‘A million couples’ may have to rewrite their wills

As many as a million couples may have to rewrite their wills due to changes in inheritance tax (IHT) laws made by Alistair Darling, it has been reported.

Couples who have written wills that set up a trust fund in order to avoid paying the tax may have to redraft the legal documents as the chancellor’s decision to double the IHT threshold for couples supersedes such provisions, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Mike Warburton, tax partner at chartered accountancy firm Grant Thornton, told the publication that he thought there will be "hundreds of thousands" of people who may have to rewrite their wills to take the IHT changes into account.

"They will have to go to their lawyers to sort it out," he said.

In his pre-Budget report earlier this week, chancellor Alistair Darling announced that the IHT nil rate band for couples will be doubled from its current level of £300,000, meaning that couples are able to pass on £600,000 worth of assets to beneficiaries without being taxed.