Wills, probate, tax and trusts

ISAs – not so boring after all!

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It is fair to say that most people have an ISA. Why wouldn't you? It's a straightforward, usually low-risk way of investing your money. ISAs are a good first step to saving as they are simple to manage and have tax benefits. More …

Digital Currencies: Issues for your tax and estate planning

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Digital or crypto-currencies, the most common being Bitcoins, seem to be in the news every day, whether it’s a report of how their value has seen a mammoth rise (and a reasonably hefty fall), or governments raising concerns about their use and their current lack of regulation. This doesn't seem to have turned investors off, with a recent estimate considering that Bitcoins may have made between 20,000 and 200,000 people millionaires in the last few years! If you are thinking about or already hold investments in digital currency, there are a number of things to bear in mind in respect of your tax and estate planning. More …

Your Will and a Transgender Beneficiary

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As people transition from one gender to the other, how might this affect a person’s Will, in particular, will a change of gender or accompanying change of name cause a problem. More …

Have you updated your will in the light of the Residence Nil Rate Band?

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On 6 April 2017 an additional inheritance tax relief known as the Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB) was introduced. This may have reduced inheritance tax for many, but the provisions are complex, as highlighted by the Chancellor Philip Hammond's recent call for the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) to review the UK’s inheritance tax regime, and outline ways in which the tax can be simplified. More …

How your ability to understand your Will may affect your ability to say "I do"

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Claims that a Will is invalid because a person did not have the ability, or testamentary capacity, to make it are now familiar. However the test of capacity varies depending on the situation and the recent Court of Protection case of Re DMM [2017] EWCOP 32 and 33 questioned the legal test for the capacity to marry and in particular whether it required the person to understand that marriage would automatically revoke their Will. More …

Refunds for Power of Attorney Fees

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It is not often that solicitors write about refunds but we have good news for anyone who applied to register a power of attorney between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017. More …

Do I need (help with obtaining) probate? And what else should I consider?

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When a friend or loved one dies, and after the funeral and grieving time, a general (but important) question may be: what (if anything) do I do next? Is probate required? More …

The (Copy) right to Break the Royal Seal

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There was an interesting application to the Family Court recently for the purposes of releasing the will and codicil of HRH the Duke of Windsor from a sealed envelope for the purposes of copying the contents to confirm the copyright owner of the literary work contained within. More …

Will going digital simplify probate applications?

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Dealing with someone's estate can be complicated and often involves lots of paperwork. Will the Probate Registry's online service save applicants time and money? Read our article below and decide for yourself. More …

SDLT 3% surcharge on inherited properties

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The 3% stamp duty land tax (SDLT) surcharge can now apply to additional residential properties including those inherited. More …