With the ever increasing cost of getting onto the property ladder - particularly for young people - many parents try to help their children by making a gift to them of the deposit required or even a substantial proportion of the purchase price. There are various ways the gift can be made, whether an outright gift or with the parent taking a share of the property. The tax consequences of each route will need to be considered carefully.

However, every time you make a gift you should think carefully whether you need to alter your Will. If you have a number of children, and you are intending to include them as beneficiaries of your Will, you may need to specify whether the gift you have just made to them is to be taken into account when they and their siblings come to inherit your estate. Depending on the size of the gift, the law sometimes requires such lifetime gifts to be brought into account when the beneficiary receives their share of your estate. It is much better to state in your Will whether these lifetime gifts are to be regarded as an advance on the child's inheritance or not as the case may be. That may reduce the chances of a dispute between the various members of your family especially if it is made clear to the child at the time of the gift.