Women are less likely to be included in estate planning than men, resulting in potentially poorer decisions in later life, a major study has revealed.
The research, published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in collaboration with financial solutions provider Tower Street Finance, suggests that the gender gap is “no more obvious than in estate planning”.
According to the report, more than one in two (53 per cent) women who plan to leave their estate to loved ones have “no financial planning in place” to ensure the plan is executed effectively.
This is compared to two in five (41 per cent) men who say the same.
Alarmingly, more than a third (37 per cent) of women also said they did not have any knowledge of Inheritance Tax (IHT) and how it is paid, compared to one in four (25 per cent) men.
IHT is paid at a rate of 40 per cent on the value of an estate above the IHT threshold (currently £325,000, £650,000 if combined with a spouse or civil partner, or £1 million when combined and passing down the family home).
The gender gap worries study author Dicky Davies, as women have higher life expectancies than men, and are therefore more likely to be impacted by estate planning and Inheritance Tax.
“We know there is a lack of understanding about IHT – what the thresholds are, who has to pay, when payment is due and what happens if you can’t afford to pay Inheritance Tax,” he said.
“And the reality is that it’s more likely to be an issue for women who, because of higher life expectancies, have greater wealth to leave behind and therefore are more likely to have to pay IHT.”
For help and advice with related matters, please get in touch with our later life and estate planning team today.
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