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Private Client blog

Opinions and insights from our private client team

 

Witnessing wills during the Coronavirus pandemic - Video Witnessing Update

Naomi Message
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In normal circumstances we strongly recommend a client making a will (“the Testator”) attends the office initially to take will instructions and again to execute their will and have their will witnessed by two members of staff.  Given the...

Trust Registration Service - Updating your records

Ben Taylor
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The administration of a trust is becoming increasingly comparable to that of a company, with the Trust Registration Service (TRS) and the responsibilities of trustees in respect of that, comparable to those for Companies House. Trustees are required to...

One house or two? - Multiple Dwellings Relief

Ben Taylor
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Multiple Dwellings Relief (MDR) is an important relief for Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT), where a purchaser acquires more than one dwelling as part of a transaction, or where there is a single dwelling purchase, but it is linked to at least one other...

Key changes to probate applications during the Coronavirus pandemic

Naomi Message
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Whilst the requirement for execution of wills remains archaic and unchanged, the pandemic has led to various modernisations of the process surrounding the application for Grants of Probate (along with Grants of Letters of Administration and Grants of Letters...

Should those suffering with coronavirus be allowed to make oral wills during the pandemic?

Naomi Message
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In these strange and unprecedented circumstances Ministers have been urged to use their emergency powers to relax the laws governing the execution of wills during the coronavirus pandemic.  Some campaigners argue those suffering from coronavirus should...

Bereavement - the impact of Covid-19 on families, loved ones and the administration process

Esther Woodhouse
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The effects of Covid-19 and the lockdown across the world is certainly not something that any of us could have ever envisaged or expected to happen during our lifetime. The effects are devastating and widespread, impacting the whole world beyond...

Update on the intestacy rules

Joseph Stoehr
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If someone dies without a will (or without one that is valid), the intestacy rules dictate how much of their estate their partner, children and other relatives inherit. Legislation passed yesterday – the Administration of Estates Act 1925 (Fixed Net...

Recent case rules in favour of agricultural property relief for elderly farmer

Ben Taylor
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The recent case of Charnley and another v HMRC [2019] has seen the law firmly placed on the side of the farmer in this important appeal against HMRC. Ben Taylor, solicitor at Roythornes Solicitors , looks at why this is significant. Grazing...

What happens if I have no will?

Joseph Stoehr
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If you don’t have a will yet, you’re not alone.  It was recently estimated that somewhere between 50% and 60% of adults in the UK do not have one.  Many assume their loved ones will automatically inherit their estate - but...

A space to live or just a space?

Paul Thompson
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A taxpayer has won an important victory over HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in a case involving a claim for principal private residence (PPR) relief.  Had HMRC’s view been upheld it would have meant that it was possible to “occupy” a...

Computer says no?

Paul Thompson
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Whilst some of us were spending Halloween ‘trick or treating’, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) were carving out a Technical Note which sought the introduction of legislation to confirm the legitimacy of using automated processes for serving...

Recommendations for the Residence Nil Rate Band

Abbie Boon
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A chapter in the recent Office of Tax Simplification’s (OTS) report, “Simplifying Inheritance Tax”, is dedicated to the Residence Nil Rate Band. This was much anticipated by our Private Client team as it is a complex area of Inheritance Tax...

New year - new Trust Registration Service

Paul Thompson
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Trustees need to be aware of changes to HM Revenue & Customs’ existing Trust Registration Service (TRS) that are due to come into force early next year and which may have a wide-reaching impact upon trust compliance requirements.  Background...

FAQs: Lasting Powers of Attorney

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Most of us understand the importance of making a will in order to ensure that our affairs are taken care of as we intended on our death.  However, less of us consider the importance of Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) and what would happen if we are no...

Proposed off-payroll working changes

Paul Thompson
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Whilst the uncertainties and dramas surrounding Brexit seem to be dominating the attention of Parliament (and the headlines!), in the background the draft Finance Bill 2019/20 is slowly making the rounds.  The bill contains important changes to...

Homemade wills - worth the risk?

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A will is one of the most important documents you will ever make, but many people are turning their back on the conventional method of seeing a solicitor and, instead, preparing their own homemade versions.  Although homemade wills are inexpensive, the...

Non-Contentious Probate Fees Order 2018 - a sigh of relief?

Esther Woodhouse
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As Brexit continues to take centre stage in the headlines and with the recent discontinuation of Parliament, it is not surprising that the Non-Contentious Probate Fees Order 2018 has been languishing in the House of Commons since April 2019.  However,...

"Terrible burden" to be lifted from families with missing relatives

Elizabeth Young
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The long-awaited introduction of The Guardianship (Missing Persons) Act 2017 will relieve “a terrible burden” on the families of missing people. Introduced in July 2019, the Act is intended to relieve the legal burden on the families of...

Buying and selling your home: Capital Gains Tax and Stamp Duty Land Tax

Ben Taylor
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When it comes to buying or selling your home , there are two important taxes to bear in mind: Capital Gains Tax (CGT) and Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). Recent case law has highlighted arguably a growing difference in the approach to these taxes at HMRC in...

A parents' guide to assisting a child in a house purchase

Abbie Boon
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With the average house price having increased over 40% over the last 10 years*, it is increasingly common for loved ones to assist when buying property . It is important that the terms of this assistance are agreed in principle, advice taken and terms...

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