Estate Planning

Estate planning is an increasingly complex area requiring specialist advice in order to prevent expensive miscalculations or misunderstandings.
Estate Planning for Individuals
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    Your house is an asset for you and your family. In the south-east, with property values constantly on the rise and the tax-free allowance for Inheritance Tax being frozen, it is surprisingly easy to fall foul of Inheritance Tax issues, even if you have no other assets. Through sensible planning, we can help you maximise your wealth.

    Welcome to Butt Miller, expert estate planning services

    Here at Butt Miller, we offer comprehensive advice on all aspects of estate planning, helping clients to make the most of their financial assets now and in the future.

    Of course, we cannot grant wishes and certainly do not have a ‘magic money tree,’ but we can advise you on how to make the most of your wealth. The first part of our job is to ask the correct questions, and then, armed with this information, we can offer the best and most appropriate advice for your individual requirements.

    Our services look beyond Inheritance Tax and consider all aspects of an effective estate plan. We’ll provide assistance to ensure a smooth business transition for the next generation, a simplified probate process for loved ones and substantial finances to cover any final expenses.

    As always, we find the most appropriate way to start is with an initial conversation, perhaps over a cup of tea. Get in touch today, and we will be delighted to help.

    What is estate planning?

    Estate planning involves deciding how your property and assets will be passed on to loved ones and family members after you pass away. It starts with identifying your total assets. By getting your property and financial affairs in order now, we can help reduce the amount the beneficiaries lose from your estate.

    Estate planning is also an opportunity to ensure that your wealth passes to the people you want to benefit, particularly with personal items, if you don’t want to make outright gifts during your lifetime.

    It is also important to consider your income position. If you are fortunate enough to receive more regular income than you need, making regular gifts out of excess income can help reduce your Inheritance Tax bill.

    For effective estate planning, our expert team will use a range of strategies to manage the tax bill, which may include life insurance policies and lifetime trusts. We will also take into account your own ongoing needs, working closely with you and your legal teams to achieve your goals.

    Why should you be getting estate planning advice?

    Whatever stage of life you are at, it is important to have a roadmap for securing your retirement income and plan for future care needs. Only once that strategy is in place can you consider the Inheritance Tax exposure for when the time comes.

    Without a proper estate plan, your loved ones may have more trouble obtaining any inheritance you may leave them. It can lead to probate, which can be a lengthy and costly process.

    Our accountants can advise you on opportunities to protect assets and discover the most tax-efficient strategies for passing wealth to your family.

    Is estate planning the same as Inheritance Tax planning?

    Inheritance Tax planning is a specific aspect of your estate plan that focuses on helping you understand how much tax your estate will be charged. Our estate planning service covers more than just minimising Inheritance Tax bills. It ensures that your wealth is left to those you wish to benefit.

    It is also a good time to consider the changing needs of your family and dependents, especially married couples, as they progress through life.

    Who will benefit from estate planning?

    Our estate planning services cater to the different needs of individuals of varying estate sizes. They are invaluable regardless of your wealth.

    While larger and more complex estates may find our services provide significant savings, that is not to say that smaller estates will not also benefit from expert advice.

    Our estate planning service

    Our trust and estate practitioners can help you make the most of your assets, advising you on the use of tax-free allowances and developing strategies to achieve your goals. Our expert advice is tailored to an individual’s circumstances.

    Our comprehensive and personalised solutions provide:

    • Strategic planning for married couples and civil partners
    • Preparation for the Inheritance Tax bill
    • Trust establishment and management
    • Guidance on life insurance policies
    • Complex estate planning solutions

    Get in touch with Butt Miller today

    At Butt Miller, we understand that planning for the future involves more than just financial considerations; it is about being able to care for your loved ones even after you have passed.

    We offer a personalised estate planning service that considers every aspect of your current and future situations. With expert guidance and tailored solutions, we will be there to support you throughout the process.

    If you’re seeking personal and empathetic support to plan for the future, then please contact us today to schedule a chat.

    Frequently asked questions about our estate planning service

    Take a look at our frequently asked questions below for more information about starting your estate planning service:

    When should you start estate planning?

    While it is human nature to put off planning for later life, it is never too soon to start an estate plan. It can save you and your family from unnecessary stress and financial concerns. Our service ensures your needs are not only met but are done so with the utmost respect and compassion.

    Will estate planning reduce the Inheritance Tax bill for the inheritor?

    Estate plans are tax-saving at their core, but the plan with the lowest tax bill is not necessarily the plan that best matches your wishes. Our trust and estate accountants can recommend strategies that reduce the tax in your preferred plan.

    What tax-free allowances can I use for Inheritance Tax?

    Every individual can give away assets worth up to £325,000 before Inheritance Tax is charged. If your estate is worth less than £2 Million at your death, an additional allowance of £175,000 (residence nil rate band) is available against the value of the family home if that property is left to your direct descendants.

    Additionally, these strategies can also help to reduce the IHT bill:

    • If your spouse or civil partner dies first, your estate can benefit from their unused allowance.
    • Certain assets can be given to beneficiaries tax-free, and gifts between married couples or civil partners are also free of tax.
    • Charitable donations do not attract Inheritance Tax and may also reduce the tax rate on the rest of your estate.

    What is the difference between succession planning and estate planning?

    Succession planning is mainly concerned with the future management of businesses and is not necessarily concerned with tax implications when you are ready to pass on all of your assets. Estate planning, however, looks at the wider picture, including all of your assets, beneficiaries, medical preferences, overall financial situation and tax planning.

    Should I be getting my family involved?

    Estate planning is very much a family decision. Some people like their families to be aware of their wishes, while others prefer to keep their estate plans confidential. There is no right or wrong way to involve family, and only you know what is appropriate to share.

    However, if you name family members as your executors under your Will, they will need to be aware of your wishes. This is not always covered in detail in the Will and other legal documents, so discussions during your lifetime can be helpful to your executors after your death. Your executors will also need to know what assets you have, as they will manage those for your beneficiaries after your death.

    What about complex family structures?

    Modern families are often complicated mixtures of second marriages, stepchildren, adopted children, unmarried couples, and civil partners. Unfortunately, the tax system does not always recognise these different relationships.

    It is important to get advice to ensure that those you wish to care for are catered for. It may be the case that outright lifetime gifts are the most appropriate approach for you, and this can reduce the tax on your remaining assets if you live seven years after making them.

    Get in touch today
    If you would like advice and you are interested in our accounting services please call, email or complete our website contact form:

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