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Friends offers trust for IHT planning

Friends Provident is introducing a lifetime nil-rate band trust with the intention of reducing clients’ inheritance tax liabilities by up to 110,000.

The trust will initially be available only to married couples. However, it will be opening up to registered same-sex civil partners from December 5, 2005.

Friends Provident says the trust will allow clients to use the nil-rate band – currently 275,000 – more effectively and reduce the impact of IHT on second death.

The provider says the lifetime nil-rate band trust could potentially enable a family to make an overall tax saving of as much as 110,000.

This saving will be achieved by enabling couples to avoid wasting the nil-rate band when the first partner dies, says Friends Provident.

Head of investment marketing Ian Jefferies says: “Rocketing house prices in recent years have dragged millions of families into a potential inheritance tax liability.

“This trust has the potential to not only reduce a couple’s IHT liability but allow them full access to their funds during their lifetime.

“It is particularly useful for people who cannot consi- der making significant gifts during their lifetime, either because they cannot afford to or because they do not want to lose control over their own funds.”

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