What is the residence nil rate band?
From 6 April 2017, a new residence nil rate band ('RNRB') has been introduced allowing individuals, in certain circumstances, to apply an additional nil rate band for inheritance tax purposes to their estate on death.
The current RNRB is £100,000 and this is due to increase incrementally to £175,000 by the 2020/2021 tax year. Subject to satisfying certain cirteria, an individual will then be able to leave assets worth £500,000 on their death before any charge to inheritance tax will apply - between a married couple this is effectively a limit of £1,000,000.
Whilst this sounds generous, the application of the RNRB is reliant upon you owning a property, in which you have lived at some point, being passed on to direct descendants. Therefore, if you don't have children, this additional allowance will not apply.
This new legislation is quite complex so it would be prudent to seek advice on how this will affect your estate on your death and to consider whether your Will should be changed to take account of the new regulations.