one day, all this will be yours

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With regards to the ‘peace sells’ post, several of you have commented that the only thing you’re going to do is leave a basic last will & testament and let them fight over everything else. Fair enough, though we’re often told that there’s nothing more natural than a parent’s desire to want to ensure a modicum of security for their offspring and ease their way through this wicked wide world. However, recent data from the Resolution Foundation highlights what’s really going on with our inheritances.

Firstly, they’re not going to kids, to young adults or even the middle-aged, unless you believe you’re going to live well into your 120s. No, the average age of the recipient of your frugal, miserly life is 61, and let’s face it, if they’ve not learned to stand on their own two-feet by this ripe old age, they don’t deserve to benefit from your gracious benevolence.

Furthermore, the report indicated that inherited cash & property is largely transferred to those who already own such assets. Surprise, surprise, the kids without property and assets are the ones whose parents don’t have any to give. Can you see where this is heading? Passing-on your chattels merely entrenches inequality, stymies social mobility and increases the divide between the housing haves and the housing have-nots.

Contrary to what the Daily Mail would have us all believe our money is not being stolen by iniquitous inheritance tax as only 0.08% of the UK’s £6tn property wealth will be leveraged into the Chancellor’s coffers. Offset the average UK house price of £210k and future social, medical and care-home expenses, against the fact that married parents are allowed to pass on as much as £850,000 without paying a penny in IHT and it soon becomes clear the vast majority of people won’t pay a penny in tax. If anything there’s a solid and logical argument for both the raising and the renaming of IHT to something more akin to the Social Care Contribution. But, in any event, as billionaire Leona Helmsley recently reminded us, “We don’t pay taxes; only the little people pay taxes.”