We recently received the sad news of the death of one of cinema’s greatest icons, Dame Elizabeth Taylor who died at the age of 79 years.
During her 79 years Dame Elizabeth won two Oscars, married more times than Henry VIII and raised four children who gave her ten grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Known as one of the greatest screen actresses of Hollywood’s Golden Age her estate is reported to be worth over $600 million. She was in fact the first actress to earn $1 million dollars for a film for her iconic portrayal of Cleopatra.
The administration of Dame Elizabeth’s estate will undoubtedly keep her lawyers busy for many months to come. There will be many issues including calculating and settling the various taxes that will arise as a consequence of the death.
Take UK inheritance tax for example, generally speaking this tax is determined on the basis of domicile at the time of death. So, if Dame Elizabeth was domiciled in the UK then inheritance tax will be payable on both her UK and worldwide estate. If on the other hand Dame Elizabeth’s domicile was held to be abroad then inheritance tax will only be payable on her UK estate.
No doubt, Dame Elizabeth Taylor would have sought specialist tax planning advice during her lifetime to minimise the impact of inheritance tax on her UK estate.
At a rate of 40% UK inheritance tax can have a devastating impact on your family’s inheritance when you have gone. Whilst most of us do not have an Elizabeth Taylor size estate (and expensive lawyers to match), inheritance tax can have an impact on even the most modest sized of estates and professional advice really is a must.
Some inheritance tax schemes rely on a passage of time of seven years and if you do not survive those seven years then the scheme may fail and your children will pick up the tax bill.
Don’t leave it too late or avoid talking to an expert. Call Ingrid Forshaw our estate planning solicitor for an initial non-obligatory chat.
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