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Inheritance Tax Exemption For Armed Forces

Death is a sensitive subject at any time, but especially when the deceased was in excellent health and relatively young.

Such is the case of the hundreds of loyal service men and women we have lost in active service, particularly during the Gulf War and Afghanistan.

So it was particularly poignant this week, when The Telegraph ran an article on the family of a serviceman killed after serving in the Gulf War, the family having been refunded £53,000 in Inheritance Tax.  The family apparently was not made aware that either those presently serving in the Armed Forces, or previous members, where active service was a contributing factor to their death, are entirely exempt from Inheritance Tax – a little known fact among affected families.

The MoD defiantly states that all solicitors and professional Executors should be aware of this exemption, yet it is painfully clear that this information is not being communicated effectively to grieving families, who have a six year cut off limit from the date of death to the application for exemption.

As with most financial claims, they are rarely straightforward and, many solicitors argue, not often encountered.   Literature does exist, but it is either too difficult to find, or too complicated to easily translate.

Plans are underway to make the information more accessible and understandable, with extra support provided for families left behind.

In any conflict, we all hope and pray that our troops will return safely.  However, if you are a member of the Armed Forces, or a family member, you need to be aware of what financial benefits are available, should the worst happen.  Arm yourself with information and don’t rely on Government organisations to get it right first time or be proactive in offering details.

For further information, click for more information on wills, probate and inheritance tax.

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