Inheritance tax is something most people do not worry about but probably should do, given the way house prices have risen over recent years.

Inheritance inclusions

A person’s estate includes everything owned in their name; the share of anything owned jointly; gifts from which they keep back some benefit, such as a home given to a son or daughter but still lived in by the parent; assets held in some family trusts from which they receive an income.

Against this total value is set everything that the deceased person owed, such as, any outstanding mortgages or loans, unpaid bills, and costs incurred during their lifetime for which bills have not been received, as well as funeral expenses.

Some gifts that are exempt

Some cash gifts are exempt from tax regardless of the seven-year rule. They include: wedding gifts of up to £5,000 to each of your children; wedding gifts of £2,500 to each grandchild, and wedding gifts of £1,000 to anyone else; other gifts of up to £3,000 a year (plus any unused balance of £3,000 from the previous tax year); gifts of up to £250 each to any number of people each year; gifts to charities, the National Trust, national museums, the main political parties and most registered housing associations.

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