Where a person thinks a valid will or intestacy has resulted in unfairness he or she might consider making a claim under The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 – commonly known as the 1975 Act. The categories of claimants under the 1975 Act include husbands and wives and civil partners of the person who dies; anyone who for the last two years of the deceased’s life was living in the same household as their husband or wife; a child or a child treated as a chil Continue reading
The number of inheritance disputes reaching court appears to increase each year. Often cases attract media attention with great human drama stories. The reality is usually more mundane. Changes in society mean that there are more complex family structures in place and this can make the division of assets between first, second and even third families seem contentious and create feelings of ill will.
Increasing property prices have also meant that what used to be small or mo Continue reading
It certainly is according to recent reports from financial advisers and dementia charities.
Apparently the number of people with dementia in the United Kingdom is set to rise from 850,000 to 1,000,000 by 2025 and to 2,000,000 by 2051. If there is no lasting power of attorney and a person has lost mental capacity to handle his or her own affairs, a deputy is appointed to manage their financial affairs. This could be a friend or a solicitor but it is the Court of Protection Continue reading
These are two topics which can cause great puzzlement to executors and administrators. The recent Government report is worth quoting at length on both these topics.
Taper relief is complicated and not well understood
The tapered rate of Inheritance Tax on lifetime gifts is poorly understood. The OTS has heard that advisers find it difficult to explain taper relief to clients and that many individua Continue reading
Executors are sometimes surprised when they obtain a grant of probate and almost immediately receive a letter from a charitable beneficiary reminding the executor of his or her duties and the fact that the charity will be looking for some money. The charities were so well informed because a firm called Smee & Ford had a lucrative contract with the Government. For many decades they had paid the probate service an annual fee and in return received copies of all wills which were submit Continue reading
The recent publication by The Office of Tax Simplification of the second part of its report on inheritance tax made the headlines in most papers. The most quoted point was the suggestion that the period for the exemption of life time gifts should be reduced from 7 years to 5 years. The Office’s research showed that executors had great difficulty in assembling records for a 7 year period and that often banks do not keep bank statements going that far back. The reduction would be a welc Continue reading