How to Leave up to £1 Million to Your Loved Ones Tax Free, a Two-part Guide: Part 2

11th February 2022Alexander Brown0
Part 2/2: “Residential Nil-Rate Band”

If you’ve made it this far, I haven’t scared you away with the first part of this Inheritance Tax explanation – or that you have yet to read it, which I would thoroughly recommend as it will help you understand this section better!

So far, we have explored how to potentially save up to £650,000 from being taxed, now I am going to explain where the remaining £350,000 comes from!

The Property!

Most importantly the ‘residential’ property and who it passes to is the key to unlocking the final portion of the £1M tax free; the Residential Nil-Rate Band.

Each person can qualify for RNRB, currently at the rate of £175k each, naturally if you’re part of a married couple, the same rules apply as before and your share could pass to your spouse!

  • As a reminder, this doesn’t happen for couples who aren’t married or in a civil partnership.

There are some limiting factors for RNRB that need to be considered, as the criteria to qualifying for this tax-free allowance is more restrictive:

  • It can only be applied to a Qualifying Residential Interest; this is simply a house that you own or have an interest in, that you have at one point in your life used as your home (as a residential property).
  • The house that you would like to qualify for RNRB can only strictly be Closely Inherited; this means that the property can only be passed to lineal descendants, which includes; children, step, adopted or fostered etc.
  • They can pass to a trust, but only specific trusts! If you have concerns, you can always speak to a Will Writer, and they will be able to help you with this!

The key distinction between RNRB and NRB from last week is that this version will only qualify for the value of the property… So should your house be worth £150,000, unfortunately the excess £25,000 in your allowance if you were a single person, would be lost.

As previously mentioned, we know that these tax benefits always prefer those who are married or civil partners! So, the same will happen for the RNRB this time around; Should one spouse die, the remaining percentage (100% unless they’ve used it elsewhere) can pass to the surviving partner, currently £175,000 x2 = £350,000 tax free allowance that is specifically dedicated to being used for property that is passing to direct descendants.

I appreciate that previous section may have been a bit heavy on the process, but long story short: If you were to predecease your spouse, they could potentially get your share of Tax-Free Allowance, and vice versa!

For those of you currently without a property that you own that at one time you used as residence, or any lineal descendants such as children, stepchildren, fostered or adopted children, unfortunately this tax-free allowance is not available to you, but it might be to someone you know? Or someone you might be inheriting from?

So, in no uncertain terms, to qualify for your share of RNRB (£175k as of 2022) you will need the following:

  • A Property that you use or have previously used as a place of residence
  • Qualifying Lineal Descendants/ or a Relevant Qualifying Trust.
  • For the Tax-Free amount to ONLY go to these descendants.

Now, I appreciate there was a lot to take in and not all of it is straight forward to wrap our heads around. But thankfully, you can speak to a Professional Will Writer to help you with the process of making sure you or your loved ones can make the most of their Tax-Free allowance!

These articles are by no means a comprehensive breakdown of Inheritance Tax, and the most effect form of tax planning is often bespoke to your assets! So, if you would like to find out more or see what you can save, you could contact a trusted Will Writer by using the Society of Will Writers “find a member”. Ensure you get a safe and trusted Will Writer to advise you on the best service for your estate by looking for our logo associated with their service!

Click or copy the link below to find one near you:

Alexander Brown

Alex graduated with a Law degree from the University of Lincoln in 2020, and since has worked closely with Crown Courts, has been an Intellectual Property Analyst for investment companies and over the course of 2022 was a member of the Technical Advice team at The Society of Will Writers.

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