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IFAs rank ahead of accountants for estate planning advice

Financial advisers are a more popular source for estate planning advice than accountants or bank managers, according to a report from Standard Life.

According to the latest wills and trusts report from Standard Life, 54 per cent of people would turn to a financial adviser for advice on estate planning.

This ranks IFAs ahead of accountants and bank managers, with 37 per cent and 32 per cent respectively of respondents who would consider consulting them for advice. Only solicitors gained more trust with 77 per cent respondents saying they would consult them on estate planning advice. Forty seven per cent would use the internet to do their own research rather than seeking professional advice.

The survey of 1008 people living in Great Britain also highlights that nearly three out of five people are unaware of the rules and tax implications of the inheritance tax transferable nil rate band.

Changes introduced in last year’s pre-Budget report raised the IHT threshold for surviving spouses or civil partners to £624,000. But according to Standard Life’s latest wills and trusts research report, nearly 60 per cent of people are still unaware that the inheritance tax free allocation is transferable between husband and wife.

According to the survey, two thirds are not aware than an IHT exemption exists for gifts made from left over income.

Standard Life head of estate planning Julie Hutchison says: “It’s worth the while of the financial adviser to up-skill and make sure they’re confident in estate planning and IHT because this report shows the British public are turning to an IFA before an accountant and a bank manager.

“There is a spectrum of knowledge out there amongst advisers and for those who haven’t done their J02 exam or who work with law firms should make sure they are properly servicing this area of the market.”

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