The cost of dying index

Forget about the `cost of living`, the `cost of dying` has increased substantially for many in the UK. Because of large increase in the cost of real estate over recent years, the proportion of properties in Britain that have now fallen into the net of `death duties` (inheritance tax) has gone up from 13.5% to 20% in just five years. And remember when the final tax bill is calculated, the value of the goods, chattels, bank accounts and investments left in the deceased’s estate are added to the taxable total.

This increase is because the threshold of this 40% tax, £325,000, hasn’t changed since 2009. What  a devious way to to raise the tax take. Last years receipts of £3.4 billion have gone up 20% over the intervening five years. London and the South East are hardest hit of course: 47% of London houses and 27% of SE houses are now over the threshold. In Kensington and Chelsea 96% of properties are hit.

Canada, with no estate taxes, is looking increasingly attractive to elderly British high net worth individuals, who because of death duties, are contemplating becoming Golden Geese.

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