How does Inheritance work: Rules & Regulations for 2021


If you are someone that is expecting to receive an inheritance or you are looking to set up an inheritance plan for when you die, you may have found yourself confused. Inheritance is an extremely complicated thing as there are not only complex legal rules that you have to follow, but the enforcement process of the inheritance comes with its own rules and regulations. 

What only makes understanding inheritance more difficult is the fact that the rules surrounding inheritance change every year. Inheritance has been in place for thousands, if not millions, of years and the way in which it operates has changed vastly since then.  

Many people forget that inheritance is much more than just receiving a lump sum of money once someone has passed away.  Depending on the lifestyle of the person that you are gaining the money from, you can receive property, stocks, or even an entire business. If you are someone that is expecting much more than just money, you may be overwhelmed by the prospect of what is to come. Don’t worry, here is a rundown of how inheritance works.  


Taking Over the Business  

If you are someone that has a family member that has an established business, then you will have to prepare yourself for the duty of taking that over.  Taking over someone’s business is a complicated affair. You have to ensure that they have completed all of the necessary steps to ensure the process is as straightforward as possible. 

The way in which your business inheritance works is also dependent on what kind of business you are being left.  The most simple form of business that can be left in a will is a sole trader business.  This is so straightforward as there is only one person that is involved in the business, so you don’t have to deal with any additional partners within the business.  

When you inherit a business from a sole trader, this may also include all of the tangible assets, which means any equipment or premises that the business may own. The only issue with taking on a business that is operated by a sole trader is that sole trader businesses are usually dependent on the skill and the connections of that trader and so once they are gone, it is very common for the business to fail.  

What is fortunate about inheriting a sole trader business is that you don’t have any attachments to external business partners or franchises. This means that if you do not feel as though the business will be run successfully by yourself, then you can always choose to sell it to someone else.  

As previously stated, when you receive a business you get the premises and the equipment. So if you find yourself unable to cope with the business, you can sell both aspects separately. Selling a property can be a difficult task, so be sure to check out an updated for 2021 guide to selling inherited property in Virginia as this will make the process much easier. 


The Basics of Running a Business 

If you decide that running the business that you have inherited is what you want, then you will have to familiarize yourself with the basics of running a business. Running a business is much more than just buying and selling and so in order to be successful, you are going to have to educate yourself.  

If you are lucky enough, the person that you have inherited the business from would have given you a rundown of all of the important things that you need to know. You should have been given a book that has a list of all of the necessary contacts. This book should include suppliers, distribution networks, and even something as simple as the electricity company that the business is operating with. If you have all of this, then you should first start off by building up a relationship with these people, but once again we recommend that you do this before you have to take over the business.  

The most helpful tip that we can give you is to do a stock take before you really get started on the business, as that will give you a good base understanding of what you own in terms of product.  


Understanding Inheritance Tax  

Unfortunately, when you get your inheritance it is likely that you will not get all of it. The standard inheritance tax that you can expect to pay is around 40%, which is quite a substantial amount. However, there are ways to decrease this price. If you give 10% of whatever estate that you inherit to charity, then your tax is then reduced to only 36%. 

When you receive your inheritance, you can have the overall worth of your estate worked out. That means that they take into account the money, any property, and then any other items that the deceased may have owned. Once this is added up, it is common practice to take away the costs of any funeral or similar affair.  

Don’t worry, not everyone is subject to paying finance tax. If your overall estate is worth less than two million dollars, then you do not have to pay out anything. If you are a homeowner, then your tax threshold can also increase, which means that if you leave your home to a child or grandchild, then they will not be subject to paying the inheritance tax on it.  


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