Springfords LLP blog

Some news, views and comments about everything and anything, relevant and irreverent.

IHT : The Final Curtain

12 January 2017

With 2016 providing a conveyor belt of celebrities performing their last act, we thought that 2017 should start with an encore for which we all should be planning. January may be the time for sales and impulse buying, but when it comes to Inheritance Tax Planning, whether you’re a mega star or micro-celeb, you really should try before you die.

Death and taxes may be the only two certainties in life, but we know that taxes on death is the often forgotten addition to that trident of realities. If the shock of misplaced condolences from Buffy star Sarah Michelle Gellar didn’t actually slay Boy George, then the good karma of being mistaken for George Michael may have actually rubbed off on the eighties star, and made him think again about just what needs to be in place if you really don’t want to hurt the ones you leave behind.

The thought of putting your affairs in order years and years before your demise is about as appealing as a karaoke rendition of The Final Countdown, but if Joey Tempest and the rest of Europe have any sense, they’ll already have their IHT planning in place, long before those flowing locks turn a frazzled grey. Actually, most rock bands from that generation have probably already gone grey if they haven’t all just f-f-faded away.

Of all the young dudes who took the stairway to heaven in the last year, George Michael should be held up as a father figure to us all. The singer may have died young and stayed pretty, but he had faith enough to lay out plans that will see his estate distributed to those he’d choose, and the many charities he discretely supported in life. Tax liabilities will be minimised.

You don’t have to be rich, to be on the IHT list, as dearly departed Prince may have said in an early draft of Kiss. However the pop poppet didn’t take his own advice, and it’s likely that much of his estimated $300m estate will end up in the coffers of the tax authorities. Prince wasn’t a client of Springfords, but if he had peered over our reception desk, we’d have started him off with a plan to put his affairs in order as soon as possible.

Here, in the rock and roll offices of Springfords, we’ve been laying down the backing tracks to what we call “Inhertiance Tax Planning 2017”. Chances are, it won’t trend on Twitter, nor go supersonic on Spotify, but we think it’s a catchy melody everyone should be humming before the month is out.

There’s no end of reports and speculation that the 2016 trend for famous names to finalise their demise will continue in 2017. What we’d like to see is more of them shuffling off without the ignominy left behind for their nearest and dearest to sell off everything bar the memory of their mortal coil in order to settle excessive tax bills, due to insufficient planning.

Whether you’re touched by greatness, or live the quiet life in the ordinary world, Inheritance Tax Planning is the hit you can leave behind for your nearest and dearest adoring fans to enjoy long after you’ve done your Elvis and left the building, permanently.

Leaving everyone else to sort it out is no way to say goodbye. Contrary to popular belief, planning ahead won’t actually cause anything bad to happen. Quite the opposite in fact. So start your planning now and Leonard Cohen will look down on you and say “Hallelujah”.

About the Springfords blog

springfords blog

Some news, views and comments about everything and anything, relevant and irreverent.

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