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Will Sir Ken Dodd's lasting legacy avoid Inheritance Tax?

The comedy king of one-liners, Sir Ken Arthur Dodd OBE, leaves behind a truly remarkable legacy after his passing on the 11th of March 2018, at the age of 90. Sir Ken Dodd’s career has spanned over 60 years and he has been described as “the last great music hall entertainer”. Ken lived in Knotty Ash in Liverpool for his entire life and was even born and passed away in the same home.

Sir Ken’s death comes just two days after marrying his partner of 40 years, Anne Jones. Anne spoke with the press after his passing and said: “I’ve had the supreme joy and privilege of working and living with him as a partner for the past 40 years. The world has lost a most life-enhancing brilliant creative comedian with an operatically-trained voice who just wanted to make people happy.”

So how does the late in life marriage impact the legacy that he’s leaving behind for his loved ones?

Ken and Anne’s marriage will impact the amount of Inheritance Tax due from the estate. Inheritance Tax (IHT) is a tax on a deceased person’s estate when the value of the estate is above the £325,000 threshold. The estate includes any property, money and possessions. However, if everything is left to a spouse or civil partner, a charity or a community amateur sports club then there’s normally no Inheritance Tax to pay.

Sir Ken Dodd’s legacy is estimated to be worth £7.2 million and if he has stated that he wishes to leave everything to his wife in his Will, then his entire fortune will be exempt from Inheritance Tax and will pass to his wife.  

If Ken and Anne had not married before his death, the estate could have paid up to £2 million in Inheritance Tax bills.