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Springfords LLP blog

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

Inheritance Tax and the Breakfast DJ

29 March 2017

Terry Wogan, who died last year, had more than a witty turn of phrase behind the microphone in his war chest of talents. Planning ahead made his radio show a seamless joy for millions, and planning ahead for inheritance tax too made seamless the transfer of his considerable estate to those he left behind.

You don’t get to be the most popular personality on British radio without earning a modicum of remuneration. So, it may come as no surprise to learn that the mirth-making Irishman with the compendium of laconic and ironic stories made what he would probably modestly describe himself as a few bob during his decades-long career.

The amiably adopted Irishman presented the Radio 2 breakfast show from around the time that Marconi was a boy, and was the UK host of the Eurovison Song Contest from back in the days when there still was a United Kingdom, and when Boom Bang a Bang was a winning entry and not the sound of the EU commissioners slamming the Berlaymont doors in the faces of British civil servants.

That most civil of servants though, Terry Wobegone, as he often pretended to be mistyped, managed to accrue a fortune that few would grudge, but of which most can only dream. A fortune that, like the inevitable running down of the clock at the end of the show, could find itself ebb away to almost nothing, like an embarrassing fade out, without a well planned script in place to keep things running, right up to the last link, all the way to the “P” of the pips. That, in short, is exactly what the seasoned broadcaster did, with a well-managed inheritance tax strategy that saw his healthy earnings safely invested in a manner that sees the bulk of it remain in the family.

With Inheritance Tax (IHT) kicking in at £325,000, you might be forgiven for uttering the odd blankety blank if your net worth is, like Sir Terrance of Wogan, estimated to be around twenty million. “The price of fame,” as Terry more than once said. “Who in their right mind would want to pay it?”

However, El Tel, as he was never called in Spain, took meticulous and astute advice from his accountants all throughout his career, and made the sort of investment and entrustment decisions that remain open to us all, in order to secure the bulk of his estate for his family, and make sure his own children and grandchildren are not left in need. “Retirement is coming to all of us,” he once said. “As my accountant said to me lately, ‘You’d better think of taking your pension soon, otherwise it won’t be worth your while’.”

We’ll not pretend to be silky smooth radio show hosts, nor unflappable TV presenters, but at Springfords we can cue up your liabilities so you don’t take an inheritance tax hit. None of us know the date of our demise, but that’s no excuse for not taking a few simple steps to make the inevitable less of an unenviable expense for those you’d least like to see pay. As Sir Terry so astutely observed, before one or other Eurovision debacle. “Who knows what hellish future lies ahead? Actually, I do. I’ve seen the rehearsals,”


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

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