Inheritance tax scheme causes family rift

Nick Huber
Freelance journalist
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A bid by a millionaire businessman to avoid inheritance tax after his death has "backfired" and torn his family apart, a court heard.

The efforts of manufacturing tycoon John Barry Wild to shelter his estate provoked a court battle over his legacy that one party to the case said would have made him "turn in his grave”, the Daily Telegraph reported.

When he died at the age of 78 in June 2009 his personal assets included a successful business empire in the West Midlands worth £2.3m, and a country home in Warwickshire worth more than £1m.

He left behind a widow, a son, a daughter and six grandchildren.

Rather than making a traditional will, Wild set up a discretionary family trust to...

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27th Jun 2013 16:24

How on earth did this escape IHT? Is it really that easy?

Thanks (1)
28th Jun 2013 10:23

Business property relief

It looks like the shares put into trust would have qualified for business property relief. It is quite common to use such a trust to allow flexibility to the beneficiaries post death without the need for a deed of variation.

Unless there is more to this I would hardly call it an inheritance tax scheme - more like fairly basic planning.

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28th Jun 2013 12:01


There was actually no real IHT planning involved - transfer to wife is exempt and shares would have had BPR.....simples!!

The only story here is a son who has fallen out with his mother as he felt he wasn't getting anything from her Will and therefore used his position as trustee to cause problems, thus creating high legal costs to sort out.

It would be interesting to see if he is now in her Will!!

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29th Jun 2013 13:34

The variation explains the trust - thanks.

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By hiu612
01st Jul 2013 10:29

Agree with gbuckell

Pretty typical stuff and, with reference to the wording in the article, I'd say that he did make a traditional will. Typical sensationalisation by the media.

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