Lifetime Trusts, Gifts and Inheritance Tax

There may come a time when you decide to make some lifetime gifts to your children, family or friends. Lifetime gifts are made for a variety of reasons: sometimes to help with a deposit for a house, or for the pleasure of giving a gift in lifetime and then living to see the recipient enjoy it, or perhaps for inheritance tax planning purposes.

Whatever your reasons, we can advise you on the best way to make your gift tax efficient. We will consider your Will and other factors, and advise on the options and pros and cons of absolute gifts or gifts into a trust.  We can also review the types of trusts available in such circumstances and advise on which will be most suitable for your circumstances. We can advise on the full range of lifetime inheritance tax planning options, making full use of relevant exemptions or other reliefs.

If you have recently received or are likely to receive an inheritance in future, we can also advise on the best way to maximize this tax planning opportunity through the use of deeds of variation.

Joint ownership of property

If you decide to buy a property with another person, it is essential to put in place a declaration of trust. This important document will govern the basis of your ownership together, both during the period of your ownership, but also for when the property is sold in due course for whatever reason.

It is the best way to protect your interest and avoid expensive litigation in future if the relationship between the joint owners were to deteriorate.  It is important to go through this process at the outset of your legal ownership, to ensure that you are similarly minded about all significant matters so as to ensure it is right to enter into a joint ownership situation together.  These documents are also useful if money towards the property purchase is being gifted or loaned by other family members, to ensure this investment is protected and will revert to the original family in due course.

Who to contact

If you would like more information in respect of this service including details of fees and expenses and an idea of the process involved and how to get started then please contact:

Head of Department

Catherine Whitaker
Tel. 01491 570900

At our Reading office:

Shirah Blackwood                                                     Lauren Williams
Tel: 0118 338 3263                                                 Tel: 0118 338 3264

Kaley Penniston                                                            Emma Harrison

Tel: 0118 920 9497                                                    Tel: 0118 920 9497


At our Henley-on-Thames office:

Catherine Whitaker                                                     Elizabeth Moffitt

Tel: 01491 570900                                                       Tel: 01491 57090