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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.