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Inheritance tax checklist

Use our inheritance tax checklist to make sure you understand the rules and how to plan for it. 

Thinking about inheritance tax can be a daunting subject. The rules are incredibly complicated, and they often change. But the key points generally stay the same. 

Here's an at-a-glance view of what you need to know, and where you can go to find out more.

The main ways to avoid IHT are to spend your money while you're alive or give it away. 

Work out how much IHT might be due on your estate and regularly review it so you know what you're up against.

Remember there's no tax to pay if inheritance tax is passed between spouses or civil partners.

If you set up special wills to deal with IHT review them regularly to make sure the rules haven't changed. 

Make full use of any tax-free gifts you can make while you're alive. You can give away up to £3,000 as a "main gift" each year, and up to £250 to other people. 

Make sure to make the most of the new inheritance tax breaks for property - but only if you're leaving it to your family.

Put life insurance policies under trust.

If there's going to be a big IHT bill, think about taking out an insurance policy under trust for your heirs to pay the bill.

Make a will if you don't have one - otherwise the people you want to inherit may not.

If you re-marry, remember this can overwrite your previous inheritance tax plans.

Never take steps that might leave you struggling for money while you're alive in order to save tax after you've died.

Remember - IHT is really someone else's problem, not yours.