The House of Lords has voted through the proposal which will introduce a new stealth death tax for the middle classes from April 2019. The fees payable to the Probate Registry will be dramatically increased from a flat rate of £155 for a solicitor application or £215 for a personal application for estates above £5,000 to a maximum of £6,000.
Saving Inheritance Tax (IHT) on death by making a gift and surviving by seven years is standard tax planning sanctioned by statute. However, if you make a gift but ‘reserve a benefit’ in the property given, it will still be brought into charge on death, regardless of how long you survive.
Inheritance tax (IHT) and Capital Gains Tax (CGT) share the handle of 'capital' taxes. They have an uneasy relationship. They’re comfortable when doing their own thing; CGT a charge on capital profits, IHT a levy on the value in a deceased’s estate. But there are many occasions when they both come into play, giving both opportunities for effective planning and expensive traps for the unwary.
Many modern trusts are fully discretionary. The trustees might be empowered to apply the trust assets “...for such one or more of the beneficiaries, in such shares, at such ages, and on such trusts as my trustees shall, in their absolute and uncontrolled discretion, decide".