The Chancellor’s Autumn statement
Earlier this month George Osborne delivered his Autumn Statement responding to the Office for Budget Responsibility’s economic forecasts and he had a number of important announcements for private client lawyers.
Of particular interest was the announcement that the government no longer plans to introduce a single settlement nil rate band which could be shared between all trusts set up by a settlor, a concept that the government had proposed in a June 2014 consultation. This settlement nil rate band would have been separate from (and additional to) each individual’s personal nil rate band. Whilst the proposal was considered overly complex and unfair by some it was not expected to be abandoned.
In addition, the government proposes to introduce a number of measures to prevent the avoidance of inheritance tax through the use of multiple trusts, which private client practitioners need to be aware of when drafting complex trust structures in Wills.
Finally, there have been some small additions to Inheritance Tax exemptions for emergency service personnel and humanitarian aid workers (similar to the existing exemption for members of the armed forces who die by injury while on active service) and for medals and other awards.