Til death do us part…
If you have ever taken marriage vows, you were probably not bothered by the inheritance tax advantage that couples enjoy. More accurately, it is of course the beneficiaries of the estate that will actually enjoy any inheritance tax benefit from marriage.
This is because everyone has a “nil rate band” and whilst much has been made of this “allowance” it is a personal one, so a couple naturally has a doubling advantage. Sometimes people set up their finances so that on the first death, an amount of assets is released from the estate to the beneficiaries, rather than them having to wait for their inheritance.
This does come with some rather obvious potential snags – such as where does the money come from to be released and how best to achieve this. Of course the surviving spouse may have his or her circumstances significantly altered since such an agreement was originally made, so may also be reluctant to release funds if they believe that they are needed.