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Planning Inheritance Tax for a Residential Property

Owning a home is more than just a personal achievement – it’s a legacy we hope to pass on.

As we think about the future, understanding Inheritance Tax (IHT) becomes crucial – and planning for it means potentially cutting tax bills for your beneficiaries.

Here, we’ll delve into what IHT is, who it affects and actionable insights for effective planning.

With the right knowledge, you’ll be better prepared to make decisions that best serve your property and your loved ones.

What is Inheritance Tax (IHT), and Who Pays It?

IHT imposed on the estate (property, money, and possessions) of someone who has died.

The standard rate of IHT is 40% of the value of an estate above the threshold of £325,00 – anything below the threshold isn’t subjected to IHT.

Typically, the executor of the will is responsible for paying this tax, usually within six months after the person’s death.

How to Plan for Inheritance Tax on Residential Property

Keeping Your Will Current

An up-to-date will is foundational to effective inheritance tax planning.

Ensuring your will reflects your current wishes guarantees that all your assets, including your residential property, are distributed precisely as you intend.

This is not just about peace of mind – it’s a proactive approach to ensure your assets are allocated in a way that can legally and efficiently minimise the inheritance tax burden on your beneficiaries.

Using Trusts Strategically

Trusts offer a nuanced way to manage your assets, especially when considering inheritance tax implications.

While the concept of trusts can seem daunting, they provide a structured means to exert more control over how your assets, including residential properties, are distributed after your passing.

When set up correctly, trusts can be a powerful tool to reduce the inheritance tax your beneficiaries might otherwise face.

The Potential of Pre-emptive Gifting

Transferring ownership of your property to your heirs while you’re still alive is another method to consider in reducing inheritance tax.

This strategy, known as gifting, can be effective, but it comes with a caveat: you need to live for at least seven years after the gift for it to be fully exempt from inheritance tax implications.

Exploring Available Tax Reliefs

There are tax reliefs and exemptions to reduce the amount of inheritance tax due.

One notable relief for homeowners is the residence nil tax rate band (RNRB). This additional allowance is available if you leave your primary residence to direct descendants, such as your children or grandchildren.

Being aware of and utilising such reliefs can significantly affect the overall inheritance tax bill.

The Value of Expert Guidance

Given the complexities and ever-evolving nature of inheritance tax laws, seeking professional advice is always wise.

Engaging with a solicitor specialising in estate planning or a tax advisor ensures that you’re compliant and making the most of available allowances and reliefs.

Their expertise can provide tailored guidance, ensuring you confidently navigate the intricacies of inheritance tax.


Inheritance tax planning is vital to estate management, particularly when residential properties are involved.

By keeping your will updated, utilising trusts, gifting strategically, and seeking professional advice, you can significantly reduce the impact of inheritance tax on your estate.

With these tips, solicitors for the elderly and estate planners can offer more effective, holistic advice to their clients.

For more information on Inheritance Tax planning, including how to plan your property and estate, contact us at Batt Broadbent.

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Salisbury Office:

01722 411 141

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01249 472 444