Leaving Behind Your Legacy

Inheritance tax is commonly defined as a tax on people who fail to plan their estate tax efficiently.

With careful planning and expert advice, it can be possible to legally avoid a significant amount of inheritance tax, for example, by creating a trust or gifting.

Cross-border estate planning can get complicated fast, and it is crucial to consider several factors before you choose the correct plan for you.

What do I need to consider when estate planning?

Consider if you are deemed a UK domicile person
Consider whether you have an IHT liability in the UK
Consider whether you have an IHT liability in your new country of residence
Consider whether your beneficiaries would have an IHT liability upon receipt of inherited funds in their country of residence
Consider gifting your estate before you die
Consider life insurance to cover your IHT liability when you die

I’ve lived offshore for years, am I exempt from inheritance tax in the UK?

It is likely that you are not exempt from UK inheritance tax even if you have lived outside of the UK for many years. HMRC taxes estates based on whether you are deemed domicile or non-domicile. You may be deemed domicile if your father was born in the UK if you have any ties to the UK or have plans to be buried in the UK etc. You can only be deemed “non-dom” once you are dead, making it extremely important to plan for the event that HMRC deems you as domiciled to avoid any shocks when your beneficiaries are receiving their inheritance.

Will I have an IHT liability in my country of residence too?

Many expats are shocked when they find out they can be taxed on their estate in the UK and their country of residence. Many EU countries force heirship and automatically divide assets between your spouse and children whereas other countries have no IHT taxes at all. It´s important to understand the succession laws in both your country of residence and country of domicile to ensure your loved ones receive what they deserve.

What can I do to protect against IHT?

There are many ways to help you avoid or protect against IHT such as gifting, setting up trusts, taking out a Will, taking out a life insurance policy to protect against the IHT liability or even donating to charity. Estate plans can become very comprehensive.