by Julie Wilson, Chartered Financial Planner, Penlife Associates
Pretty much everyone, young and old, has heard of Ebenezer Scrooge. He’s known as selfish and grumpy, but a bit misconstrued if you ask us.
The Ghost of Christmas past revisited Scrooge’s deprived childhood where he was so desperate to get out and do well for himself. He only acted the way he did because he was scared to end up struggling again. However, by this point he had not only built up a lot of money, but also a negative attitude. It wasn’t until he had some ‘advice’ from the 3 spirits that he decided to change his ways. But what does this have to do with Inheritance Tax?
To put it into our terms, he’s the sort of person who had an Inheritance Tax problem, but didn’t want to do anything about it. If you
- claim you’ll “get round to sorting it later”
- think you can handle IHT planning yourself
- don’t know enough about it and are not willing to learn
- are too lazy to do anything about it
- simply don’t care
YOU could be an IHT Scrooge without knowing it!
The Ghost of IHT Past
This ghost presents to you the blunders you have made in the past regarding your IHT planning. The 5 points above are all mistakes in terms of mindset. If you’ve been waiting to take action, you should remember that some Inheritance Tax plans can take 7 years to become fully effective. The longer you wait, the less time you have. And thinking you can do it yourself? There’s a reason why advisers study and train for years to get the qualifications and experience needed to do a good job at managing your finances. It’s more than just a DIY job!
The Ghost of IHT Present
This ghost wants you to do one main thing – TAKE ACTION! If you think there’s a chance you could have an IHT problem, it’s time to contact a financial adviser – but make sure you look around to find a reputable one. Consider donating to charity in your will – money left to charity is exempt from IHT, and the overall rate of IHT is dropped from 40% to 36% if you give away at least 10% of your estate.
Scrooge was wealthy but alone, so although he didn’t have family to give his money to, he ended up being charitable and giving money to the men that came round collecting for the poor. Christmas is all about love and family. Enjoy every moment you have in the present with your loved ones! Yes, your finances are important, but so are the memories.
The Ghost of IHT Yet to Come
The future shouldn’t be anything to be scared of, as long as you take action in the present. Nobody knows how long they’ll have left, but with a secure IHT plan in place, you will know that your money is going to the people you want it to, rather than the Tax Man. The Inheritance Tax saved could help fund your grandchild’s education, help them get on the property ladder, buy a new car for a loved one, or could massively benefit a charity close to your heart. Remember, you never know how long you’ll have left – but if you live in the moment and plan for the future, you’re making the most of it!
If, like Scrooge, these spirits have made you reconsider your actions, request this FREE Inheritance Tax guide, or call 01904 661140 to get in touch with one of our Inheritance Tax specialists today!