The Practical Lawyer

Wills, probate and administration

IHT – valuations

A recent decision of the special commissioner seems to signal a change in the principles of valuation of assets for IHT purposes. The asset in question was the right to a life annuity under a discounted gift bond.

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Nil-rate band transfers – HMRC guidance

HMRC have issued new guidance on transfers of the unused IHT nil-band to the surviving spouse or civil partner.

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Charities – tax relief on foreign donations

Giving his opinion in the case of Persche (case C-318/07), Advocate General Mengozzi has suggested that gifts to charities based in other EU countries should benefit from the same tax exemption available to local charities.

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Intestacy – statutory legacies

From 1 February 2009 the statutory legacies due to a surviving spouse or civil partner of an intestate will increase. Where the intestate leaves a spouse and children, the spouse’s legacy will be £250,000 (up from £125,000).

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Letter of wishes – disclosure

The defining character of a letter of wishes in relation to a family discretionary trust is that it contains material that the settlor wants the trustee to take into account when exercising their discretionary powers, that is, to serve what is an inherently confidential process.

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Probate – Practice Advice Service

A reminder that the Law Society’s Practice Advice Service offers assistance with probate queries, including specialist cost-related queries relating to the administration of estates.

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IHT – new form

A new IHT return form IHT400 and supplementary pages was issued on 17 November 2008. It replaces form IHT200, which will remain available until 9 June 2009. After that date the new forms will be compulsory.

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Bankrupt heir – trustee in bankruptcy’s position

A recent decision confirms that where an heir is a bankrupt at the date of death, his or her inheritance is payable to their trustee in bankruptcy. Entitlement to inherit is an asset which comes into existence when the testator dies.

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Wills – will registry launched is launching a will register, endorsed by former Law Society President Kevin Martin and available for wills prepared by regulated professionals.

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Wills – definition of per stirpes

The Privy Council has given guidance on the interpretation of wills generally and the expression per stirpes. Lord Hope explained that the phrase per stirpes as a whole could be taken to mean ‘by family’.

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Most-read articles

Trustees – duty to beneficiaries
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
Trustees cannot simply ignore beneficiaries’ request for information about a trust, the High Court has held. In this case, the trust property was a farm outside Cardiff. Read more...
Conveyancing searches – disbursements?
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
Should electronic property searches be treated as disbursements for VAT purposes? Alternatively, are they part of the legal service provided, and so subject to VAT? Read more...
Professional – update
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
From December 2018 there will be new rules requiring firms to publish prices for conveyancing, probate, motoring offences and immigration, as well as the price for bringing ET claims.  Read more...
Service mistake – discretion?
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
To what extent do you have a duty to point out the other side’s procedural errors (as part of your obligation to comply with the ‘overriding objective’)? Read more...
Exiting the Portal – reasonable
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
Insurers should be very careful about making allegations (for instance, at Stage 2 of the EL/PL Protocol), especially if they could be interpreted as allegations of ‘dishonesty’. Read more...
Airbnb – breach of lease
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
It now seems clear that an Airbnb short let will be in breach of a typical long lease. Read more...
GDPR – data rooms
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
If L is planning to sell a property subject to leases, then almost certainly a data room will be set up containing all relevant documents. Read more...
Rights of way – public
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
There are four categories of public rights of way: Read more...
Financial remedies – company assets
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
A recent ruling illustrates when a court can treat a company-owned asset as as a matrimonial asset. Read more...
GDPR – references
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
GDPR impacts on the giving of references:


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