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IHT net closes round unwary homeowners

Soaring house prices are making increasing numbers of homeowners liable

for inheritance tax, claims IFA R J Temple.

A survey conducted by Temple found that only a tiny percentage of

respondents were aware the price of their home could push them into the

danger zone for IHT and were making plans to avoid it. The IHT threshold

stands at £242,000, which includes the main home.

Last year, average house prices in Greater London reached £175,900

while the number of house sales over £300,000 in England and Wales

rocketed by 30 per cent.

Despite spiralling house prices and rising numbers of high-net-worth

investors, only 25 per cent aged between 35 and 44 said they would consider

planning to avoid IHT. Sixty-six per cent of over-65s did not think the tax

would affect them or their heirs.

RJ Temple says there was a distinct North/South divide on the issue, with

69 per cent of those in the North saying they did not think IHT would

affect them compared with 37 per cent in the South.

Just 5 per cent overall had plans in place to cover IHT liabilities while

only 8 per cent indicated they may consider the issue in the future.

Communications manager Liz Walkington says: “Our research shows there is

very little awareness of the benefits of planning for inheritance tax. We

strongly believe preparing for this should be a year-round consideration.”

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