Blog: Why is inheritance tax planning still important?

The inheritance tax threshold is frozen until 2026 – but why is inheritance tax planning still important? If you intend to leave savings, property or other assets to family or friends after you die, you need to consider inheritance tax (IHT). It could cost your heirs up to 40% of their inheritance. By planning ahead, you can minimise IHT and ensure as much of your estate as possible reaches your loved ones. Understanding the tax-free allowance The tax-free inheritance allowance, known as the nil-rate band, allows your beneficiaries to inherit…

Blog: Dealing with inheritance disputes

Dealing with inheritance disputes may have arisen in response to soaring property prices, second marriages, and blended families, with relatives more likely to feel they are missing out, but the courts are pushing back on frivolous claims and obstructive family members.  Such disputes once seemed the preserve of celebrities and the wealthy, such as the former lover of singer George Michael who was reported to be planning a claim against the singer’s estate recently, but research carried out by Direct Line found that a quarter of people would be prepared…

Blog: Why cohabiting couples must consider estate planning

Millions of couples across the UK are choosing to forego marriage and live as cohabitees. Why must cohabiting couples consider estate planning? Without proper estate planning, they could be putting their finances at risk. Unlike their married counterparts, unmarried couples have no automatic right to inherit from each other. However, with proper estate planning, you can ensure your cohabiting partner is properly provided for should you pass away. This article looks at some of the important estate planning matters all cohabiting couples should consider. Write a will The most straightforward…

Blog: Farming succession planning: a quick guide

Farming succession planning is an essential part of running a family farm business. Effectively planning for the future allows you to protect your assets, safeguard your business, ensure continuity and provide for your family.Succession planning in the farming industry is also vital to the sector's viability as a whole. In this post, we look at some of the key things you need to consider when succession planning for your farming estate. Farming succession planning explained Succession planning isn't just about planning your retirement but ensuring a smooth transition for those…

A quick guide to Self-Assessment tax returns and coronavirus schemes

The coronavirus outbreak has had an unprecedented impact on businesses and individuals. If you are self-employed, you may be concerned about paying your Self-Assessment tax bill due on 31 January 2021. In this post, we look at some of your options and government schemes set up to help businesses during the pandemic. What if I have tax payments due? If you currently owe tax from previous years, but your business is having difficulties with cash flow, you can contact the HMRC coronavirus helpline (0800 024 1222). They may be able…

What investors, savers and homeowners should consider to protect their finances

At the beginning of the year, we could not fathom the impact the COVID-19 pandemic would have on the way we work and live - not to mention our savings, investments, and day-to-day finances. The UK is now in recession - the biggest on record. There have been monumental swings in the stock market and in the price of almost every other asset including property, bonds, oil, and gold. Companies have been forced to cut and cancel dividends, with many concerned that they may even go out of business altogether.…

How will my loved ones access my estate in England when I live overseas and non-UK domiciled?

With the changes of Brexit and an increasing number of people choosing to retire and live abroad, it is becoming very common that they keep their assets in England for a “rainy day”!  But how would their loved ones access the English estate when they are domiciled abroad? Much will depend on where the deceased was permanently living at the date of their death.  In order to administer an estate of a person, the Executors or Administrators would need to extract a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration from…

How to deal with an estate as an executor during the coronavirus pandemic

Adjusting to the challenges caused by coronavirus has been difficult for all of us. However, for those dealing with the death of a loved one, the onerous obligations placed on executors may seem overwhelming. In recent years there has been an increase in the number of claims brought against executors by beneficiaries. Coupled with increased financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, it is vital that executors understand their duties and obligations to avoid claims. In this article we set out what is required of executors, and how…

Wills and Lasting Powers of attorney – Is now a good time?

Coronavirus has caused a lot of chaos and it has been a very turbulent time for us all. What is evidently clear is that everyone is in the same situation and it is entirely natural to feel concerned about the impact on your family and your finances during this time. You can take control of the situation and your future in your own hands by drawing up a Will and making Lasting Powers of Attorney, to ensure that you have peace of mind and have secured the future of your…

Can I still create or amend a Will during lockdown?

Creating a new Will, or amending an existing Will is one of the hot topics during the Covid-19 lockdown, and it is very important that everyone makes the decision to ensure that their Will is up to date. But how do you create a new Will, or amend an existing Will during lockdown? The requirements for creating and amending Wills are contained in legislation that dates back nearly 200 years, to the Wills Act 1837. This Act requires that in order for a Will to be valid it must be…

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