Rising house prices to increase inheritance tax bills

By Lenore Rice

The estates of deceased persons in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK are likely to face a higher inheritance tax bill this year as a result of property price increases.

The jump in house values over the past 6 months has led the Government to increase the amount of inheritance tax it expects to receive between this tax year and the next from their £18.4 billion estimate six months ago to £21.4 billion. Property still remains the most common asset that is passed on in an inheritance, and as such estates can come in on either side of the threshold at which inheritance tax is payable depending on the performance of the property market at the time.

The threshold at which inheritance tax becomes payable is £325,001, and it will unchanged until at least 2018, so as the value of properties and other assets go up, the more people will find themselves paying inheritance tax on their estates.

While the Government is also planning to introduce tighter rules to stop the avoidance of inheritance tax, in particular with regard to trusts, there are still many simple and legal measures that individuals can be doing to reduce their inheritance tax bill. The first step is to make sure you have a Will, and at the same time take some advice about the management of your estate.

If you would like to speak to a Wills and Estates specialist solicitor in Northern Ireland contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast by calling 0800 840 9293.