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Private Client blog

Opinions and insights from our private client team

 

Proposed off-payroll working changes

Carolyn Byrne
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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?

Jennifer Valentine
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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...

What to do if someone dies abroad

Rhiannon Coleman
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When a loved one dies abroad it can be difficult to know where to start, particularly if you are new to the estate administration process and are having to deal with an unfamiliar system in stressful circumstances. Who should you inform when someone dies...

Changes to Capital Gains Tax on the sale of residential property

Carolyn Byrne
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Thinking of selling your home? Don’t get caught out by the latest changes to Capital Gains Tax from HMRC. In this blog, Carolyn Byrne highlights the key facts and explains who needs to be the most vigilant when it comes to future property sales. ...

DIY probate VS using a lawyer

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DIY probate application Much has been written and spoken about the proposed hike in probate fees recently – likely to cost families, they say, £145m in the first year.  ‘They’ say the reason for the increase is to modernise...

Bereavement and estate administration - are you struggling to know where to start?

Esther Woodhouse
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Bereavement is an emotive subject and certainly not something any of us likes to talk about but, sadly, it is an inevitable fact of life.  When this actually happens to your family or a close friend there is undoubtedly nothing that can fully prepare...

Grant of probate fees are expected to rise

Tamsyn Lees
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Following Elizabeth Young’ s blog back in November 2018 , an increase in fees for applying for a grant of probate is still expected - but not for a least another 21 days. So, in preparation, what will this mean for executors making an application...

Inheritance Tax hacks - plan now to reduce your liability

Elizabeth Young
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Much of my time is spent advising on Inheritance Tax (IHT) and the ways in which people can reduce their liability. After all, IHT is very often viewed as a voluntary tax as there are legitimate ways in which the liability can be reduced and, in some cases,...

Understanding the role of an executor

Naomi Message
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End of life planning is something that we all have to do. As an individual, a will is arguably one of the most important documents we have to create, so it's worth taking the time to get it right and understand the different elements.   It is...

Digital probate service: DIY probate

Esther Woodhouse
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Since 2017, HM Courts and Tribunal Services (HMCTS) have offered an online service enabling individuals to apply for a grant of probate in a deceased’s estate, providing certain criteria were met. HMCTS have now updated the system, now allowing...

The OTS releases its first report on the review into Inheritance Tax

Ben Taylor
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The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has released its first report on the review into Inheritance Tax (IHT). This first report comments on the administrative complexities of IHT which, surprisingly from a lawyer’s perspective, were the most...

A tax on the bereaved: increased probate court fees

Elizabeth Young
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A banded system for probate court fees, tantamount to “a tax on the bereaved”, is back on the agenda for the government following their last ‘U’ turn on this topic in the run up to the last general election. The increases have been...

The importance of guardianship

Tamsyn Lees
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Considering the worst case scenario is not always easy to do. However, when you have children it is important to think about who would care for them if the worst should happen to you. It cannot always be assumed that if the worst case scenario occurred...

OTS reviews Inheritance Tax

Ben Taylor
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In February I wrote about the importance of reviewing your will  and, in particular, about the need to stay on top of changes to the tax regime which might affect your estate planning (for those who missed it you can read it here ). As we near the...

Should relatives be allowed to enter civil partnerships to benefit from Inheritance Tax exemption?

Naomi Message
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In the days of ever increasing property values, but where the amount a person can pass to anyone free from Inheritance Tax on their death has been frozen for almost 10 years, should we be looking to protect the assets of those co-dependent on one...

Things you need to think about when making a will

Naomi Message
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Having met with clients to discuss their wishes and concerns and to take will instructions over a number of years, the same or similar initial questions often come up.  What is a will? A will is a legal document which takes effect on death.  A...

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