44% of individuals with assets totalling £1 million or more have not sought any advice on inheritance tax planning, a new study has revealed.
What’s more, according to research conducted by Investec Wealth & Investment, 21% of millionaires do not have a will in place to guide the division of their estate.
It was also revealed that more than two out of five individuals (42%) have not taken any measures whatsoever to reduce potential inheritance tax bills. As well as this, among those planning to transfer wealth, 54% have not discussed it with the intended recipient, and 14% have no intention of doing so.
This apathy comes despite government statistics indicating a significant increase in total inheritance tax payments, which rose by £1 billion last year to approximately £7.1 billion.
In response to these statistics, Joanna Folkes, Bird & Co solicitors, highlights the significant legal and emotional impact that arises from the absence of inheritance tax planning and wills:
“As a firm that specialises in Wills and Probate services, we have first-hand experience dealing with the consequences of individuals failing to leave a valid or clear will. Unravelling will disputes can be exceptionally challenging and, in worst cases, can lead to the destruction of family relationships and friendships during an already highly emotional time.
Without adequate inheritance tax planning, individuals face the sobering reality of their assets being exposed to higher taxes, which can significantly diminish the amount of wealth that can be passed down to their beneficiaries…
… Wills aren’t just a document that informs last wishes, they can easily be weaponised, potentially tearing families apart. It’s a sorry state of affairs we see all too often.”