Inheritance tax and succession planning: Jean Harper

Matthew helps not just to mitigate inheritance tax, but to ensure the right amount of money is available to the right people, at the right time and in the right way.

My husband sadly died relatively young, but as we both worked for the same high street bank, we had solid provision for retirement and unexpected events. I have now reached my mid-seventies and whilst I have a very active social life, and feel as healthy as I ever had I spoke to Matthew on the recommendations of my solicitor, who had re-written my Will, taking into account my children’s ever broadening family.

Matthew spent a great deal of time collecting various information about my personal situation and my varied investments, but also about my objectives; particularly my wishes to simplify my affairs and provide financial support for my grandchildren now rather than leave an excessive legacy to my children too late in their lives to truly enjoy.

Matthew’s analysis showed that my current expenditure was actually greater than my various pension incomes, and whilst my investments had been performing well, he made recommendations that were simpler and increased my net income.

Matthew helped improve my understanding of Inheritance Tax rules, taking time to explain the rate of taxation, exemptions and treatment of each of my assets and investments, including a valuable property in Purley, Surrey. Matthew also calculated my potential liabilities now, at age 80, 90 and 100.

At the same time, Matthew identified that by gifting a significant capital sum I could reduce the potential inheritance tax liability on death. With my investments organised more efficiently we identified some money that I could gift into a trust, which allowed the flexibility to draw an income, but would be outside of my estate and free of inheritance tax in seven years. There was an immediate reduction in any liability if I unexpectedly died before the seven year period had expired.

Matthew has agreed to meet with me several times a year to review my personal finances, and also to chair meetings with my children who, with me, are the trustees of this new family trust.

By involving Matthew and my children in the planning of my affairs I feel more secure, and also able to help my children and grandchildren. I’ve never felt the need to scrimp and save, but feel I can now afford to enjoy life more knowing that I still retain more capital than I’ll likely ever need.

As our clients typically demand the utmost confidentiality, some of the information in this case study has been changed.

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