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How Savvy Sir Terry Saved Family Thousands Thanks to Careful Estate Planning

Sir Terry Wogan left just £1m in his will – saving his family from losing out on thousands of pounds with careful estate planning.

The popular radio and television broadcaster,  best known for hosting the BBC Radio 2 breakfast show  and presenting  Children in Need, died last year aged 77.

With earnings peaking at £800,000 a year at one point in his career you might be surprised to hear that he only left a net estate of £1,047,576 to his family. Survived by his two sons, Alan and Mark, and daughter, Katherine, it is thought that the bulk of his estate will be left in his will to his wife of 51 years, Helen.

Through careful planning, Sir Terry was able to give much more than the £1m net value of his estate to his family. Reportedly worth as much as £20m, it is almost certain that he took advice from an inheritance tax solicitor.

To ensure the value of your estate falls below the taxable limits there are a number of tax planning steps you can take, some of which he most likely took too.


If you own assets personally they become a part of your taxable estate. Making changes to the ways you manage your assets can alter the way in which they are controlled upon your death. Alternative ways in which you can hold assets include through a company, a trust or a pension fund.

It is highly likely that before his death Terry Wogan transferred assets to members of his family or into a trust fund.

Residence Nil Rate Band

From 6 April 2017, you will be able to pass on part of the value of your family home to your children without tax charges using this new tax band.

To learn more about how the residence nil rate band will work read: How to Use New Tax Band to Gift Assets to Your Children.

James Beresford is the head of the wills, tax, trusts and probate department at Slater and Gordon.

Call our inheritance tax solicitors on freephone 0800 916 9056 or contact us online.

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