A person cannot validly renounce an entitlement to legal rights until attaining majority. Accordingly, the position of persons under 18 entitled to legitim poses two problems:

(1)The total amount of tax payable on the estate may depend on whether or not legal rights are renounced. This will occur where an exempt bequest to a surviving spouse or civil partner cannot be satisfied in full if legitim is claimed, since the legitim will not be exempt.

(2)Renunciation after attaining 18, but more than two years after the date of the death, would not fulfil the requirements of IHTA 1984, s. 142. Hence, the renunciation would be a transfer of value by the child concerned.

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