Jade Goody’s marriage to Jack Tweed could have saved her two sons an inheritance tax bill of more than £1m, an expert has said.
Had Goody not married Tweed last month, her estate, estimated at £3m, would have probably been passed directly into trust for her sons Bobby, five, and Freddie, four.
Goody earned about £1m in the months before she died, insisting that she wanted the money to go to her sons so they could enjoy the upbringing she never had.
But according to Andrew Kirby, a senior trust and tax manager at Moore Blatch Solicitors, her marriage to Jack Tweed could have saved that sum alone by avoiding inheritance tax.
If Goody had not wed Tweed, Freddie and Bobby’s trust would been liable to 40% tax on more than £2.68m of her estate, landing it with a bill of £1,075,000.
The 27-year-old Big Brother star’s wedding to Tweed just four weeks before she died from cervical cancer means the money can be passed on through him as a surviving spouse.
This does not mean 21-year-old Tweed has any rights to the estate, as it can still be controlled by the trustees acting for Freddie and Bobby, said Mr Kirby.
What it does facilitate, however, is for the money to be paid over time to Goody’s children without being subject to inheritance tax, the adviser added.
Mr Kirby said: “I have no doubt Jade’s marriage to Jack was |genuine, but the additional |benefit is that Jack can now be used as a conduit by Jade’s trust.
“You have to ask whether it is politically right that a five and four-year-old who have lost their mother to a terminal illness should pay such a large tax bill.
“The way round it is to arrange a death-bed wedding.
“The trustees might even |insure against Jack’s life in case he died before the money was passed over.”
Mr Kirby added: “I think there should be an exemption for |bereaved minors, perhaps even a staggered exemption, because in the ordinary course of events their mother would have been there to provide for them.”