Lucy Warwick-Ching

The new Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition has introduced some sweeping tax changes this week, but conspicuous by its absence was the Tories’ proposed increase in the Inheritance Tax threshold from £325,000 to £1 million.Yet, anyone worrying about Inheritance Tax should be aware that it is one of the easiest taxes to avoid and only a minority of estates need pay it.

I spoke to Ben Smaje, managing director or Kennedy Black Wealth Management this morning and he pulled together a few of the most straightforward and effective ways to avoid paying IHT which I wanted to share with Money Matters readers:

Matthew Vincent

January transfer window latest: Man City have signed Patrick Vieira from Inter Milan on a six-month deal for an undisclosed fee, and are close to agreeing the £3.5m transfer of 19-year-old striker Victor Moses from Crystal Palace – but the Eastlands club will have to pay £14m to take Younes Kaboul from Portsmouth!

If your first reaction is, “Vieira’s never recaptured his form with Arsenal in 2004, so how’s he going to fit into a midfield with Stephen Ireland, Gareth Barry, and Nigel de Jong…?”, then there’s not much more I can tell you (although I suppose Mancini could move Barry out to the left and rotate Vieira with de Jong…)

But if, as I suspect, your reaction is closer to, “Why should I care?”, then I’ve got two words for you… “Inheritance tax!”.

It’s not exactly a common chant on the terraces – but might become the talk of the directors’ box following the launch of a new tax-saving product, based on football transfer fees.

Lucy Warwick-Ching

Danny Cox, head of advice at Hargreaves Lansdown and Peter Nillist from law firm Clarke Willmott, will answer readers’ questions on how to write a will and minimise your iht bill from 3pm this afternoon. 

All too often people die intestate and there are many stories that should make you think about organising a will, including reports about families falling out after someone dies.

For more information about this Q&A and to read the answers to your questions go to the indepth Q&A page or post a question now to ask@ft.com.

Also, if you would like to win £1000 to save or spend on estate planning enter our online competition run in conjunction with Unbiased.co.uk.

The FT’s Money blog is a forum for the latest news and insights from the UK’s personal finance scene. Matthew Vincent, the editor of FT Money and his team of reporters will upload their views and insights on what’s happening in the industry and how this affects people’s finances.

This blog is no longer active but it remains open as an archive.

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Lucy Warwick-Ching is the FT’s new Money Online Editor and has been a UK Companies reporter covering tobacco, pubs and leisure companies as well as the deputy editor on House and Home.

Matthew Vincent is the FT’s Personal Finance Editor and was previously the editor of Investors Chronicle, where he also devised the award-winning online video The Market Programme, and produced the BBC-FT standalone magazine ‘How to be Better Off’. He presents the weekly FT Money Show audio podcast, and previously worked on the BBC TV programmes Short Change and Pound for Pound.

Alice Ross is deputy personal finance editor of FT Money. She specialises in pensions, investments and investment trusts. Alice joined FT Money in April 2008 - prior to that she was deputy editor at Money Management magazine.

Ellen Kelleher has been a personal finance reporter in the UK for close to four years. Before arriving in London, she worked in the FT's New York bureau where she covered the insurance sector.

Steve Lodge is a personal finance reporter on FT Money specialising in savings.

Josephine Cumbo has written about all aspects of personal finance but currently specialises in insurance. She also covered company news for FT.com. Prior to working at the FT she was a news reporter for the ABC.

Tanya Powley is a personal finance reporter on FT Money specialising in mortgages and the housing market. Tanya joined FT Money in November 2009 after working in Australia covering personal finance for the Australian Financial Review and its sister magazine Asset. Prior to that, Tanya wrote about mortgages for UK trade newspaper Money Marketing.

Jonathan Eley is editor of Investors Chronicle, and has been with the title for ten years. Before that he worked for newswires and trade journals in London, New York and Hong Kong.