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No Will Means Tax Windfall for HMRC

The result of the recent death of actor Roger Lloyd-Pack, best known for playing 'Trigger' in the hit series 'Only Fools and Horses', serves as a reminder that failing to make a will can have adverse consequences.

Mr Lloyd-Pack died of pancreatic cancer in January, leaving an estate valued at £1.4 million. He made no will before his death, which means that part of his estate (likely to be in excess of £500,000) will pass automatically to his four children, not his widow.

Had his estate passed entirely to his widow, there would have been no Inheritance Tax (IHT) to pay as transfers between spouses are normally exempt from IHT.

Alternatively, if he had left a will limiting the estate passing directly to his children to the current 'nil rate band' limit of £325,000, there would also be no IHT to pay.

As it is, the excess of his estate over that figure passing to his children will bear IHT at 40 per cent.

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    Such liabilities can normally be avoided, or at least postponed, if straightforward tax planning measures are taken when a will is made. Even if Mr Lloyd-Pack had intended to leave part of his estate directly to his children, there are means by which that end could have been accomplished tax-efficiently.

    To ensure that your estate passes to those you love and avoidable taxes are not paid, contact us for advice.

    For further information please call one of our experts on:

    The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.