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IHT Planning Questions

including wills and probate
Gengulphus
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Re: IHT Planning Questions

#427946

Postby Gengulphus » July 15th, 2021, 11:03 pm

jdoe wrote:... Why is a death certificate and a legal will alone not adequate justification for my spouse's shares to be transferred into my name or for land registry to update our house title?

Imagine that the system worked that way. Each of the banks, brokers, land registry, etc, would of course want to convince themselves that the will does indeed leave the assets to you before releasing them to you, since releasing them to the wrong person would be a very expensive mistake for them. So they'll want copies of the will as well as supporting documentation such as marriage certificates. And the vast majority of wills are multi-page documents which require at least a bit of work to ensure one has understood them correctly (*), that they'll doubtless want to charge a fee for...

So the situation you'd get would basically be that you would need to assemble a 'probate application package' for each of those banks, brokers, etc, rather than just one for HMRC. And they would all be duplicating each others' work verifying that you are the legitimate new owner of the assets - and if there was any query that needed answering in the process, you would probably get N different versions of that query to answer... It could all end up being considerably more work and expense than probate - even for the very simple case of one spouse leaving everything to the other, unless 'everything' includes just one asset not held jointly.

(*) Even wills that leave everything to the other spouse generally need to have alternative clauses for what happens if the other spouse dies first, so aren't all that simple.

jdoe wrote:Sight of the death certificate alone has been enough for the banks to update our joint accounts into my single name ...

The difference there is that you are already the legal owner of the asset. All that the banks, etc, need to establish is that its other owner no longer owns it, and that just requires proof of their death. When the assets aren't jointly held, you're not already the legal owner of the asset, the banks need not only proof of the other owner's death, but also proof that you are entitled to become the asset's legal owner.

jdoe wrote:... and not even that has been necessary to change the name on utility bills. Likewise things like Amazon and Netflix accounts have been easily transferred into my name, online.

Those are liabilities, not assets, and the banks, etc, won't get into trouble because the 'wrong' person takes on the responsibility for paying them - whereas they definitely can get into trouble if they hand an asset over to the wrong person.

Avantegarde wrote:I am no expert but, based on observing the probate procedure for my late father's estate, I think the answer is simple: it is to stop inheritors or executors lying through their teeth, and doing a bunk with the assets they have gathered from the estate of the deceased, before paying tax they should have paid.

That's doubtless another reason for having probate besides the one I indicate above - i.e. doing the job of establishing the right to inherit assets once centrally, rather than N times in N different institutions. But note that probate doesn't stop inheritors gathering assets and doing a bunk with them if the assets are held jointly - and since assets can be held jointly by people who are not each other's spouses, that bunk might be done without paying tax that should have been paid. So while probate does indeed help to stop such behaviour, it doesn't do that job perfectly...

Gengulphus

Lootman
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Re: IHT Planning Questions

#427964

Postby Lootman » July 16th, 2021, 6:54 am

Gengulphus wrote:
jdoe wrote:Why is a death certificate and a legal will alone not adequate justification for my spouse's shares to be transferred into my name or for land registry to update our house title?

Avantegarde wrote:I am no expert but, based on observing the probate procedure for my late father's estate, I think the answer is simple: it is to stop inheritors or executors lying through their teeth, and doing a bunk with the assets they have gathered from the estate of the deceased, before paying tax they should have paid.

That's doubtless another reason for having probate besides the one I indicate above - i.e. doing the job of establishing the right to inherit assets once centrally, rather than N times in N different institutions. But note that probate doesn't stop inheritors gathering assets and doing a bunk with them if the assets are held jointly - and since assets can be held jointly by people who are not each other's spouses, that bunk might be done without paying tax that should have been paid. So while probate does indeed help to stop such behaviour, it doesn't do that job perfectly...

More generally the probate process exists to protect any creditors of an estate. The tax man is one, usually the biggest and certainly the most powerful. But there can be other creditors and, without probate, there may be no opportunity for those creditors to learn about the death and receive notice that a distribution of the assets is happening. In fact the tax man may well discover the liability owed to them by other means than probate, whereas other creditors may not.

So put another way, probate doesn't really exist to help the family of the deceased and the beneficiaries of the estate at all. Quite the opposite - it is an inconvenience and an irritant to them. It exists mostly to help unrelated parties who are owed money. (It can also help to sort out squabbles over who gets what, resolve disputes over the authenticity of the Will and detect fraudulent claim on the estate).

And so yes, something like holding assets in joint names does increase the probability that creditors will lose out. As might the disbursement of gifts prior to death, the use of a power of attorney to move assets elsewhere while the deceased was still alive and the case of physical assets, which often can be simply taken and moved elsewhere e.g. the contents of the deceased's house.

Gengulphus
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Re: IHT Planning Questions

#428030

Postby Gengulphus » July 16th, 2021, 10:43 am

Lootman wrote:
Gengulphus wrote:
jdoe wrote:Why is a death certificate and a legal will alone not adequate justification for my spouse's shares to be transferred into my name or for land registry to update our house title?

Avantegarde wrote:I am no expert but, based on observing the probate procedure for my late father's estate, I think the answer is simple: it is to stop inheritors or executors lying through their teeth, and doing a bunk with the assets they have gathered from the estate of the deceased, before paying tax they should have paid.

That's doubtless another reason for having probate besides the one I indicate above - i.e. doing the job of establishing the right to inherit assets once centrally, rather than N times in N different institutions. But note that probate doesn't stop inheritors gathering assets and doing a bunk with them if the assets are held jointly - and since assets can be held jointly by people who are not each other's spouses, that bunk might be done without paying tax that should have been paid. So while probate does indeed help to stop such behaviour, it doesn't do that job perfectly...

More generally the probate process exists to protect any creditors of an estate. The tax man is one, usually the biggest and certainly the most powerful. But there can be other creditors and, without probate, there may be no opportunity for those creditors to learn about the death and receive notice that a distribution of the assets is happening. In fact the tax man may well discover the liability owed to them by other means than probate, whereas other creditors may not.

So put another way, probate doesn't really exist to help the family of the deceased and the beneficiaries of the estate at all. ...

Agreed that protection of all creditors (not just HMRC, and indeed not necessarily including HMRC) is yet another purpose of probate. But saying that probate has that purpose does not mean that it has no other purpose, so your "another way" of putting it is no such thing - it's stating something else which I don't agree with.

Lootman wrote:... Quite the opposite - it is an inconvenience and an irritant to them. ...

Of course it is, at least in any case where there are non-jointly-held assets - but as I indicated, in any case where the ownership of those assets is recorded by multiple organisations, it's IMHO less of an inconvenience and an irritant to them than what would be very likely to happen if probate didn't exist and they had to prove their entitlement to be recorded as the new owner of the assets separately to each of those organisations.

However, we're drifting away from the practical aspect of this board - it deals mainly with the law as it is, not as it might hypothetically otherwise be. Some exploration of the reasons why it is the way it is can help with understanding it, but not when exploration changes into arguing... So I won't be expanding any further on that opinion.

Gengulphus

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Re: IHT Planning Questions

#428229

Postby Lootman » July 17th, 2021, 6:29 am

Gengulphus wrote:
Lootman wrote:
Gengulphus wrote:That's doubtless another reason for having probate besides the one I indicate above - i.e. doing the job of establishing the right to inherit assets once centrally, rather than N times in N different institutions. But note that probate doesn't stop inheritors gathering assets and doing a bunk with them if the assets are held jointly - and since assets can be held jointly by people who are not each other's spouses, that bunk might be done without paying tax that should have been paid. So while probate does indeed help to stop such behaviour, it doesn't do that job perfectly...

More generally the probate process exists to protect any creditors of an estate. The tax man is one, usually the biggest and certainly the most powerful. But there can be other creditors and, without probate, there may be no opportunity for those creditors to learn about the death and receive notice that a distribution of the assets is happening. In fact the tax man may well discover the liability owed to them by other means than probate, whereas other creditors may not.

So put another way, probate doesn't really exist to help the family of the deceased and the beneficiaries of the estate at all. ...

Agreed that protection of all creditors (not just HMRC, and indeed not necessarily including HMRC) is yet another purpose of probate. But saying that probate has that purpose does not mean that it has no other purpose, so your "another way" of putting it is no such thing - it's stating something else which I don't agree with.

Yes, it is not hard to come up with a number of purposes for probate, and I came up with some myself earlier. Some might even benefit the family and beneficiaries of the deceased!

But at least based on my experience of the three times I have been involved with it, the biggest beneficiary of the probate process were the creditors of the estate. They were the ones who got paid out who might otherwise not have been paid out. In fact even with probate one creditor decided to forgive the debt, although whether that was out of sympathy for the death or the inconvenience of carrying a small asset on their books is something I do not know.

One can choose to look at probate as a form of "freezing" assets, pending the resolution of all debts, including taxes. And as important as that may be for society in general, it is frustrating to the family of the deceased who want to be able to move on, and the heirs who have to wait for their inheritance.

So I can certainly understand why some people, including presumably the Lemon asking the question here, want to learn about ways of taking more control of the process of resolving an estate. There are strategies for avoiding the need for probate, partly or wholely, including the use of jointly held assets, gifts, trusts and so on. But it takes planning ahead of time.

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Re: IHT Planning Questions

#428780

Postby jdoe » July 19th, 2021, 1:40 pm

Thanks for all the comments - very helpful.

I guess I'm focusing only on my own circumstances, which are actually very straightforward and makes the whole probate process seem a bit overkill. But you're all quite right to point out that not all circumstances are so simple - indeed I imagine some very 'messy' and complicated situations can arise when dealing with someone's estate and those need to be covered too.

Having said that, I do wonder why the process could not be simplified when appropriate. In my case (which I'm sure must be very common indeed) the value of the deceased's estate seems irrelevant given there is total IHT exemption if everything is left to their spouse - so why the need to go through the motions of valuing the estate?

I suppose it makes valuation easier though. My approach is going to be to simply guess the valuation on assumption that HMRC isn't going to really care how accurate the figures are in practice because there are no tax implications. Yes, my valuations need to be 'sensible' (which they will be) but I can't see that their absolute accuracy is particularly important. Unless I'm missing something?

One other question though, if I may.

As I mentioned in my original post, I'm considering varying the will though am still undecided and will likely be seeking further (formal) advice in that respect. My question is should I apply for probate BEFORE any variation of the will, or should I wait until I've finally decided the details of any variation?

Gengulphus
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Re: IHT Planning Questions

#428818

Postby Gengulphus » July 19th, 2021, 3:36 pm

jdoe wrote:Thanks for all the comments - very helpful.

I guess I'm focusing only on my own circumstances, which are actually very straightforward and makes the whole probate process seem a bit overkill. But you're all quite right to point out that not all circumstances are so simple - indeed I imagine some very 'messy' and complicated situations can arise when dealing with someone's estate and those need to be covered too.

Having said that, I do wonder why the process could not be simplified when appropriate. In my case (which I'm sure must be very common indeed) the value of the deceased's estate seems irrelevant given there is total IHT exemption if everything is left to their spouse - so why the need to go through the motions of valuing the estate?

A reason for that (there may be others as well that I haven't thought of) is CGT. If you sell an asset you get from the estate and the sale is subject to CGT, you are treated as though you paid the asset's probate value on the date of death to acquire it. I.e. in effect, any gain or loss it made between the deceased acquiring it and the deceased's death is wiped out as far as CGT is concerned.

jdoe wrote:I suppose it makes valuation easier though. My approach is going to be to simply guess the valuation on assumption that HMRC isn't going to really care how accurate the figures are in practice because there are no tax implications. Yes, my valuations need to be 'sensible' (which they will be) but I can't see that their absolute accuracy is particularly important. Unless I'm missing something?

That might well prove to be correct - especially as HMRC know full well that for most assets, there's no such thing as an absolutely accurate valuation (things like shares with a precise "close of day" market price are the exception, things like houses whose market value depends on how good a buyer you manage to attract much more the norm). But only provided CGT questions aren't going to arise in future, and it can be difficult to be certain they're not going to. And if the taxman decides to investigate a CGT issue, he's far more likely to accept that you paid due care and attention to your tax affairs if you have documentary evidence that you got it valued at the time than if all you can say is "I guessed the value"... (And I do have some personal experience of such an investigation - the main issue was that HMRC had somehow got it into their heads that I'd sold my late mother's house personally when I'd sold it as her executor, and so were questioning its omission of the capital gain on it from my personal tax return, but the question of whether its valuation when she died was reasonable came up in the process, and I was definitely glad to have a few estate agent valuations in my files...)

jdoe wrote:One other question though, if I may.

As I mentioned in my original post, I'm considering varying the will though am still undecided and will likely be seeking further (formal) advice in that respect. My question is should I apply for probate BEFORE any variation of the will, or should I wait until I've finally decided the details of any variation?

I know that finalising any deeds of variation and then submitting the Inheritance Tax account, paying the Inheritance Tax and applying for probate works - that was in a case where there was Inheritance Tax to pay. I don't know whether applying for probate and then doing the deed(s) of variation works - my guess is that it does, but there might well be further paperwork, e.g. to confirm that there's still no Inheritance Tax to pay.

Gengulphus

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Re: IHT Planning Questions

#428822

Postby scrumpyjack » July 19th, 2021, 3:50 pm

You can do a Deed of Variation after probate, up to 2 years from the date of death I think, but it can get complicated the longer you leave it.
If you do one before probate and it affects IHT you must tell HMRC and they have a checklist of points about it.

It cannot be retrospective so, for example, any income of the estate up to the date of the deed will still be taxable as income of the residual beneficiary even though you changed the beneficiary in the DOV.

I have done them twice and I think generally it is simpler to do it quickly as early as possible in the process.

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Re: IHT Planning Questions

#429027

Postby jdoe » July 20th, 2021, 12:11 pm

Hmm. Fair points about future CGT implications if inherited items are subsequently sold. On that basis, it would seem prudent to estimate assets at the top end of 'reasonable'. As with so many things, apparently simple things are not always so simple in the details.

I have, however, decided not to vary the will before applying for probate, preferring to keep it all as simple as possible right now and leaving the more complicated options until later, if at all.

So, I've started on the probate forms and am already somewhat confused about 'exempted estates' as far as IHT is concerned. In my case (or rather my spouse), I understand the estate is exempt on the basis of everything passing to me. Fine - so I start with IHT205 but then notice that I'm required to declare that the "gross value of the estate for Inheritance Tax is less than or equal to . . . . £1m and there is no IHT to pay because of spouse, civil partner or charity exemption". I can't do this because the estate is a little over £1m when the pension fund is included, even though I understand that pension funds are free of IHT.

So I guess I have to use IHT400 instead?

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Re: IHT Planning Questions

#429032

Postby swill453 » July 20th, 2021, 12:15 pm

jdoe wrote:I can't do this because the estate is a little over £1m when the pension fund is included, even though I understand that pension funds are free of IHT.

Normally a pension fund is not counted as part of the estate.

Scott.

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Re: IHT Planning Questions

#429123

Postby jdoe » July 20th, 2021, 4:53 pm

Yes, that's what I thought, but reading the IHT206 guidance has got me confused about 'disposing of pension benefits' or 'changing the benefits to which they were entitled under a pension scheme'.

IHT205 Q8 asks "Did the deceased change or dispose of their pension in the 2 years before they died?"

The pension in question was set up nearly three years ago by transferring two DB pensions into a drawdown pension fund. There was no regular drawdown arrangement made because my pension arrangements and savings were adequate for ouy day-to-day living. However, we did drawdown the annual personal tax allowance amount each tax year from the non-taxable portion of the fund (only source of income, so no tax payable) and the occasional lump sum from the non-taxable portion of the fund when we wanted to splash out on a holiday.

So, on the one hand the pension fund has not been changed fundamentally, but does an actual drawdown constitute a 'change to the benefits'? I would think not, any more than its normal fluctuation in value constitutes a 'change to the benefits', but it doesn't seem to be explicit.

So, if the answer to IHT Q8 is "No", as I think it is, AND the value of the pension fund does not form part of the estate, then the estate value is halved and is well under £1m.

All of which is ultimately irrelevant as far as IHT is concerned (because of everything being left to the surviving spouse), but it does affect which form to use and therefore the complexity of the process.

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Re: IHT Planning Questions

#429133

Postby jdoe » July 20th, 2021, 5:07 pm

Just one more point about IHT205-Q8.

The IHT206 guidanace states:

Question 8
Question 8 asks about the deceased’s pension
arrangements as there are some circumstances
where an Inheritance Tax charge can arise
on pensions.
You can answer ‘No’ to question 8 and move on
to question 9 if the deceased was drawing their
retirement pension in full and had not made any
arrangements to change their pension in the
2 years before they died
, other than pensions paid
to a spouse or civil partner.


My reading of that guidance is that I can answer 'No' because the deceased WAS drawing their retirement pension in full . . . because they had retired from work and their pension was explicitly set up as a drawdown pension to be used as and when required by them, which they were doing in the nearly three years before their death . . . AND no arrangements had been made to change their pension had been made in the two years before they died.


So if this interpretation is correct, all I need now is formal confirmation that the pension fund does not form part of the estate assets. My confusion here is based around IHT205-Q11.1: 'Any other assets not included above, including, for example, . . . and any lump sum or continuing payments from a pension scheme'.

There are definitely no 'continuing payments' because of the drawdown nature of the pension fund but what about the fund value itself? Does that constitute a 'lump sum' in this context?



PS: apologies if I'm asking daft questions but it so helpful to be able to discuss these things now that I'm missing my usual 'sounding board' so much :(

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Re: IHT Planning Questions

#429157

Postby genou » July 20th, 2021, 6:12 pm

jdoe wrote:Yes, that's what I thought, but reading the IHT206 guidance has got me confused about 'disposing of pension benefits' or 'changing the benefits to which they were entitled under a pension scheme'.

IHT205 Q8 asks "Did the deceased change or dispose of their pension in the 2 years before they died?"

The pension in question was set up nearly three years ago by transferring two DB pensions into a drawdown pension fund.


The "mischief" that Q8 is addressing is discussed here - https://citywire.co.uk/new-model-advise ... e/a1397330

It is irrelevant in your circumstances. Fill in the simple form.

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Re: IHT Planning Questions

#429191

Postby jdoe » July 20th, 2021, 9:27 pm

An interesting article, and principle, but it seems to be concerned primarily with avoiding an IHT liability. In my case, IHT is not an issue either way because of the 100% spousal exemption, so it's easy (and indeed honest) to deny that IHT was a reason for transferring from a DB to a DC pension scheme.

I'm encouraged that you also believe it to be irrelevant in my case, so I'm going with the IHT205 form.

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Re: IHT Planning Questions

#429195

Postby Avantegarde » July 20th, 2021, 10:17 pm

May I suggest you employ a solicitor who actually knows their way round the various probate and IHT rules? The various HMRC forms for IHT are not user-friendly, and I speak as a well educated chap who once learned, successfully, some years ago, how to do most of his own conveyancing. As I discovered when involved in sorting out my late father's estate, some solicitors do not in fact know their way through this particular legal forest, even when they claim they do. Find one who does.

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Re: IHT Planning Questions

#429441

Postby jdoe » July 21st, 2021, 8:35 pm

Having just spent the best part of £3k on a burial that neither of us had planned for (no church, no celebrant and burial at home, so no plot costs etc, but still surprisingly expensive!) I don't really feel like spending even more on a solicitor for what must surely be the simplest possible execution of a will, ie a spouse leaving everything to their surviving spouse. For more complex estates and wills I would tend to agree, but I realy don't think it should be necessary in my case.

I'm starting from the basis that the will (drawn up by a solicitor) is legally sound and there can be no IHT liability if executed as written. Therefore, even if I make some sort of mistake or use the wrong form to apply for probate, what's the worst that can happen? I can hardly 'fiddle' IHT when there is nothing to fiddle. The estate's outstanding debts, such that they were (credit card bill and a water bill), have already been paid, joint accounts (there were no personal accounts) have been dealt with and the only reason I need probate at all is because of a few bits of property held as TIC plus a small share portfolio. All that is necessary is to get names changed on the property titles and share certificates. If something so simple requires a solicitor then there's something wrong with the system.

I'm no expert, of course, which is why I've posted various questions here hoping to benefit from other's practical experience of the process - which I think has been successful. It has certainly helped me think through a few things and clarified others, for which I am very grateful.

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Re: IHT Planning Questions

#429754

Postby Clitheroekid » July 22nd, 2021, 7:50 pm

jdoe wrote:Indeed, which makes me wonder why it is necessary to go through the whole probate process in cases where a spouse leaves a will clearly stating that they leave everything to their husband/wife - which is exactly my situation.

The obvious answer is that the spouse may equally have left another Will stating that they leave everything to the cats' home!

The clue is in the name - `probate' - it means that the executor is required to `prove' that the Will is valid to the satisfaction of the court.

Indeed, IS it actually necessary for me to apply for probate? Why is a death certificate and a legal will alone not adequate justification for my spouse's shares to be transferred into my name or for land registry to update our house title?

For exactly the same reason. Neither the Land Registry nor the company registrars would have the slightest idea of whether the Will you'd sent them was genuine or something you'd just knocked up yourself.

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Re: IHT Planning Questions

#430256

Postby hiriskpaul » July 25th, 2021, 12:58 pm

scrumpyjack wrote:It cannot be retrospective so, for example, any income of the estate up to the date of the deed will still be taxable as income of the residual beneficiary even though you changed the beneficiary in the DOV.

I think it is more complicated than that!

AFAIK provided the income has not been paid to a residual beneficiary the income can be redirected. Income paid up to the date of the DOV cannot be redirected.

A quirk of the system is that income is considered to have been paid first, regardless of the asset transferred. So if there was an income paying shares portfolio in the estate and some jewellery, taking the jewellery would still be considered taking income up to the value of the beneficiary's share of the income to the date when the jewellery was transferred. Subsequently redirecting the jewellery via a DOV would not redirect this income.

If I have any of this wrong, please let me know!

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Re: IHT Planning Questions

#430261

Postby scrumpyjack » July 25th, 2021, 1:11 pm

hiriskpaul wrote:
scrumpyjack wrote:It cannot be retrospective so, for example, any income of the estate up to the date of the deed will still be taxable as income of the residual beneficiary even though you changed the beneficiary in the DOV.

I think it is more complicated than that!

AFAIK provided the income has not been paid to a residual beneficiary the income can be redirected. Income paid up to the date of the DOV cannot be redirected.

A quirk of the system is that income is considered to have been paid first, regardless of the asset transferred. So if there was an income paying shares portfolio in the estate and some jewellery, taking the jewellery would still be considered taking income up to the value of the beneficiary's share of the income to the date when the jewellery was transferred. Subsequently redirecting the jewellery via a DOV would not redirect this income.

If I have any of this wrong, please let me know!


Yes that is quite correct. Hence it really does help avoid complications to do the DOV (or Letter of Variation - it does not need to be a Deed) as soon as possible.

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Re: IHT Planning Questions

#430265

Postby hiriskpaul » July 25th, 2021, 1:28 pm

scrumpyjack wrote:
hiriskpaul wrote:
scrumpyjack wrote:It cannot be retrospective so, for example, any income of the estate up to the date of the deed will still be taxable as income of the residual beneficiary even though you changed the beneficiary in the DOV.

I think it is more complicated than that!

AFAIK provided the income has not been paid to a residual beneficiary the income can be redirected. Income paid up to the date of the DOV cannot be redirected.

A quirk of the system is that income is considered to have been paid first, regardless of the asset transferred. So if there was an income paying shares portfolio in the estate and some jewellery, taking the jewellery would still be considered taking income up to the value of the beneficiary's share of the income to the date when the jewellery was transferred. Subsequently redirecting the jewellery via a DOV would not redirect this income.

If I have any of this wrong, please let me know!


Yes that is quite correct. Hence it really does help avoid complications to do the DOV (or Letter of Variation - it does not need to be a Deed) as soon as possible.

Or warn beneficiaries of the risk of accepting assets if they are considering doing a DOV.

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Re: IHT Planning Questions

#430662

Postby jdoe » July 27th, 2021, 10:10 am

swill453 wrote:
jdoe wrote:I can't do this because the estate is a little over £1m when the pension fund is included, even though I understand that pension funds are free of IHT.

Normally a pension fund is not counted as part of the estate.


Just a quick update to this in case it helps anyone else in similar circumstances.

I've now had confirmation from teh pension company that the remaining pension fund DOES NOT form part of the deceased's estate because it was explicitly set up to give the pension company total discretion over who to pay the remaining money to, taking direction from the deceased's expressed wishes. Apparently it could have been set up differently, such that the pension company would have no discretion, in which case the remaining money WOULD form part of the estate. So, all's well on that front and I now know that IHT205 is the corrrect form to use.

However, it has thrown up another (to my mind) anomaly or quirk in the system, which I'd be interested to hear the panel's view about.

There are four options for the pension fund:
1 - pay as a tax-free lump sum
2 - convert into a 'beneficiary income release' fund
3 - transfer to another scheme with another provider
4 - lifetime annuity

That's all fair enough but the 'quirk' is that for option 2 & 3 it is necessary to use an IFA. Thus, I am forced to pay for independent financial advice in order to take what seems to be the most prudent and responsible option, ie option 2, while not needing any independent advice to take the whole lot as a tax-free lump sum and blow it all on wine, women and song!

I appreciate that different circumstances could mean different choices but it's the regulatory inconsistency that seems odd to me. If people cannot be trusted to make their own financial decisions, why not require an IFA for ALL the options?


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