That allowance can be carried forward for one year, if you did not make any gifts in the previous year. So for example, if you have never made substantial gifts then each parent could gift £6,000 this year and then £3,000 each year thereafter, if they wanted to.
If you do wish to make larger gifts, for example to help pay for a wedding or a house purchase, then this is known as a potentially exempt transfer (PET). The word ‘potentially’ is important there because the gift is only potentially free of inheritance tax if the person making the gift lives for seven years after making it.
Should they pass away within seven years then the gift may be drawn back into the value of their estate for the calculation of inheritance tax.
However, each person does have an allowance of £325,000 that they can leave behind to their beneficiaries before any inheritance tax is payable. For married couples this allowance can be aggregated so that £650,000 can be passed down free of inheritance tax.
There are many options and ramifications when it comes to inheritance tax so if you do have any questions please feel free to get in touch.