Shorter Reads

Professor Stephen Hawking’s estate: Acceptance in Lieu in action

Professor Stephen Hawking’s estate offers historical archives in lieu of inheritance tax

1 minute read

Published 28 May 2021

Authors

Share

Key information

  • Specialisms
  • Private Wealth
  • Services
  • UK trusts, tax and estate planning
  • Sectors
  • Media arts and culture

The estate of the late Professor Stephen Hawking has reached an agreement with the University Library in Cambridge and the Science Museum Group for Hawking’s archives and the contents of his office  (including not only scientific papers but letters from Bill and Hilary Clinton) to be preserved for posterity.  This was achieved using the “Acceptance in Lieu” scheme whereby these items were given to the relevant institutions in lieu of inheritance tax.

The Acceptance in Lieu scheme is not restricted to solely “artistic” objects.  The scheme guidelines make clear that objects “of pre-eminent importance on the grounds of their national, scientific, historic or artistic interest” can be eligible to be offered in lieu of inheritance tax.  In this instance, it is clear that Professor Hawking’s papers have not only scientific but also historic significance given his high profile as perhaps the most famous British scientist of his generation.

Although the estate of Professor Hawking is a particularly prominent example of the Acceptance in Lieu scheme in action, the scheme is not just reserved for estates of those individuals in the public eye.  Any estate with items that could be considered “pre-eminent” in some cultural way could benefit from the scheme.  The Arts Council of England will consider a number of factors, including: are the items pre-eminent in a British context specifically? Are there equivalent or better items already preserved for the public (e.g. you may have an unremarkable work by a remarkable artist)? How do you value something that has no direct comparison?

If you would like to learn more about the Acceptance in Lieu scheme, the first episode of  The Fine Art of Probate podcast from Collyer Bristow explores the topic in some detail with James Cook, Partner in our Private Wealth team, and Charles Cochrane of Cochrane Adams Fine Art.

 

Message us on WhatsApp

Related latest updates
PREV NEXT

Related content

Arrow Back to Insights

Shorter Reads

Professor Stephen Hawking’s estate: Acceptance in Lieu in action

Professor Stephen Hawking’s estate offers historical archives in lieu of inheritance tax

Published 28 May 2021

Associated sectors / services

Authors

The estate of the late Professor Stephen Hawking has reached an agreement with the University Library in Cambridge and the Science Museum Group for Hawking’s archives and the contents of his office  (including not only scientific papers but letters from Bill and Hilary Clinton) to be preserved for posterity.  This was achieved using the “Acceptance in Lieu” scheme whereby these items were given to the relevant institutions in lieu of inheritance tax.

The Acceptance in Lieu scheme is not restricted to solely “artistic” objects.  The scheme guidelines make clear that objects “of pre-eminent importance on the grounds of their national, scientific, historic or artistic interest” can be eligible to be offered in lieu of inheritance tax.  In this instance, it is clear that Professor Hawking’s papers have not only scientific but also historic significance given his high profile as perhaps the most famous British scientist of his generation.

Although the estate of Professor Hawking is a particularly prominent example of the Acceptance in Lieu scheme in action, the scheme is not just reserved for estates of those individuals in the public eye.  Any estate with items that could be considered “pre-eminent” in some cultural way could benefit from the scheme.  The Arts Council of England will consider a number of factors, including: are the items pre-eminent in a British context specifically? Are there equivalent or better items already preserved for the public (e.g. you may have an unremarkable work by a remarkable artist)? How do you value something that has no direct comparison?

If you would like to learn more about the Acceptance in Lieu scheme, the first episode of  The Fine Art of Probate podcast from Collyer Bristow explores the topic in some detail with James Cook, Partner in our Private Wealth team, and Charles Cochrane of Cochrane Adams Fine Art.

 

Associated sectors / services

Authors

Need some more information? Make an enquiry below.

    Subscribe

    Please add your details and your areas of interest below

    Specialist sectors:

    Legal services:

    Other information:

    Jurisdictions of interest to you (other than UK):

    Enjoy reading our articles? why not subscribe to notifications so you’ll never miss one?

    Subscribe to our articles

    Message us on WhatsApp

    Please note that Collyer Bristow provides this service during office hours for general information and enquiries only and that no legal or other professional advice will be provided over the WhatsApp platform. Please also note that if you choose to use this platform your personal data is likely to be processed outside the UK and EEA, including in the US. Appropriate legal or other professional opinion should be taken before taking or omitting to take any action in respect of any specific problem. Collyer Bristow LLP accepts no liability for any loss or damage which may arise from reliance on information provided. All information will be deleted immediately upon completion of a conversation.

    I accept Close

    Close
    Scroll up
    ExpandNeed some help?Toggle

    Get in touch

    Get in touch using our form below.