Inheritance Tax Planning

When you need support to organise your estate, our inheritance tax planning solicitors can help you to plan for the future. With our help, you can ensure that your estate isn’t charged more tax than necessary, so that your loved ones receive the maximum benefit of your wealth when you are no longer here.

As experts in inheritance tax matters, we can assist you with a diverse range of inheritance tax planning tools and strategies, all aligned with your preferences and situation. We have extensive experience in this area of the law and are dedicated to finding the solutions that best suit your circumstances.

When handling your legal matters, our team are both sensitive and pragmatic. We will always ensure that you feel supported and comfortable. If you have any concerns or questions, these will always be addressed promptly and with care.

Specifically, our expert team can provide support with:

  • Reducing inheritance tax liability
  • Lifetime gifts
  • Trusts
  • Completing inheritance tax returns

Get in touch with our inheritance tax planning solicitors

For support with inheritance tax planning, contact our specialist solicitors in East Sussex. You can contact us at our offices in Battle, Bexhill on Sea, Eastbourne, Hastings or Rye.

Or fill in our online enquiry form and we will be in touch shortly.

Our inheritance tax planning service

Reducing inheritance tax

Our expert solicitors at Heringtons can provide specialist advice on the types of inheritance tax relief that you may be eligible for.

It is not required to pay any inheritance tax where an estate is valued at less than £325,000. Any amount that exceeds the inheritance tax threshold is taxed at 40%.

Where an estate is valued above 325,000, you can avoid paying inheritance tax so long as you leave any amount that exceeds the threshold to your spouse, civil partner, or a charity.

Our solicitors can provide guidance on these matters and will also be able to help you access other forms of tax relief that you may be eligible for, such as the Residential Nil Rate Band.

Lifetime gifts

Transferring gifts to your loved ones is a valuable inheritance tax planning tool. Lifetime gifts refer to property, assets, or funds that a person chooses to transfer to another party when they are still alive, as opposed to leaving this gift as inheritance.

Gifts that are exempt from inheritance tax include:

  • Individuals can give up to £3,000 per tax year to their loved ones without paying inheritance tax on these, referred to as annual exemption gifts
  • Additionally, individuals can make small gifts of £250 or less, without these being subjected to inheritance tax
  • Gifts for marriage or civil partnership are also exempt from inheritance tax, though the threshold for these depends on who is giving the gift
  • Gifts given to spouses or civil partners are exempt from inheritance tax, and this is the case regardless of the gift value

Lifetime gifts are subjected to certain rules and regulations, all of which our solicitors will explain as we guide you through the inheritance tax planning process.


Trusts can be incredibly useful for inheritance tax planning, these tools can help to reduce how much tax your estate is liable for and ensure that your assets are distributed as you’d like when you are no longer here.

Several different types of trusts can be useful as part of an inheritance tax planning strategy, including:

  • Discretionary trusts
  • Bare trusts
  • Interest in possession trusts

For more information about how we can support you with trusts, please get in touch with our probate and trusts solicitors today.

Completing inheritance tax returns

If you are responsible for administering a deceased loved one's estate, our experts can support you with filing their inheritance tax return. We can offer support in various ways, including:

  • Assisting clients in understanding inheritance tax requirements, including, what an inheritance tax return must include
  • Collecting the information required, including details about the deceased’s assets, trust, gifts
  • Help to complete and file the correct inheritance tax forms and pay any inheritance tax owed

Our inheritance tax lawyers are on hand to provide all the support that you need, to discuss your requirements, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Equally, if you need support throughout the probate process, our probate solicitors can assist.

Frequently asked questions about inheritance tax planning

How does inheritance tax work?

Inheritance tax refers to a tax charged on the estate of a person who has died. This tax may also apply to gifts that a person made to their loved ones during their lifetime, (depending on the amount and type of gift).

The standard inheritance tax rate is set at 40%, and this is only applied to any value of an estate which exceeds the inheritance tax-free threshold of £325,000.

How do you pay inheritance tax?

Inheritance tax is paid by the estate administrator or the Will executor, from the estate of the deceased. The general steps taken to pay inheritance tax include:

  • Calculating the total value of the estate
  • Filing in the inheritance tax forms and submitting these to HM Revenue and Customs
  • Paying any inheritance tax owed on the estate within the given timeframe

Who pays inheritance tax on gifts?

The person who receives the gift is not usually responsible for paying inheritance tax. However, inheritance tax may be charged on the estate of the deceased, depending on the value of the gift, and other factors, such as:

  • The type of gift
  • How long the person continued to live after giving the gift
  • Whether or not the person continued to benefit from the gift or not

When assisting you with your inheritance tax planning strategy, our solicitors will ensure to explain the relevant gifting options, helping you to make well-informed choices.

Can a solicitor help with inheritance tax?

Yes, solicitors can help with inheritance tax in various ways, including:

  • Estate planning assistance, including the creation of trusts, tax-efficient Wills, and other tools which can help clients reduce inheritance tax liability
  • Inheritance tax planning advice, including guidance on reliefs and exemptions
  • Assistance to create lifetime gifts, or set up and manage trusts

How long does probate take after paying inheritance tax?

It is difficult to judge how long the probate process takes after paying inheritance tax, it could take several months and depends on factors such as:

  • How complex the estate is and whether there are any disputes or complications in locating the beneficiaries
  • How long it takes for the probate registry to finish processing the application
  • How long it takes to value and distribute assets according to the Will instructions

Get in touch with inheritance tax planning solicitors

For support with inheritance tax planning, contact our specialist solicitors in East Sussex. You can contact us at our offices in Battle, Bexhill on Sea, Eastbourne, Hastings or Rye.

Or fill in our online enquiry form and we will be in touch shortly.

For further information or to speak to one of our experts please call us on: