I stumbled across a strange story the other day. Apparently a pizza firm in New Zealand has started a ‘buy now, pay when you’re dead’ scheme. All you have to do is change your Will to pay the company after you die. In the meantime, you can eat as much pizza as you like.
The offer, coined as ‘Afterlife Pay’, is the brainchild of a firm called Hell’s Pizza. In a way it’s a pushback against the more common ‘buy now, pay later’ schemes. According to the company’s CEO, Ben Cumming:
We’re seeing a growing number of people using the schemes to buy essential items like food, and we think it’s taking it a step too far when you’ve got quick service restaurants like ours being asked to offer BNPL for what is considered a treat — especially when you consider people are falling behind in their payments and 10.5 per cent of loans in NZ are in arrears.
Unlike ‘buy now, pay later schemes’, Afterlife Pay charges no interest or fees. You simply settle the tab when you’re dead.
Change your Will for a gimmick?
The scheme has certainly generated a lot of publicity. Hell’s Pizza’s own YouTube video racked up over 17,000 views in just 11 days.
There’s a snag, though. Not everyone can get the deal. While anyone is invited to sign up, the company plans to choose 666 people in New Zealand for Afterlife Pay, along with a further 666 people in Australia. In other words, it’s devilishly difficult to get unlimited pizza but the scheme has certainly got people talking.
Better reasons to change your Will
While relatively few people are likely to change their Will to pay for a lifetime of pizza, there are other very good reasons for reviewing your Will.
Currently, growing numbers of people are falling into the Inheritance Tax (IHT) trap. This is because the nil rate band has been stuck at £325,000 since 2009. Given the average cost of a home was in the region of £157,000 in 2009 and is now close to £300,000, it’s not difficult to see why more people are paying IHT.
We’ve written a post about Inheritance Tax Planning, which explores this subject in more detail. However, one thing worth noting is that, if you change your Will to give money to charity, you can potentially reduce your IHT bill.
This can work in one of two ways. In most cases your donation will be taken off the value of your estate before Inheritance Tax is calculated. However, if you leave more than 10% of your estate to charity, your IHT rate will go down from 40% to 36%. If you leave a valuable estate, this can result in a highly significant saving.
Advice on estate planning
Leaving money to charity in your Will is just one way of legitimately reducing your IHT bill. If your estate is likely to exceed the IHT tax-free threshold, it’s a good idea to get advice as soon as possible. At THP, we can not only help you draw up or change your Will, but we can advise you on ways of making sure you don’t pay any more IHT or Capital Gains Tax than necessary. That’s surely got to be a smarter move than paying for your pizza in the afterlife!
About Ben Locker
Ben Locker is a copywriter who specialises in business-to-business marketing, writing about everything from software and accountancy to construction and power tools. He co-founded the Professional Copywriters’ Network, the UK’s association for commercial writers, and is named in Direct Marketing Association research as ‘one of the copywriters who copywriters rate’.