Sisters' challenge to 'unfair' IHT laws to go to human rights court

Two sisters who have claimed that the law treats them less advantageously than if they were a lesbian couple will take their challenge of Britain’s laws regarding inheritance tax (IHT) to the European court of human rights, it has been reported.

Joyce and Sybil Burden – both in their eighties – believe that their joint-owned home will have to be sold to cover IHT tax costs upon the death of the first sister. They will plead their case in front of 17 judges in Strasbourg.

IHT laws will likely result in both their estates being taxed upon their deaths, a situation that does not occur for those couples in civil partnerships or marriages, reports the Guardian.

The sisters argue that they should be treated as civil partners as they have lived together their entire lives.

An amendment to the civil partnership bill to extend benefits to family members over the age of 30 who had lived together for at least 12 years passed in the House of Lords was overturned in the Commons.

Civil partnerships have been legal in Scotland since December 5th 2005.