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Get off to an early start to beat the inheritance tax trap

Families are being warned to begin estate planning earlier after this year’s Budget restricted to the nil-rate band the amount that can be gifted into a trust free of inheritance tax.

Fund manager Way Group says thousands of families risk falling into the IHT trap by starting estate planning too late in life.

Its research shows that men typically begin planning at 69 and women at 72.

Chairman Paul Wilcox says the Budget changes, which effectively restrict tax-free gifts into trust to a maximum of 285,000 every seven years, provide a strong incentive for even the moderately wealthy to start planning earlier.

The average person will have only one complete seven-year period left between starting IHT planning and death.

Wilcox says: “Families should not be lulled into thinking IHT planning is something to be delayed until much later in life.”

The Halifax says rising property prices mean that the number of homes valued above the IHT threshold could triple to 4.6 million by 2020.

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