The Practical Lawyer

Wills, probate and administration

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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Charities Act 2006 – Commencement Order

On 31 January 2009, the Charities Act 2006 (Commencement No. 5, Transitional and Transitory Provisions and Savings) Order 2008 was enacted. The provisions of the Charities Act 2006 that came into force are as follows:

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Charities – tax relief

Article 56 EC on the free movement of capital enabled eligible tax deductions on gifts made to charitable bodies in the taxpayer’s state also to be claimed on gifts made to charities within the European Union outside the taxpayer’s state.

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Will – disputed existence

An action was brought by the widow and daughter of the deceased against two charities. The widow had lived apart from the deceased for many years before his death.

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Intestacy – statutory legacy increased

From 1 February 2009 the amount available to a surviving spouse or partner where the deceased dies intestate has been increased from £125,000 to £250,000 where there are children.

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Wills – precedents

We have long been fans of Parker’s Modern Wills Precedents. The latest edition (by Michael Waterworth) is highly recommended.

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