Sir Bruce Forsyth sadly passed away on the 18th August 2017, leaving behind a truly remarkable legacy. Most famous for presenting Strictly Come Dancing, The Generation Game and Play Your Cards Right, Bruce Forsyth was beloved and is now missed by many.
Almost one year after his death, details of Sir Bruce’s estate have now come to light with it being reported that he has left his fortune to his wife, rather than his six children.
By passing his £11.7 million estate to his wife, Lady Wilnelia, the family could avoid a hefty Inheritance Tax bill. There is typically no Inheritance Tax to pay if you leave everything to your spouse or civil partner. Lady Wilnelia is able to gift up to £650,000 to Bruce’s children without being subject to Inheritance Tax.
When an estate is eligible for Inheritance Tax, the standard rate is 40% of the remaining part of your estate that is above your threshold. Each person is entitled to £325,000 Inheritance Tax-free, with this increasing to £450,000 if you give your home away to your children or grandchildren. If you’re married or in a civil partnership and your estate is worth less than the threshold, any unused threshold can be added to your partner’s threshold when you die. Theoretically, Sir Bruce’s estate could have been taxed a staggering £4.5 million.
Additionally, Bruce has reportedly left £100,000 of his estate in a Trust fund for his nine grandchildren, which will be distributed between them when they each reach 21 years of age. It also appears that he left £20,000 to each of his two executors.
In 2015, Sir Bruce Forsyth was interviewed by the Radio Times and commented on Inheritance Tax. Sir Bruce said, “I think your inheritance should go to your children more than back to the country that you’ve lived in”. He added, "I'm not saying you don't owe the country something, of course you owe your country a lot for living there all those years. But I think it can be a bit over the top."
Sir Bruce Forsyth’s estate raises some important considerations for members of the public when it comes to leaving behind your own legacy. A valid Will that clearly outlines your wishes can offer clarity, avoid family disputes and protect your estate from excessive legal and tax costs.
Kings Court Trust are one of the UK’s leading estate administration providers and our sole purpose is to help families move on. With our unrivalled knowledge of estate administration, we can advise on any situation. If you have any questions regarding estate administration, call our Client Services Team on 0300 303 9000.