Rik Mayall’s family could face a huge tax bill after the actor and comedian failed to make a will before his untimely death last year.
His wife Barbara Robbin and their three adult children Sidney, Rosie and Bonnie are set to receive a proportion of his £1,192,701 estate, however they could lose a large sum due to government regulations.
Mayall’s lack of a will was revealed in the probate records, leading to speculation that IHT might now be due on his estate – taxes which could have been avoided. Rules around intestacy (when someone dies sans will) mean that assets up to £250,000 go to Mayall’s wife. Anything above that limit will be split 50/50 between his spouse and his kids. If his children’s share is worth more than £325,000 though, the stiff 40% IHT rate comes into effect.
Had Mayall written a will in which all the money went to his wife no tax would be payable on his death. His wife would then be able to add his “nil rate band” to her own, creating the combined £650,000 couples’ allowance.
She would have been able to make other plans to avoid a future IHT bill on her own death, for example by giving assets away to the children while still young enough to survive the gifts for seven years.