Legendary Liverpool comedian Sir Ken Dodd married his partner of 40 years, Anne Jones, just two days before he passed away on 11 March 2018 at the age of 90.
It is understood that one of his final wishes was to ensure that his partner would have the title Lady Anne – but there was another, significant, benefit to them getting married. By virtue of Lady Anne being his wife means that anything Sir Ken leaves to her on his death qualifies for the ‘spouse exemption’ for inheritance tax purposes, which essentially means there is no inheritance tax to pay on what she receives.
It has been widely reported that Sir Ken Dodd’s estate is worth in the region of £7.2 million, so assuming he has left all of his estate to his wife, then this would be mean an inheritance tax saving of around £2.6 million – so Sir Ken’s belated piece of financial planning saved a lot of tax!
Rightly or wrongly, given Sir Ken’s infamous tax trial in 1989, he might just feel he had the last laugh with HM Revenue and Customs.
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 Band Hatton Button we have an experienced estate planning team, 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 the Wills Trusts and Probate team to see how we can help.
For individual advice and assistance contact our Wills, Probate and Trusts Team to find out how we can help.