Keep calm and carry on, despite manifesto mayhem

A message from our directors, urging customers to postpone any rearranging of estate plans based on manifesto promises...

As we near the polling date for the next general election and all parties release their manifestos we receive increasing enquiries from our clients concerning statements and promises that are made by party candidates.  Unfortunately, as we are all aware the majority of these statements and campaign promises are not quite what they seem at first and the headlines never quite turn out to be true.

During the last election, we all expected our Nil Rate Band Allowance to increase to £500k as statements were banded about quoting a promise of £1m allowance for couples before they pay inheritance tax.  Once the dust had settled however and the legislators got down to the nitty gritty of drawing up the new laws and amendments the reality of those promises was far from expected.  The increase in the allowance comes with a criteria that has to be met and a lot fewer people than anticipated will in actual fact benefit from the increased allowance due to the strict criteria applied.

When to rearrange your estate planning

So when clients do panic and wish to start re-arranging their estate planning based upon election manifestos we urge them to take a deep breath and wait for the election to run its course.  We will aim to keep all of our clients updated as soon as there is any change to the law, but often these types of changes take time and will need to be passed through the House of Commons and House of Lords before becoming effective.  Quite often this task ensures that legislation is scrutinised and usually amended before becoming a reality.  Already there have been instances of back-peddling by parties on rash statements made within manifestos and claims of misunderstandings.  Please remember these manifestos are not laws they are potential promises of actions that the party may take if they are elected. There have been several major upsets within politics around the world recently and nothing should be taken for granted.