Veteran TV star reportedly passes on fortune to Wilnelia Merced, avoiding inheritance tax
Bruce Forsyth has left his entire fortune to his wife to avoid inheritance tax, it has been reported.
Sir Bruce’s third wife, former Miss World Wilnelia Merced, inherits £17m from the television presenter, who died on Friday aged 89.
A source told the Daily Star on Sunday: “Bruce hated the idea of his estate getting devalued by inheritance tax and spoke about that publicly before his death.
Sir Bruce leaves behind six children, nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Once his fortune is transferred, Ms Merced will be able to transfer up to £650,000 to each relative tax free.
Speaking to the Radio Times in 2015, he described inheritance tax as “a bit over the top”.
He told the publication: “I think your inheritance should go to your children more than back to the country that you’ve lived in.
“I’m not saying you don’t owe the country something, of course you owe your country a lot for living there all those years. But I think it can be a bit over the top.’
Sir Bruce’s career began when he was just 14 and spanned more than 75 years.
Considered a veteran of British television, he was at one time Britain’s highest-paid TV star after hosting a string of popular game shows including Play Your Cards Right and The Price is Right.
He is known for presenting BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing alongside Tess Daly, before leaving due to ill-health in 2015.
Ms Merced is now the sole director of Sir Bruce’s company, Bruce Forsyth Enterprises, said to be worth more than £6.2m.
His home in Surrey is worth an estimated £4m, and he also owned two properties in Puerto Rico estimated at £4m in total.
He never claimed his basic state pension
THE INDEPENDENT – 21.08.17