A little knowledge goes a long way.....

A little knowledge goes a long way.....

A little knowledge goes a long way…..

by | Uncategorised

In 2015, British opposition lead Ed Miliband came under media scrutiny for allegedly avoiding tax when his fathers will was altered after his death. The UK press reported the change of the family home ownership as a ‘tax dodge’. Ed and his politician brother used a ‘Deed of Variation’ to reduce their inheritance tax liability. Originally left to their mother, by changing the will and gifting a share in the family home to each brother, they ensured that the tax bill on their mother’s death would be significantly reduced – by over £100,000.

A Deed of Variation changes a Will after death and enables the beneficiaries of a deceased’s estate to alter the distribution of that estate within 2 years of the death. They often used to correct mistakes in the original will writing, balance an ‘unfair’ will or assist in inheritance tax planning on a following death – the tax bill will still apply as is to the estate being altered.

Did the high profile politician brothers dodge a tax bill or did they use professional wills and estate planning to ensure that their family legacy was maximised and still met its tax obligations? If the Miliband patriarch had rewritten his will before his death with assistance from a will writing professional, the same outcome could have been achieved. In this instance, the solicitors charge for creating a legitimate will would have definitely saved money, time and unwanted publicity. So you could say, knowledge is money saved. 

Disclaimer: Wills Worldwide is not licensed or qualified to give tax advice. This article is intended for information only and does not constitute tax advice. If you are in any doubt about your tax status please contact a qualified professional.

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