There have been many reports in the news recently regarding Sir Ken Dodd marrying his partner while on his deathbed, which meant that his estate avoided around £11 million in Inheritance Tax.
Inheritance Tax is charged at 40% and is payable following death, if your estate exceeds your available Inheritance Tax allowance often called your ‘Nil Rate Band’. If your estate passes to exempt beneficiaries, such as a surviving spouse as Sir Ken Dodd’s did, then there is no Inheritance Tax to pay.
Richard Neea, Head of Wills, Tax and Probate at Enoch Evans LLP comments ‘Sir Ken Dodd’s actions, while on the one hand dramatic and on the other fairly simple, highlight that there are things that can be done before death to mitigate Inheritance Tax. I would always advocate that clients review their affairs regularly so that opportunities are not missed. Leaving things until the very end, as Sir Ken Dodd did, can limit what options are available and cause considerable extra stress at an already traumatic time. Having said that, as long as someone has mental capacity then it is never too late to look at getting personal affairs in order. I would recommend that anyone worried about the Inheritance Tax that may be due on their estate, seek expert professional advice as soon as possible.’
The Wills, Tax and Probate Department at Enoch Evans LLP have been advising clients on Wills and Estate administration for over 130 years. The Department was also one of the first in the country to be accredited as a member of the Law Society’s ‘Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme’. This scheme ensures that not only is all advice provided to clients in connection with Wills, Probate and Estate Administration of the highest standard, but that the way that advice is delivered means that clients are kept informed of progress and dealt with professionally and sensitively.