Norwich Union makes estate planning easier

Article date: 23 March 2009

Norwich Union, soon to be Aviva, is launching a campaign to make estate planning simpler for financial advisers and customers.

Norwich Union and Norwich Union International are launching a new discretionary trust proposition, a series of estate and inheritance tax (IHT) planning guides and a simplified application process.

The changes mean:

  • Existing "flexible" trusts replaced by discretionary trusts
  • Discretionary trusts can accept multiple asset types, including collective investments and cash (except the Discretionary Discounted Gift Trust)
  • Extensive marketing support including a customer guide to IHT planning
  • An IFA reference guide to trusts and estate planning
  • New simplified deeds and applications to help make creating IHT-effective trusts easier and quicker.

Nicholas Burton, marketing manager at Norwich Union, said: "Primary research conducted by Norwich Union shows that many advisers find the complexities of estate and trust planning act as a barrier to advising customers - and the complexity puts customers off taking the necessary steps to protect their wealth. Norwich Union is offering a simple solution for advisers and their customers.

"Effective trusts and estate planning do not need to be complicated and there are simple ways for advisers to help customers save tax and leave more money to their loved ones. Inheritance tax continues to affect thousands of people every year but with some simple planning there is a great deal that advisers can do to reduce their clients' IHT liability."

-ends-

Press office contacts:

Norwich Union
David Gwyer 07800 693187

Notes to editors:

Inheritance tax rules may change in the future.

What is inheritance tax?

  • Inheritance tax (IHT) is a tax on everything you own - your "net assets" - that becomes payable on your estate on death. Your assets may be more extensive than you think and could include:
  • Your home - and any other property you own.
  • Your investments.
  • Any insurance policies (not subject to inheritance tax effective trusts).
  • Items such as antiques and other collectables, cars, furniture and valuables such as jewellery.
  • Gifts you have made, if you still benefit in some way from them. An example would be a home that you still live in, even though you have given it away.
  • Assets held in certain kinds of trust, from which you still benefit personally.

The inheritance tax threat

  • IHT is currently charged at 40% of the net value of the estate in excess of the nil rate band of £312,000 (in 2008/09, rising to £350,000 in tax year 2010/11).
  • IHT was once commonly seen as something that only the very rich need worry about but times have changed.
  • With increases in inheritance tax threshold failing to keep pace with the property price rises of recent years, more people have fallen into the inheritance tax band. This is supported by the fact that revenue raised from IHT has doubled in the last 10 years.

About Norwich Union
Norwich Union is the UK's largest insurer. It is a leading provider of life, pensions and investment products and one of the largest financial adviser (FA) providers. FAs provide over 70% of the company's long-term savings business in the UK. Norwich Union is the UK's largest general insurer with a market share of around 14%, with a focus on insurance for individuals and small businesses.

Norwich Union's news releases and a selection of images are available from Aviva's internet press centre at www.aviva.com/media

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