Many unaware of the value of their estate

A financial expert has claimed that many people are oblivious to how much their estate is worth and think inheritance tax only affects the super rich.

Gary Hans, a stockbroker and financial adviser with Edward Jones, says that when a house, car, savings and so forth are added up it is very easy for an estate to exceed the current £312,000 inheritance tax threshold.

He explains that with tax charged at 40 per cent on everything above this limit a single person with an estate amounting to £512,000 would leave a tax liability on the balance of £200,000.

Consequently, £80,000 would have to be paid before the estate was released to beneficiaries, he adds.

Mr Hans says that it is "wrong" to assume that everything passes to a person's loved ones as this is often "simply not the case".

"However, this can easily be taken care of by writing a will and taking advice. It is simple, inexpensive and can also help limit any inheritance tax liability," he advises.

Anyone who writes a DIY will may find the process even less expensive as it will negate the need for an expensive trip to a solicitor.

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Published on: January 27, 2009

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