Private Client Issues – November 2018

Posted by Helen Bunker, 1st November 2018
Welcome to this month’s edition of Private Client Issues, Blake Morgan’s monthly round-up of the topics you may find of interest. Insight and advice on developments affecting private individuals.

Doing nothing is dangerous…

Or at least, it can be when it comes to probate matters – especially on the first death of a couple in a civil partnership or marriage. Blake Morgan considers what may happen if you fail to act to progress a probate or delay matters for a protracted period.

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Do you need a dispute to go to mediation

Many years ago the court used to get involved in every case where there were children and their parents were divorcing. Family mediation seems to see itself as predominantly involved in disputes now. However, Blake Morgan examines a broader use of a mediator, which would be to focus on decision making rather than dispute resolution.

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Online Wills – cheap, but not always cheerful

Recent statistics suggest that as many as 60% of UK adults do not have a Will. Common reasons given include concern over drafting costs and simple procrastination, so some people are opting for the ‘convenient’ cheaper option of online Wills. Blake Morgan looks at the risks of making an online Will.

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Have the recent changes to the Civil Partnership Act gone far enough?

The current position is that marriage and civil partnerships are now available to heterosexual couples, homosexual couples and platonic friends. But what about siblings and other caring relationships, like mother and daughter? Blake Morgan questions if the changes have gone far enough.

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The Chancellor’s Autumn Budget 2018 – Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)

Recent Budgets have brought big changes to the SDLT regime, so no-one quite knew what to expect from Philip Hammond’s 2018 Budget. Blake Morgan’s SDLT specialist, John Shallcross, gives his reaction to the changes proposed by the Chancellor and assesses how closely they match his own pre-Budget predictions.

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Crack down on child maintenance evasion

It has long been a problem that some non-resident parents avoid paying the correct and fair amount of child maintenance, by arranging their financial affairs in a certain way. Blake Morgan examines a recent tribunal decision that suggests that, without sound reasons and substantial evidence, a paying parent voluntarily reducing (on paper) their income risks a finding of unreasonable diversion of income.

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