Last week’s Autumn state­ment pro­vid­ed a few wel­come sur­pris­es. The head­line grab­ber was def­i­nite­ly the reform of the out­dat­ed Stamp Duty system.

How­ev­er, one point which seems to have gone under the radar, is a change to ISAs which effec­tive­ly allows part­ners to inher­it a deceased Spouse’s ISA. Deaths on, or after the 3 Decem­ber, means sur­viv­ing Spous­es will have an addi­tion­al ISA allowance, equal to the amount the deceased Spouse had in their ISA. This can be used from 6 April 2015 & could help the sur­viv­ing part­ner to pre­serve a tax-effi­cient income.

The cash or invest­ments are passed on to the Spouse or oth­er Ben­e­fi­cia­ries as part of the Estate and still sub­ject to Inher­i­tance Tax (although there is no IHT on inter-Spouse trans­fers). The ISA sta­tus is being retained is by pro­vid­ing an addi­tion­al one-off allowance to the sur­viv­ing Spouse to be used on or after 6 April 2015. Cou­ples almost invari­ably man­age their mon­ey joint­ly, using indi­vid­ual tax wrap­pers such as ISAs to shel­ter their sav­ings and invest­ments from tax.

The ISA lim­it will also increase to £15,240 from 6 April 2015.

As with all these changes, we try to proac­tive­ly sug­gest that clients con­sid­er & seek spe­cial­ist advice in rela­tion to IHT. This in turn, should be con­sid­ered more wide­ly with­in your legal sta­tus, i.e. Wills & Last­ing Pow­ers of Attor­ney (LPAs). If you do not have a finan­cial advi­sor, we would be hap­py to sug­gest one who shares our proac­tive stance.

To arrange a dis­cus­sion about Inher­i­tance Tax, please get in touch with Paul Clark on 01625 523988 or mail@​JBGass.​com