be held anywhere in the world) and any gifts you may have made in the seven years leading up to your death.


Planning for when the time comes is one of the most important things you will do. Here at Northseam Limited however we understand that for many people this is a daunting prospect and that is where we step in.

Contact us for a free no-obligation meeting and we will help you reflect on your current situation, where you would like to be and then look at the various options open to you.

Planning for Inheritance tax now is about more than just reducing your potential tax bill it’s about ensuring your loved ones or chosen beneficiaries, receive your wealth in a timely and efficient manner, whilst not impacting on your lifestyle and needs. We, here at Northseam, can talk you through your options and help you plan to ensure you have the appropriate arrangements in place now and in the future.

Passing on your assets effectively

Many people want to keep an element of control when passing on their assets. They may want their money to be used for a particular reason, such as paying for school fees or for a first house deposit. Or they may just want to make sure their money stays within their family. We can give you the advice to ensure your money ends up with the people you want, for the reasons you choose.

How much can you afford to spend or give away?

Estate planning usually involves spending and giving away money, but how much should you keep for later life to ensure you don’t run out.  We discuss this with you and develop a plan that ensures you have enough funds to maintain your lifestyle and also considers other potential costs, such as long term care.


When you put money or property into a trust, provided certain conditions are met, you don’t own it any more. This means it might not count towards your Inheritance Tax bill when you die. By gifting funds you can protect your assets for the benefit of your loved ones and maintain some control over the assets now and in the future, ultimately determining how the funds pass on.


There are many ways to give away money, these range from one-off cash gifts to gifting a regular income, and setting up trusts for long-term giving or where future control may be important. We can talk you through the options and help you to find the most appropriate choice. We can also help you to use your annual gifting allowances and navigate the potentially complex tax rules.


There are many different investment options that can provide favourable treatment for inheritance tax purposes. These can provide benefits by reducing your potential inheritance tax liability, though can be complex and as such, not right for everyone. Here at Northseam we can guide you through the options and help determine which, if any, are appropriate for you.

Passing on a pension

Pensions can be utilised when it comes to estate planning, as they aren’t included within your Inheritance Tax bill. If you don’t need to use all of your pension, you could pass your pension on tax-free while gradually reducing the size of your taxable estate.

The residence nil rate band

The residence nil rate band is an additional allowance that gives couples the opportunity to pass on up to £1 million tax-free when passing on the family home. There are however many complex rules around this such as a reduced allowance for bigger estates. At Northseam we can discuss this with you in more detail and help you to determine how this new allowance may assist your inheritance tax planning.

Your Will

A Will ensures your assets pass on according to your wishes, however, the Will can also affect your estate and Inheritance tax position. It’s important to ensure your will is up to date and accurately reflects your wishes, we can appoint a specialist solicitor to help you make any changes.