Whether you were a fan of his or not, it would have been hard to miss the news that comedy legend Sir Ken Dodd sadly passed away on Sunday at the age of 90. It has been widely reported that Sir Ken's fortune is estimated to be within the region of £7.2million and Sir Ken and his partner of 40 years are said to have married on the Friday, two days prior to his passing.
I am not one to wish to enter into the speculation surrounding the exact reasons for this, but Sir Ken and his partner's marriage would have had a significant impact on the Inheritance Tax that would have otherwise been payable by Sir Ken's estate. As a married couple, anything passing to Sir Ken's widow will now be what we call "spouse exempt", which means all monies paid to her will be free of Inheritance Tax. If they had remained unmarried, this exemption would not have been available and the estate Inheritance Tax bill would have looked significantly different.
The law relating to Inheritance Tax currently favours married couples over cohabitees. Marriage for the sake of tax planning is not everyone's idea of romance, but fear not, it is the not the only option available if you wish to reduce your Inheritance Tax bill. At Gepp & Sons Solicitors LLP, we have an experience estate planning team, including two qualified Chartered Tax Advisors, who will be able to assist and advise you with any Inheritance Tax concerns you may have.
So if you are either married, cohabiting or single and wish to know the options available to you, please contact us on 01245 228 127.