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Pru adds trusts to build up defences against IHT

Prudential is adding a further three trusts to its inheritance tax planning product suite and is arming advisers with revamped sales aids.

An excluded property trust, lifetime nil-rate band trust and discounted gift trust are being launched by Pru to bring its range to a total of 16 trusts.

The excluded property trust is aimed at people not currently UK-domiciled, ringfencing offshore investments from UK IHT if the client subsequently becomes UK-domiciled.

The lifetime nil-rate band trust is targeted at UK-domiciled married clients or civil partners who want to make use of the nil rate bands. Pru’s discounted gift trust allows the person taking it out receive a regular payment for life with the amount fixed from the outset. The rest of the trust fund is sheltered from IHT and held for the beneficiaries. Pru now provides both an onshore and offshore version of its discounted gift trust.

With an estimated 37,000 estates liable for IHT in the 2005/06 tax year, 68 per cent of people are falling into the IHT net.

Pru taxation & trust man- ager Paul Kennedy warns property price growth has pushed far more individuals into the IHT trap although many are unaware of this. He says: “Inheritance tax has traditionally been seen as a tax on a wealthy minority. That is all changing. It is becoming a mainstream tax but one for which you can plan.”

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