Charities welcome call for digital wills system

Government body looking at reducing tax complexity is calling for the creation of a digital system to better manage inheritance tax and will making.

Joe Lepper | 3rd Dec 18
Image shows flower on ablack gravestone.

The government should create a digital system for inheritance tax and will management, according to the Treasury office tasked with reducing complexities in the tax system.

The Office of Tax Simplification’s first report from its review of inheritance tax says that the management of wills would be made easier with a “fully integrated digital system for inheritance tax” put in place.

This should “ideally include the ability to complete and submit a probate application” adds the report, which adds that “regulating the will writing market would help improve the administration process”.

Remember a Charity, a partnership of around 200 charities, has welcomed the report and backed its calls to make the management of estates and legacy donations easier.

“Ultimately, a more straight-forward inheritance tax system should make it easier for people’s estates to be handled promptly, efficiently and for relevant discounts or exemptions on charitable wills to be applied,” said Remember a Charity director Rob Cope.

“We welcome steps to reduce the administrative burden for everyone; the public, professional advisers and executors, which of course includes many charities too.

Need for clear and consistent processes

He added: “The need for clear and consistent processes has never been greater. The public needs to have choice about who and what they support from their will and the confidence to ensure that their final wishes will indeed be met.”

“With both the national Inheritance Tax structure and will-writing framework currently under review, the devil will be in the detail of future announcements as to whether the fiscal incentives will be maintained and how will-writing processes may evolve. We continue to appeal to government representatives to ensure that any changes will continue to encourage and promote charitable legacies.”

According to Remember A Charity legacy gifts contribute the largest single source of voluntary income to the charity sector, generating around £3bn for good causes each year.