It is now more than 300 years since the certainty of “death and taxes” was first observed in published print and the line has gone on to inspire books, television programmes, music, at least one US President and even a beer. Still, despite the current period of historical uncertainty, government receipts suggest many families are still not allowing enough time to plan for these two certainties, uniting together in the form of an inheritance tax (IHT) bill.

The rules for lifetime transfers of capital mean the simplest way to mitigate IHT is to give away assets and survive seven years. While the date of death is always unknown, life expectancy based on age can be estimated online courtesy of the Office for National Statistics. For those whose life expectancy is less than seven years or who for whatever other reason wish to address a potential IHT liability in a shorter timeframe, there are two methods available.

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