From today (start of the new tax year) the 'Nil Rate Band' for Inheritance Tax increases to £300,000 (from £285,000). The NRB is the maximum amount that an individual can leave (other than to a legal spouse or a charity) without incurring Inheritance Tax. The tax is levied at 40% on any excess above this level, and can result in some very large bills before the family can inherit the estate.
With properly drafted Wills, a married couple can exploit both NRBs, whilst still looking after each other. These Wills allow them to pass on £600,000 to the family without paying a penny in Inheritance Tax.