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Inheritance Tax Planning Handbook

Book review: Inheritance Tax Planning Handbook


Chris Williams was impressed by the Law Society’s inheritance tax planning handbook and believes it would help a lot of readers make a start on IHT.

12th Aug 2021
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Inheritance tax allowances continue to lag behind the increase in value and number of taxable estates. As a result many more clients are looking for guidance on passing down their wealth. They either want to dodge the pitfalls that can unnecessarily increase or create IHT liabilities, or explore more adventurous areas of planning to mitigate IHT.

Non-specialist advisers therefore increasingly need awareness of what may be feasible and a reality check on some of the more fanciful offerings put before their clients. In fact many tax specialists’ blood runs cold when asked to advise about IHT which is not their bread and butter and, if mishandled, can land them in a jam.

What they need is a handy reference which doesn’t pretend to set out all the relevant technicalities in enough detail to advise and implement IHT mitigation plans, but outlines the main points to enable them to explore those possibilities with their clients and suitable advisers.

The Law Society’s Inheritance Tax Planning Handbook fulfils that brief ideally. It is written with the educated adviser in mind but is a clear and concise ready-reference suited to any professional adviser who may be called upon to get involved with their clients’ IHT affairs. Its 350 pages take the reader from basic principles to the exotic delights of international, multi-jurisdiction planning for high-worth individuals and trusts.

The book contains those most valuable of features: a comprehensive index; logical chapter structure; and plain English writing which dices the elephantine mass of IHT into easily digestible chunks.

It won’t make anyone an instant expert on IHT but it will enable anyone with a reasonable familiarity with finance and tax to get a good idea of what can and can’t be done, whom different planning ideas suit; and, crucially in this age of anti-avoidance, what to avoid.

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