Harrison has last laugh on 'the Taxman' with £100m legacy for his wife and son
Saturday 30 November 2002
The former Beatle George Harrison left his family almost £100m in his will. Probate records published yesterday showed that Harrison, who died of cancer in November last year, left £99,226,700, reduced to £98,916,400 after expenses.
Harrison, who attacked the Inland Revenue in his 1966 song "Taxman", stipulated in his will that the fortune be held in trust by three business advisers to help his family avoid 40 per cent inheritance tax.
The income from his trust will go to his wife Olivia, 54 – now among the richest 300 people in Britain – and to his son Dhani, 25, after her death.
Trustees named in his will, thought to be his solicitor and professional friends, have also been given the power to use capital to buy homes anywhere in the world for the use of his beneficiaries.
Harrison's estate comprises property worth an estimated £40m in Switzerland and Britain, including a £15m mansion near Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, where the musician and his wife were attacked by a knife-wielding intruder in December 1999. The estate is also believed to have the rights to several songs, including the chart- topping "My Sweet Lord", and his 1970 debut solo album All Things Must Pass, as well as income from his part in producing films such as Monty Python's Life of Brian.
Harrison's income was reportedly boosted in the last year of his life, when the success of the Beatles' greatest hits compilation increased his net worth by up to 25 per cent.
"Taxman", from the 1966 album Revolver was written at a time when the Revenue was claiming a huge slice of the Beatles' earnings. He wrote: "Now my advice for those who die/Declare the pennies on your eyes/ Cause I'm the taxman/Yeah, I'm the taxman/And you're working for no one but me."
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