Planning tips at a glance

Your Children

* Use their income tax and capital gains allowances.

* Consider your children owning suitable assets.

* Make lifetime gifts for children and consider trusts.

* Make school fees arrangements.

* Employ them in your business, if practicable.

Children as students

* Pay them under pre-15 March 1988 deeds of covenant.

* Distribute income and capital by trust or maintenance settlements.

* Gift single premium life assurance bonds for children to cash.

* Buy accommodation for them to occupy when at university.

* Make gifts of shares and other investments.

Early working life

* Join company pension scheme or arrange a personal pension.

* Benefit from interest-free loans, if available.

* Join a profit-related pay scheme for tax savings.

* Investigate employee share ownership plans (ESOPs).

* Remember, working overseas can produce tax savings.

* If self-employed, plan your accounts to minimise tax.

Newly married

* Use inheritance exemptions on marriage gifts.

* Purchase your home jointly and as tenants in common.

* Mortgage your home in a tax-efficient manner, and make wills.

* Split income and gains with spouse to take advantage of

separate taxation (eg, by employing your spouse).

* Make tax-efficient investments, such as PEPs and TESSAs.

Middle age

* Pass on family shares and other income-producing assets.

* Keep up ample pensions cover and life assurance.

* Cover gifts by term assurance.

* Settling abroad can attract big tax benefits.

* Make tax-efficient donations to charity.

* Create settlements for children and grandchildren.

* Change will and use deeds of family arrangement to save tax.

* Ensure maximum capital gains tax relief from selling family homes.

Retirement

* Consider delaying or commuting your pensions.

* Phase out your work while still making pension contributions.

* Sell or gift your business in a tax-efficient way.

* Use up your allowances (eg, by asset transfers).

* Purchase annuities if appropriate for tax reasons.

* Consider tax-planning options for your family home.

* Reduce capital gains tax and inheritance tax exposure.

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