I was intrigued by the press commentary this week following the death of the well-known, and long lived, comedian, Sir Ken Dodd.
Apparently, he and his partner of some forty years, spliced the marital knot just days before he died. By doing this, Sir Ken kept his multi-million-pound estate out of the Inheritance tax net and saved his wife over £2m in tax payments.
A sobering thought.
Married couples and civil partners continue to benefit from generous Inheritance Tax and Capital Gains Tax reliefs that are not available to couples who may have lived together for many years.
Whilst Sir Ken and his wife had the presence of mind to marry, albeit with only days to go, death does not always herald its approach.
Readers of this post may remember that Sir Ken had previous brushes with HMRC when he was taken to court for tax fraud. Although he was cleared of the charges he was obliged to pay HMRC any taxes due.
No doubt Sir Ken ruminated on this issue during his last weeks and determined that enough was enough.
This issue was the subject of a recent article on our newsfeed for accountants. If you would like to find out more about the services Informanagement can offer UK accountancy professionals, please call.