While waiting further info from you,
If you have been living in the UK for at least 17 years out of last 20 years (which may be the case for you), then for the purpose of IHT you would be treated as UK 'deemed' Domicile, and therefore your worldwide assets are liable to UK IHT, obviously any equivalent foreign tax being deductible if lower than UK IHT on that particular foreign assets.
This is comprehensive and complex area of tax, and can involve substantial amounts in tax, therefore, is advisable to act only upon consultation and planning with independent professional adviser.
I would list some points below, which I thought can be useful basic information for you:
(1) While considering IHT, you would also need to consider Capital Gains Tax (CGT) implications at the same time.
Gift of assets during your lifetime could attract CGT, although this can be deferred via 'Gift Relief' on some of the assets.
(2) If you gift £3,000 to anyone every year, this would be outside the scope of IHT.
(3) If you gift assets to an individual, say, to your daughter, now and you survive at least next 7 years, then this would be exempt from IHT, but CGT may be applicable subject to what I stated above.
(4) Assuming your wife is also UK Domicile for the purpose of IHT, legacies to your wife would be exempt from IHT.
(5) CGT is only liable, if any, on the gift of assets during the lifetime, not on death.
(6) But, there is no CGT on lifetime inter-spouse transfer/gift of assets.
(7) If you have any business and held for at least 2 years, then Business/Business Assets would attract no IHT on death as there is something called 'Business Property Relief (BPR)' available in most cases. Similar relief applies to Shares in unquoted trading companies if applicable.
(8) A total, in anyone's lifetime, of £325,000 worth of assets is exempt from IHT, this is current rate, called 'Nil Rate Band'.
(9) Trusts can also be used for the purpose of IHT planning, but with good care.
(10) If you have not already done one, a 'Will' is to be done sooner rather than later.
As you can see from the above, which is basic but useful info to start with, this is complex area, but with careful and advanced planning with the help of independent professional adviser, most of the IHT can be eliminated or reduced at least.
I trust the above helps.
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Edited by SamPathak on 6/12/2010 at 9:56 PM EST