The widow of Tom Makin, heir to the JD Sports empire who died in 2019, is seeking to rescind the gift of a half-share of the £1.8m family home to avoid a large inheritance tax bill.

Kirsty Makin was given the half-stake in 2017, before their marriage in 2018.

Following Mr Makin’s tragic death from bone cancer in 2019, the family realised that the gift would attract an inheritance tax bill of as much as £300,000, because the couple were not married when the transfer took place.

Had Mr Makin had left the property to Mrs. Makin in his will, this would have avoided any tax in the event of his death, as spouses are exempt from inheritance tax.

The executors of Tom’s estate are seeking to persuade the High Court that the gift can be posthumously rescinded. The legal claim is technically against Mr Makin’s parents and his wife, although they are not contesting it.

The claim states: ‘That gift has created a liability for inheritance tax of £300,000 that would not have been incurred had the house been solely owned by Mr Makin and passed under his last will.

‘Mr Makin made the gift by mistake in that he believed that would not create an inheritance tax liability on his death.’ 

The executors are asking for the gift to be officially declared a mistake along with the annulment of any documents indicating the couple were joint tenants of the house.