Terry Wogan shows importance of making a Will

News Desk
Authored by News Desk
Posted Wednesday, May 10, 2017 - 9:45pm

The recent publication of Sir Terry Wogan's will, amid reports that he left only £1m to his family despite estimates he was worth around £20m, indicates the importance of advanced planning, claims top 40 accountants and probate specialists Bishop Fleming.

The Irish-born radio broadcaster, Children in Need host and popular presenter of the Eurovision Song Contest died in January 2016 at the age of 77. But his will was only published in March 2017 after probate was granted at the district registry in Winchester, Hampshire.

The TV show host left an estate to his wife and three children for a reported value of just £1m, even though it included a 12-acre country estate in Buckinghamshire and a holiday home in the France.

According to Bishop Fleming partner and probate specialist Alison Oliver, the amount left in Sir Terry's will appears modest for someone of such fame, particularly as he was reported to have been one of the BBC's highest paid presenters.

Ms Oliver explained: "The reported value of the estate suggests that assets were transferred to family members or put into trust well before death, in order to save his wife and children a large inheritance tax bill. That suggests he took professional advice in good time."

The Bishop Fleming partner remarked that the case highlighted the need for individuals to check that their wills are up to date to reflect their current circumstances, so that their wishes are fully met, and to minimise the impact of inheritance tax (IHT) - leaving more for heirs.

Alison Oliver commented: "Where someone dies in the UK, their estate can be subject to IHT at the rate of 40% on amounts over £325,000. Given a level of wealth similar to someone of popular fame, a will that is not properly considered could leave those set to inherit with a sizeable tax bill."

Bishop Fleming's probate team helps relatives to sort through the burdens of dealing with an estate, including dealing with the tax issues.

Ms Oliver explained: "Proper planning and clarity over what is meant to happen to an estate is not only a tax-saving measure, but also an act of kindness towards loved ones who will be saved the confusion and upset likely to be the case where a will is out of date or not properly thought through, or even worse, does not even exist."

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