Tuesday 24 January 2017

Inheritance 'tax trap' needs urgent remedy

Published 08/06/2015 | 02:30

Often enough, bereaved people, coping with a loved one's loss, are obliged to sell an asset to pay inheritance taxes
Often enough, bereaved people, coping with a loved one's loss, are obliged to sell an asset to pay inheritance taxes

Where there's a will there's a relative, the age-old black-humour gag has it. But inheritance is in reality an extremely serious business which often enough compounds grief and loss with stress and economic duress. Those who have lost a loved one can in fact also face a bill for being left an asset, such as property or land, with a huge paper value. Often enough, bereaved people, coping with a loved one's loss, are obliged to sell an asset to pay inheritance taxes.

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The recovery of the property market means that many more families, with very ordinary means, could be forced to deal with this situation. The main factor in much of this is of course the rise and fall of the property market.

When prices collapsed after the demise of the property boom in 2008, the threshold for inheritance tax was logically also lowered.

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