Talking of last minute planning there are things you can do to mitigate Ih.T in a matter of weeks which is not quite deathbed planning but isn’t far off it. We know of a solution which mitigates Ih.T without the wealth actually leaving your estate apart from implementation costs. But it’s not for everyone. Don’t even go there if your estate is not at least £1 million.
Taking a longer view you can always put your money in assets which will get you Business Property Relief. But there is a two year qualifying period for that to work and if your investment is not in a business that you control you may well have doubts about the quality of the investment. Again the wealth does not leave your estate; it reduces it for Ih.T purposes.
Taking a longer view still, you can always make potentially exempt gifts and hope to survive 7 years. You can also make lifetime gifts which are not potentially exempt, for example to a nil rate band discretionary trust and further save tax by setting up pilot trusts each with its nil rate band. On a smaller scale there are other exemptions and reliefs, small in themselves but which add up over a lifetime. But it does mean that the wealth leaves your estate.
In short there are planning opportunities both long term and short term.