Only joking but can it be long before a headline like this makes it into the tabloids. Many well-off people face large inheritance tax bills but do not have the resources or the know-how available to the Dukes of Westminster of this world. And therefore they face enormous inheritance tax bills. The one simple exemption for inheritance tax is where you leave everything to your spouse. We have heard anecdotes about elderly single men marrying cousins or close friends much younger than themselves knowing that the “spouse” will do what is expected when the time comes. Will HMRC challenge exemptions applied in these cases and if so on what grounds?
As far as the legislation is concerned all that is required is a valid marriage or civil partnership.