Inheritance Tax FAQs

Inheritance Tax FAQs: What You Need to Know

Inheritance tax may seem like a thing of the past, but it’s not. Inheritance taxes are still very much a part of modern estate planning & can be vital to your family’s financial health. However, you should know that there is more than one type of inheritance tax, & understanding which one you’re subject to will help you make better decisions about what kind of assets to leave behind.
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Understanding Inheritance Tax

Inheritance taxes are based on the principle that an estate should pay a tax for passing their assets onto someone else. However, it’s essential to know which type of inheritance tax you may be subject to before making any decisions.

In case you’re wondering:

There are two types of inheritance taxes: The estate tax1 which is a federal law that passes on assets at death and typically applies to estates with values over $11.18 million in 2017; or The beneficiary’s income tax (which can be passed as gift taxation if the person giving up their property doesn’t want it taxed), also known as an “estate” tax, which is assessed after someone has died but before another individual has inherited them.

When Is IHT paid?

IHT is paid when there’s a taxable event. The estate usually occurs while someone is still alive but has given up their assets to transfer them upon death.

Some of those taxable events are: Transferring property or money during life with no “adequate and full consideration” (tax law speak for not fair market value), Paying minor than the state-required minimum amount on gifts made during one year so they can be assessed as such at the time of passing away.

On the other hand,

The exempt beneficiary also pays taxes if he/she receives any benefits from an inheritance before it gets transferred over, like living off the interest earned on some stocks you get left behind after your grandparent died without actually signing anything over to you.

What Is The IHT Threshold?

There are two IHT thresholds2, depending on your relationship to the deceased.


If you’re a married couple or in a civil partnership, and you inherit after someone dies who was living with their spouse or civil partner at the time of death, then there is no tax threshold (i.e. it doesn’t matter how much inheritance money they left behind). For other people – like parents and children – the first £325k from an inheritance (£650k for couples) is free from Inheritance Tax.

What Are The IHT rates for 2020/2021?

The IHT rate for 2020/2021 is 40% on the total amount you inherit above £325k, or £650k if it’s from a share of jointly owned property.

How To Reduce Inheritance Tax?

One way to reduce the tax you might pay is by using a trust. You can make an unlimited number of lifetime gifts – worth up to £325k each, or combined as long as they don’t exceed £650k per year – before your death and receive no IHT on them.

You see:

A type of Trust may be an essential part of your estate plan if you’re looking for ways to reduce IHT on any property left behind after death. It could also come into play to protect vulnerable people from being exploited by their relatives during inheritance disputes.

Can IHT Be Avoided?

It’s possible to avoid paying Inheritance Tax, but it would take complicated legal planning with a solicitor or accountant.

Types of trusts can make the process of giving away assets much more manageable when someone dies and provide tax opportunities for both living beneficiaries and the donor who sets up the discretionary Trust in advance.

Can A Trust Help With Inheritance Tax?

Trusts can help reduce Inheritance Tax when used to transfer assets at the time of death or for still living people. Assisting with estate planning and guiding how to limit income, capital gains, or other taxes through various investment moves

Inheritance Tax Services

The size of your estate determines the potential inheritance tax and whether you are a spouse, child, or grandchild.

You may receive an inheritance from someone who has died without leaving a will in place. It can cause some confusion as to how much they left for any children or other possible heirs.

Keep in mind:

It’s important to remember that if there is no will, it goes through what we call “intestacy.” But if you have siblings and all of them are named, then only one sibling would be entitled to inherit everything even though their share might not have been more significant than the others

Common Questions

What Is the Difference Between Inheritance Taxes and Estate Taxes?

Are There Ways to Avoid Federal Estate Taxes?

Do You Have to Report Inheritance Money to the IRS?

In conclusion

To sum it up:

Inheritance taxes are taxes that you have to pay on an inherited asset if you’re not the original owner of said asset. Typically, state governments impose these taxes, but sometimes federal or other jurisdictions may impose them as well.

The amount of money owed in inheritance tax varies depending on which jurisdiction applies. However, most states assess a flat rate between 12% – 16%. If someone dies and leaves behind a will, then their estate pays any applicable estate taxes; if there isn’t a will left behind, the estate typically goes to the spouse and the children.


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