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When you die, the Government assesses how much your estate is worth. This includes the cash you have in the bank or in investments, and any property or business you own, then debts are deducted. If this exceeds the inheritance tax threshold set at the time of your death then your estate will pay tax at 40% on the extra when you die.
Everyone is allowed to leave up to a certain amount (currently this figure is £325,000) without their inheritors needing to pay tax on it. The amount is set by the Government and is called the nil-rate band, because it’s the amount you pay a ‘nil-rate’ of inheritance tax on.
Distributing your estate through the use of a carefully written Will insures that you have not worked hard all your life just to have most of what you’ve saved go to the taxman.