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Scottish Succession Bill 2016

February 25, 2016 | Wills and Probate

The Succession (Scotland) Bill 2016 has made significant changes to succession law in Scotland. The headline change is that the Bill excludes an ex-spouse or civil partner from inheriting under a will made before divorce or dissolution, by treating them as though they passed away before the deceased. It also cancels any appointment of the(Read more)

HMRC’s Direct Recovery of Debts and Vulnerable Taxpayers

February 25, 2016 | Wills and Probate

In February 2016, HMRC published a policy paper setting out additional safeguards that have been put in place following consultation in regard to its Direct Recovery of Debt process. The paper confirms that HMRC will not use its power to enforce payment from those who have been identified as ‘vulnerable customers’. An HMRC officer will(Read more)

The Finance Act 2015 and Inheriting ISAs

February 18, 2016 | Wills and Probate

The last gasp of the Coalition government…. For deaths on or after 3 December 2014, a surviving spouse or civil partner has the benefit of an additional ISA allowance equal to the value of the ISA investments of the deceased spouse at the time of death. A couple of things to note: The surviving spouse(Read more)

Understanding the Residential Nil Rate Band Allowance (‘RNRB’)

February 18, 2016 | Wills and Probate

Another piece of wretched legislation. Very complicated. The sort of thing that makes one want to flee the country, preferably before the new Finance Act 2016 comes into effect which will introduce even more amendments. The basic idea is to give taxpayers (but not all of them) an additional Inheritance Tax allowance in respect of(Read more)

Re C [2015]: The Freedom to Make an Unwise Choice

February 16, 2016 | Wills and Probate

In December 2014, C was diagnosed with breast cancer and in August 2015 went through a bitter relationship breakdown which left her without a home and in a lot of debt. As a result, C tried to commit suicide, and sustained serious damage to her liver and kidneys. This meant that she would require dialysis(Read more)

HM Treasury Consults on Higher SDLT for Second Homes and Buy-to-Let Properties

February 16, 2016 | Residential Property, Wills and Probate

 “A stamp duty land tax surcharge of 3% is to be added to buy-to-let and second homes from 1 April 2016. This means the SDLT for a £275,000 property will increase from £3,750 to £12,000. The move by HM Treasury has been described as 'catastrophic for the private rented sector' by lettings experts. Agents warn(Read more)

Case Summary (Excluded Property and Domicile): Barclays Wealth Trustees (Jersey) Ltd v HMRC [2015] EWHC 2878 (Ch)

February 16, 2016 | Wills and Probate

In this case, a non-domiciled settlor settled excluded property on the trusts of a settlement resident in Jersey. The settlor later became deemed domiciled for inheritance tax purposes, trust property was then transferred to another settlement and sold for cash that constituted UK situs property and transferred back to the first settlement and reinvested in(Read more)

Case Summary (Construction / Rectification of Will): In the Matter of the Estate of Florence Rosemary Harte Deceased [2015] EWHC 2351 (Ch)

February 16, 2016 | Wills and Probate

In this case, the Executors sought the true construction; alternatively, rectification of the Will. The Will had been so badly drafted that there were several issues, principally as to whether the Deceased’s residuary estate should be treated as comprising all of her personal and real property after the payment of debts, funeral and testamentary expenses;(Read more)

Commission Adopts New Rules to Help EU Tax Authorities Exchange Information

February 16, 2016 | Wills and Probate

On 15 December 2015 The European Commission adopted new rules to make it easier for EU Member States’ tax authorities to exchange financial information so that they can ensure full tax transparency and cooperation. The detailed rules mean that the practical arrangements are now in place for the entry into application of the amended  Directive(Read more)

Debts of the Estate

January 29, 2016 | Wills and Probate

We often get asked about personal debts especially where a person died in known financial difficulty. Do the debts die with you or do they live on to burden your family members? The good news is that those left behind are not normally responsible for those debts. The exception here are is if another person(Read more)