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Sir Bruce Forsyth died on Friday 18th August aged 89 following a long illness. It is estimated that he had a net wealth of £17 million, which includes his home in Surrey worth around £4 million and his two properties in Puerto Rico estimated at £4 million in total. His wife of 34 years Wilnelia is now the sole director of Sir Bruce’s company Bruce Forsyth Enterprises, said to be worth £6.2 million. It is claimed that he has left his total fortune to Wilnelia.
Current law states that spouses and civil partners can transfer their wealth without being charged with inheritance tax. The present normal IHT rate payable is 40% above £325,000 for a single person and £650,00 for married couples.
It is likely that he left everything to Wilnelia as he trusted her to distribute the wealth among their relatives, and because she can give a significant amount away tax free to their family, this of course means they end up with more. Wilnelia may be able to give up to £650,000 tax free to Sir Bruce’s six children, nine grand children and three great grand children.
Apparently Sir Bruce hated the idea of his estate getting devalued by inheritance tax and spoke about it publicly before his death. Speaking to the Radio Times in 2015 he said “I think your inheritance should go to your children more than back to the country that you’ve lived in. I’m not saying you don’t owe the country something, of course you owe your country a lot for living there all those years. But I think the Inheritance Tax charge can be a bit over the top”
He never claimed his basic state pension.