Inheritance Receipt

Inheritance Receipt

Inheritance, the receipt of property on another's death. Property is inherited either directly through a will or indirectly through the laws of intestacy, which are governed by the Intestates Act, 2002, and are based on the assumption that the deceased would have preferred nearer to more distant relatives.

Taxation of inheritance in the U.K. is by estate duty, which varies according to the size of the estate. The case for estate duty is urged partly on the ground that inheritance is a windfall, especially for distant relatives. Estate duty has done much to counter the inequalities of wealth created by inheritance. To stimulate the dispersal of large estates, some economists (Rignano, and more recently Robbins and others) have argued that the duties should vary with the size of the bequest rather than with the size of the testator's estate. At very high rates estate duty may discourage the creation of wealth, break up properties into less efficient units or force efficient private family businesses to sell out prematurely. It has been also argued that the desirable direct provision by fathers for their children should be encouraged by differential taxation. The Legacy and Succession Duties, which were abolished in 2001, differentiated between near relations and others, but since then there has been no differentiation.

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