Similarly, if someone died before October 1 leaving a spouse and children then the spouse received a statutory legacy of £250,000 with the remainder of the estate divided in half. Of this portion, the surviving spouse would receive the income from one half with the capital passing after his or her death to the children, with the other half passing directly to the children at the age of 18. This has now changed – while the spouse still receives the statutory legacy, one half of the remainder goes outright to the spouse and the other half passes to the children at 18. The ongoing trust arrangement has ceased.
As before, personal effects pass to the surviving spouse but the definition for these has been changed to exclude items solely or mainly used for business purposes.
There are other changes with regard to step children, or the children of the other partner where there was no marriage, but life may already be complicated enough without going there!
The essential is to ensure that a will is made to record your wishes and possibly protect business and other assets from falling into the wrong hands.
“I’ve been meaning to make a will but never got round to it” doesn’t have any effect after the event!
Within farming, it’s important that proper plans are made with regards to Inheritance Tax, for which professional advice from your lawyer, accountant, and surveyor is vital. It is never too late, if you would like to discuss your situation in confidence please get in touch..