It’s good to be King.
One of many reasons— not having to pay any inheritance taxes.
For example, King Charles III inherited a royal-sized inheritance, as if becoming the King of the United Kingdom wasn’t enough, and it’s primarily tax-free. Charles takes the title of Duke of Lancaster and the corresponding duchy, valued at $750 million and which pulled in $27 million in revenue last year.
King Edward III established the duchy in the 13th century to provide the monarch with a stable income, which passed from monarch to monarch. It has succeeded.
An amendment to royal inheritance law was made in 1993 to safeguard the royal family’s assets from being wiped out if two monarchs died in a short period. The 1993 deal tried to ensure the monarchy’s wealth and protect the royal family. It’s accomplishing that. The provision was first used when the Queen Mother passed away in 2002. She left millions in artwork, antiques, racehorses, and several estates and castles, all with no inheritance tax, to Queen Elizabeth.
The purpose of the deal was to prevent the British monarchy’s wealth from being chipped away.
Her private estates like Sandringham House and Balmoral Castle, where she died, would otherwise be subject to inheritance tax unless owned in trust.
Among other assets, Charles also now owns the Crown Estate, worth more than $34.3 billion in assets. Prince William benefits too—he inherited the Duchy of Cornwall estate from his father.
Members of the royal family don’t pay the 40% estate tax levied on property valued at more than $377,000, although their constituents do. The Queen voluntarily paid income and capital gains tax since 1993, and royal watchers wonder if King Charles will follow in those footsteps.
You do not have to be a King to want to pay less in estate taxes, nor do you need a King’s ransom. An estate plan incorporating tax planning can help pass wealth onto multiple generations, even if your family doesn’t date to ancient monarchs.
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