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Seeking Legal Advice When Planning Inheritance

By: Mike Watson - Updated: 1 Aug 2013 | comments*Discuss
Inheritance Tax Citizens Advice Tax Law

Those in the position of planning their inheritance may wish to get legal advice from a third party. This can take many forms, ranging from the employment of a solicitor (sometimes within in the means of those liable to pay inheritance tax on their estate, but not always) to attending the Citizens Advice Bureau to speaking to specialist public sector advisors, to seeking help from a website.

Who to Go To

There are many people you can go to for inheritance tax advice. In many cases you will seek advice after a will has been drawn up and the benefactor has passed away. In this case the person chosen by the deceased to take care of their affairs will be your first port of call. It may in that case be that person who is best left to deal with legalities. Should any problems then occur and you wish to contest the will, or the inheritance tax payable on it, you will in all likelihood want to speak to a solicitor. There are many that are specialists in inheritance tax, although if you trust a good solicitor you may be best working with them.

If you want general advice on planning your inheritance tax prior to your own passing away it is possible to consult a number of private bodies including Standard Life, who offer a full Inheritance tax advice service, aimed at giving you maximum benefit. Alternatively advice can be found on the Inheritance Tax page of gov.uk. General inheritance tax advice, including an outline of the law on inheritance tax can be found on the government website www.hmrc.gov.uk.

In the event of a contestation of a will, whereby someone is not happy with what they receive or is not happy with who has been left to deal with the will a lawyer will almost certainly be needed in order that matters are resolved fairly. In this event, if you are unable to afford a lawyer the Citizens Advice Bureau should be your first port of call. They will be able to advise you on the best route to legal aid, or they may tell you that you do not need a lawyer at all.

In the event that you disagree with the amount of tax that has been placed upon an inheritance do not under any circumstances attempt to interfere with figures, withhold information or lie to the tax office. Rather, take up your complaint with the tax office who will be happy to help.

Whatever your situation, careful and considered planning will need to be made in order to deal with inheritance tax. This can be difficult as emotions run high around this issue, which is why it is best to stick to the letter of the law, and to seek impartial third party advice where possible if disputes arise or if you are left in a position of being governed by your heart. At a guess, no one wants to see their or their loved ones savings go unnecessarily to the government: with careful planning within the tax laws you can make the most of your inheritance as benefactor or benefitter.

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