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Are you taking about cash gifts whilst still alive or by will after decease?
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A cash gift creates a Potentially Exempt Transfer (PET) in the donor's Inheritance Tax (IHT) affairs. PETs run off at a taper over 7 years and in the event of the donor's decease within this time period are added back to their estate and exposed to IHT. PETs are the first to suffer IHT and if the estate is insufficient to meet the tax on the PET then the liability cascades down to the beneficiary for immediate payment. As you have realised IHT does not kick in until assets on death exceed 325K.
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