Sisters challenge IHT rules
80-year olds take case to European court
Controversial tax rules which allow gay and lesbian partners the same
inheritance rights as married couples will be challenged by two sisters in their
eighties, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Joyce and Sybil Burden, aged 88 and 81 respectively, will have their case
heard before the European Court of Human Rights this month.
The two sisters fear that when one of them dies, the other will face a hefty
tax bill on their house, near Marlborough, Wiltshire, which they inherited from
The house is valued at £875,000 and one of the sisters will have an IHT bill of
£236,000 when the other dies. The house only cost £8,000 when it was built in
Currently the law says that property left by one spouse to the other or
inherited by a civil partner is exempt from the tax. However, close relatives,
such as siblings and descendants, are not eligible to register as civil
The sister have never married and have lived together all their lives. and
made wills in favour of each other.