Peer proposes charging inheritance tax to beneficiary

Opposition Treasury spokesman Lord Eatwell has proposed charging inheritance tax to recipients of legacies, rather on the estate of the deceased.

The proposal was made during a speech in the House of Lords before Christmas, with Lord Eatwell calling for changes to the current inheritance tax legislation in order for wealth to be distributed more evenly. He explained that the change would help tackle inheritance tax "avoidance" and said the current rules were "unsatisfactory" and had resulted in the growth of a "large avoidance industry".

Most other countries in Europe already operate an inheritance tax system that involves charging beneficiaries. The change would mean that the wealth of the intended beneficiary is considered as opposed to the overall worth of the estate being distributed.

Lord Sassoon, Commercial secretary to the Treasury, responded only by saying that there were no immediate plans to change inheritance tax legislation.

If you live in Northern Ireland and would like to speak to a solicitor about making a Will, estate planning, or on a matter concerning inheritance tax, you can call Wilson Nesbitt solicitors in Belfast or Bangor at 0800 840 9293.