Getting Your Inheritance Tax (IHT) & Will In Order – Adam Truluck & Nicola Daniel of Taylors Legal Share Their Thoughts

Getting your inheritance tax planning and will sorted can be a bit of a touchy, morbid subject for many but if there’s one thing the pandemic has taught us it is not to rest on your laurels. By securing your estate and assets, you will be safe in the knowledge that should the worst were to happen then your loved ones are protected and your legacy will be appropriately passed on.

We spoke to Nordens Tax Manager, Adam Truluck, as well as Taylors Legal Solicitor’s Director, Nicola Daniel, about IHT and wills, the rise in applications during the pandemic, as well as potential changes moving forward…


It can be quite a daunting prospect, but just how important is sorting out your Inheritance Tax as well as your will?

ND: Sorting your will is crucial if you want your assets passed on to those who you wish to inherit them. Without a will, the rules of intestacy apply meaning the law decides who inherits your assets and this may not be who you want. Additionally, if you don’t want someone specific to inherit your assets then this can only be achieved through a valid and legally binding will. As well as this, a will can also be used to reduce your inheritance tax liability through appropriate tax planning measures and making use of the spousal exemption. Many people believe that if a will isn’t in place, then their spouse or civil partner will automatically inherit their estate. This just isn’t the case under the rules of intestacy, as a spouse or civil partner will inherit a statutory legacy of £270,000 plus half of their balance, with any children inheriting the other half. So, if you want a set amount or everything left to your spouse or civil partner then it’s important to include this in your will.

AT: From the IHT side, it’s incredibly important to get your affairs in order. If you don’t, then you could end up with a huge IHT bill for your relatives to pay which may require them to sell off parts of your estate just to be able to pay it. With the massive rise of housing prices, many people nowadays will find that their home already exceeds the IHT allowance (£325,000) and then on top of that you have bank balances, buy to let properties and other assets for which anything exceeding the allowance is taxed at 40%. It can add up seriously quickly if nothing has been sorted. Following on from what Nicola was saying, it’s so vital that any inheritance tax planning done is matched and followed by your will. If your will states otherwise, then it could lead to huge problems and many complications arising so it’s highly recommended that both are done together.


Since lockdown began, have more people enquired about Inheritance Tax?

AT: Yes, most definitely, by probably around three-fold the normal amount we’re used to. Especially with COVID, a lot of people have realised that the worst can happen pretty much out of the blue. This is why a large majority of people who were looking to sort their IHT in the not-too-distant future have prioritised it and are looking to get it sorted quickly. If no plans are in place, then your estate is in deep trouble and it will take a lot of hard work to rectify and in most occasions this isn’t even possible.


When should a person start considering writing a will and how do they go about this? 

ND: If you own property, have children under the age of 18, or you’re living with a partner but aren’t married or in a legal civil partnership then you really need to consider making a will without delay. These are the key circumstances where things can go wrong and a huge negative effect on your estate can happen. Truthfully, we always recommend for anyone with any assets whatsoever to make a will because the rules of intestacy may not be what you exactly want. A common mistake is that people think because they don’t own property, they won’t necessarily need a will but if you have a substantial amount of money in the bank, you need to think about who I want that to go to once I pass. There are also things that fall outside of assets, such as legal guardianship of children, which really needs careful consideration.


Have HMRC released enough educational material and resources to inform people about IHT and its complexities?

AT: Simply put, not in the slightest. IHT is an absolute minefield with so many pitfalls and complexities that you can fall into and it’s one of those things where if you don’t do it right then everything is pointless and will require a full resubmission. One of the most common catches, is people looking to put their assets within a trust, however you need to pay 20% of the value of the assets just to do this. They then realise that they’ll need to pay that hefty tax bill immediately which just isn’t feasibly possible for many people. There really isn’t a lot of educational material or resources put out by HMRC to teach people about IHT, evidenced by the fact that many young people have never even heard of it. Coincidentally, if you look at capital gains tax (CGT), there’s an abundance of resources and materials online from HMRC, possibly because CGT brings in a large amount for the revenue each year. This is why it’s vital to seek professional and well-versed advice when it comes to IHT, as it could prove so valuable in the long term.


Do you see changes to IHT and wills moving forward, whether that be as a measure to improve the economic recovery faster or help to modernise, and how could this come about? 

AT: I’d personally love to see changes going forward for IHT. The allowance rate are unrealistic when based against the average house price nowadays. There are two ways that change can come about; one is raising the allowance threshold, and two is lowering the rate at which tax is paid. Realistically, I can’t see HMRC lowering the rate so hopefully the allowance rate will be raised in conjunction with inflation and rising prices presently. That being said, I can’t feasibly see HMRC doing that this tax year though, especially with everything that has been going on with the pandemic and the intense focus on CGT. Hopefully it is definitely in the back of HMRC’s mind though as this is something which does need to be addressed sooner rather than later.

ND: There was a slight change towards the start of the pandemic as to how wills were signed. Basically, video conferencing calls were needed in order to verify that the will was properly signed for from the person of the will, as well as two independent witnesses all within a 24-hour period. This came about due to social distancing measures, yet whilst it was completely understandable, for older people trying to sort out their will it did prove to be extremely difficult organising video calls. Whether this will continue after the pandemic remains to be seen but it certainly needs discussing. Another thing I really think needs consideration is a revision of the rules of intestacy. Currently, it involves married couples and civil partners, however societal norms are different to what they were 20 years ago and beyond. The number of couples who co-habit without being married, often with children, is huge yet they are still overlooked by the revenue. Because of not being married or in a civil partnership, their inheritance tax bill is astronomical, which is unfair. This is often the case even when someone chooses to write their will stating they wish to leave their inheritance to their partner. Because spousal exemption isn’t covered, then the IHT bill is a huge burden to leave behind for loved ones. This should really be revised as soon as possible, but I also understand that the government’s priorities are elsewhere due to the pandemic and economy.


We hope this has outlined to you the importance of sorting out your inheritance tax planning, as well as your will. If you require any more information on IHT, wills, or anything accounting related for that matter, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us at Nordens where one of our trusted advisors would be happy talking you through your query.

Beyond Accountancy

At Nordens, we're more than just accountants - we're business experts who can help you achieve your biggest goals.

Nordens Strategic

Our specialist strategic division at Nordens boasts some of the leading entrepreneurial business minds in the country. We cater towards delivering consistent success stories, whilst helping businesses achieve above and beyond their initial goals.

Through highly-tailored guidance, coaching and advice, Nordens Strategic are able to define exactly how your business can reach new levels of success.

Regardless of how you define ‘success’ for your business, our strategic service is guaranteed to bring about real and lasting change. By partnering with some of the UK’s top business coaches, we’ll steer you along the path to a greater future.

Accounting 2 You

Every business, no matter how big or small, needs to make the right decisions, and how to best manage your accounts can put huge question marks over your business. Accounting2You is here to take that pressure off and provide you with all the answers you need.

Our bookkeeping branch offers a fully inclusive, comprehensive service that you can trust. Since 2005, our specialist bookkeepers have been successfully managing the accounting of both individuals and small businesses.

With experts in payroll analysis, credit control and financial recording, Accounting2You will lead your business efficiently, and with real purpose, towards a prosperous future.

Voted as EXCELLENT - 9.9 out of 10 based on 167 reviews

Chris Dyer

Director - Metro Bank

Nordens are always very easy to deal with and extremely professional and efficient. I would have no hesitation in recommending them to my clients for their accountancy needs, no matter how complex they may be.

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

Jamie Brown

Co-Founder - Chicmi Limited

Very good to work with - the team go above and beyond to make the accounts easy and efficient. They're all super friendly and a joy to work with.

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

Simon Rose

Director - Rose Opticians

I have been using Nordens Chartered Accountants for 5 years and very happy with the service provided. All members of the team are very knowledgeable and have a wealth of experience which has proved very beneficial to my organisation

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

Rebecca Bossick

Founder & Director - Physio LDN

Very easy to contact and put me in touch with the right person whenever I need to ask any questions. Extremely knowledgeable and can help me manage my various businesses whenever I need.

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

James Aconley

Principal - Pauline Quirke Academy

Great accountants, always available to offer advice. The team have transformed my business.

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

Christopher Wilce

Founder - Dataphone

Having worked with Nordens over the last 5 years, not only to look after my annual accounts but they have also provided outstanding professional advice. They have guided me through a Company share buyback with clear and objective advice. We have also been using Nordens strategic services for a couple of years, which has helped bring about significant improvements that exceeded my expectations. With experience of working with several local accountants over my 29 years in business, I’m very pleased with the service I have received from Nordens.

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

Dave Hodges

Director - Linekers

Trusted our business with Nordens for over 10 years now and watched the company grow into the successful innovative business it has become today. Deservedly so. Every aspect of financial advice we need is always given promptly and with a smile. We have total confidence in all aspects of advice Nordens give. If you are looking for accountants, its a no brainer!

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

Tony Charles

Founder - Foundation Sports Limited

A fantastic, modern, vibrant firm that care about the clients and their staff in abundance. It is rare to find an Accountancy firm with such vibrance and focus and relationships. It is no wonder they win award after award in their field.

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

Peter Horlock

Managing Director - Prime Time Boilers

I have been with Nordens for many years now and they are a great accountants.

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

Simon Cushing

Founder - Vivid Finishes

We have used Nordens for the last 5 years and have had a great service throughout. The guys are very passionate about what they do and have played a part in the growth of our company, highly recommended.

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

Andrew Martin

Managing Director - AMD Interior Architecture

Great Service at Nordens from a friendly very approachable team Particularly Kirsty Willis and Joe Sword who have been helping us since we started the business in 2016.

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

James Robinson

Director - Forma London

Nordens provide a first class service. We moved to Nordens last year and have been impressed with the level of service provided. Keep up the good work!

Read more reviews on Trust Pilot

Latest News

We've always got our ears to the ground when it comes to interesting, useful and topical information relating to business and accountancy.

Changes To National Insurance…
National Insurance is the bedrock of the state system, basically a tax on all earnings and self-employed profits from an individual. National Insurance Contributions (NICs) can be a confusing and complex situation for many, not...
Do You Need An…
We can all understand that the sharing or sale of an asset can be a complex process, especially when this isn’t done in the most amicable of situations. In order to make sure the process is as fair and unbiased as possible, an ...
Nordens TV

We love making videos that break down convoluted accountancy jargon into plain-talking, actionable and accessible facts.

Tax On Cryptocurrency? –…
I’m sure plenty of you have heard of cryptocurrency, especially the popular variants of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Cardano to name but a few. In fact, there’s thousands of different coins and tokens in circulation, with ne...
10 Easy Ways To…
Growing your business can often be an overwhelming and complex task, however by simply following some key guidelines you’ll place yourself in the best position to advance and cultivate success. Check out our Top 10 ways to grow...
  Why I Founded Nordens
Accounting 2 You

In November 2002, having sold our other business interests off earlier in the year, I decided to set up Nordens Chartered Accountants. The easy part was knowing how to do it, as I had established and built a smaller practice a few years earlier. The difficult part, for me, was not following the traditional accountancy path. Having run businesses, both successfully and unsuccessfully, I wanted to help business owners resolve their short term problems and work with them to achieve their longer term goals. Business has always been my interest and I love that I can help business owners achieve what seems like the impossible every single working day.

Mark Norden Signature

Mark Norden

We're Professionally Certified

Our limited company accountants have a range of qualifications from The Institute Of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW) to the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). We worry about the bye-laws, regulations and ethical guidelines of the ACCA so you don’t have to! That makes us an ACCA-accredited employer as well as a Professional Passport-accredited one!