As the nation bid farewell to a comedic icon on Sunday, HMRC bid farewell to their 40% cut of his estate. Just days before his passing, Ken Dodd married his partner of 40 years at their home in Liverpool.
Putting romance aside, had they remained unmarried then all assets beyond the tax-free allowance of £325,000 could be taxed at 40 per cent and, for an estate estimated at around £7 million, this would have been approximately £3 million owed to the Tax Man.
Current Inheritance Tax (IHT) rules stipulate that assets can be passed free of IHT between married couples no matter how big the estate, saving the now Mrs Dodd millions of pounds. In addition to this, when married couples leave assets to one another, their tax-free allowance (nil band rates) also passes over to the other, so that the surviving spouse can leave £650,000 of cash before paying IHT. The same does not apply to unmarried couples, which could be one of many reasons Ken Dodd finally married his partner.
Ultimately, Ken Dodd had the last laugh on his infamous feud with the Revenue!
For more information on Inheritance Tax and exemptions, why not have a chat with your usual contact at Wansbroughs to ensure that your Will is up to date and as tax efficient as possible? Please contact your advisor at Wansbroughs on 01380 733300 or email email@example.com