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bigduckontax, Accountant
Category: Tax
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We have a second investment property owned by my wife so fall

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We have a second investment property owned by my wife so fall into the IHT band of 40% against value of around |£600,000- I read that you can take out a Property or Discretionary Trust - put the property into that to avoid IHT - and when my wife and I die the property can be sold and money shared between my sons. Is it as easy as that or are there complications that outweigh the benefits of a Trust - is it easy to break the trust and sell the asset free of CGT or IHT. Thanks.

Hello, I'm Keith and happy to help you with your question. No it is not quite as easy as that or everybody would be jumping on that particular band wagon!


Firstly, when your wife passes the property to a trust it is deemed a disposal in her tax account and any gain would be the subject of CGT. Secondly, you go on the say when my wife and I die which sows a seed of doubt as to the actual ownership of the property which should perhaps be clarified.


Yes, you could put the property into trust. Any income earned by letting would be subject to a plethora of different tax rates depending upon the circumstances. If you subsequently break up the trust and sell the property the trust is assessed for CGT as a disposal on any gain made. A trust only receives a exempt allowance of about half an individual's.


Depending upon the wording of the Trust Deed it may be possible to break the trust, but any sale would still render the trust liable to CGT on the gain, see above. If the trust is terminated the trustees have a duty to distribute trust property to the correct beneficiaries.


Frankly, when dealing with trusts one is always advised to approach a local, trusted solicitor in such matters. You may find, as you surmise, that the complications outweigh the benefits, if any.

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