We are often asked to advise an Attorney who is looking after the finances of an incapable person. The Attorney sees that there is a potential Inheritance Tax liability that is going to arise on their relative’s death and is looking to make gifts or otherwise reduce the problem.
The basic principle is that an Attorney can only make on a customary occasion for making gifts within families (for example birthdays and Christmas) to someone who is related to or connected to the person and of a reasonable value taking in to account the circumstances and the size of the person’s estate. This will normally only be of relatively small amounts and do little to reduce Inheritance Tax liability.
Any other gifts or planning will require specific approval from the Court of Protection. There is a practice note from the Office of the Public Guardian on this subject and this includes an important reminder that the gifts or planning must be in their “best interests” and “reasonable” in the context of their estate. Every situation is different but factors that are likely to be taking in to account are :
- Life expectancy
- Size of estate (before and after the gift)
- Affect of the gift on the Will, including Inheritance Tax
- Any history of giving
- Cost of care and any potential changes to that
Attorneys and Deputies also need to be aware that any investment decision for Inheritance Tax advantage that are made must be done in the best interests of the individual. Many Inheritance Tax investments carry additional investment risks that might not be appropriate for all clients.
Hart Reade works closely with Attorneys, Deputies and Financial Advisors to ensure that this planning is compliant with the rules on gifting, effective for Inheritance Tax planning and appropriate for the individual and their family.
Get in touch
In view of the fact all of your circumstances are different, it is always important to seek advice from an experienced law specialist to discuss your circumstances and consider the different options available to you.
For advice please do not hesitate to contact Head of Private Client at Hart Reade, John Benson, or a member of his Team. Either call on 01323 727321 to arrange an appointment or please fill in the form below and someone will get in touch.
Please note that this article does not constitute legal advice. You should always speak to a legal professional to discuss your circumstances and consider your options.