The use of nil-rate band discretionary trusts, in the preparation of wills, became less important since the Inheritance Tax legislation was amended by Finance Act 2008. Since 9 October 2007, a surviving spouse (or civil partner, subject to the date of first death) can, on their own death, have the benefit of their former spouse’s (or partner’s) nil-rate band, to the extent the same was not utilised on the prior death.

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