The life stages that go into legacy making

Record property values and family structures make inheritance planning a growing issue yet research1 shows that more than half of adult in the UK do not have a Will in place, with the figure rising to almost 60% among parents. The researchers also found that of those who had made a will, many who had experienced a significant life event, such as marriage or having a baby, had not done anything to update it. But having a will setting out what you wish to happen for your children is the…

What is the Residential Nil Rate Band? (RNRB)

From 6 April 2017, the Residential Nil Rate Band (RNRB) will be available for residences inherited by direct descendants (see below) in addition to the existing Nil-Rate Band (NRB) which is currently £325,000. From 2017/18 the RNRB will be phased in, at this point the sum which will be able to be claimed is £100,000, increasing by £25,000 each year until 2020/21 when it reaches £175,000. The current rate of NRB will be frozen at £325,000.00 during this period. As with the NRB, any unused RNRB can be transferred to…

Lasting power of Attorney

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a way of giving someone that you trust the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf if you lack mental capacity or if you no longer wish to make decisions for yourself. There are two types of LPA, for financial decisions and for health and welfare decisions. The criteria for someone wishing to make an LPA for both types of LPAs are quite straightforward, they must be any person aged 18 or over and the person wishing to make an LPA must…

Courts cost rule sets precedents for family disputes over Wills

The High Court has handed down a costs judgement, setting a precedent that costs orders will be made by the court against claimants who pursue weak Will challenges, act obstructively, cause delay and increase costs without incurring costs themselves. Kenneth Jordan died in 2012 leaving his entire estate to his mistress Ms Elliot. Ms Simmonds, the illegitimate child of the self-made millionaire, claimed that his 2012 Will was invalid for lack of capacity, knowledge and approval and undue influence. Ms Simmonds further alleged a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for…

How will the new state pension affect you?

The new state pension arrived in April 2016, introducing a new single-tier system to replace the old basic rate plus additional credits structure. However, not everyone will get the same flat rate – with some set to be worse off than under the old system. 6 April 2016 saw the start of this simplified state pension, where a single rate replaced the system where for some people, the basic rate was topped up with a second pension. This new, single-tier structure will also make providing pensions cheaper for the government…

The devilish detail on inheritance tax

In last summer’s Budget speech, significant changes to inheritance tax (IHT) were announced. This related to a new allowance for those who own their home and want to leave it to their children. For these homeowners, a transferable Residence Nil Rate Band allowance (RNRB) will be introduced from April 2017. However, the Treasury have tried to address a number of objections to the Chancellor’s original proposals. The Government came back with amendments to the Finance Bill to clarify the treatment of family homes left in trust, to extend the scope…

A potential rise in probate fees and how it could affect you

A consultation is to be heard on the 1 April 2016 which aims to set out the Government’s reform proposal regarding the fee payable for an application for a Grant of Probate. The Grant of Probate is a document which confirms that the Executors have the authority to deal with the deceased person’s assets. New Proposals The proposed move sees a change from the traditional flat fee to that of a banded fee approach, which means that the fee is proportionate to the value of the estate. The flat fee costs…

Property prices help fuel family inheritance court battles

Rising property prices are helping to fuel increased numbers of inheritance disputes reaching the courts, with second marriages another major contributory factor. Such challenges are no longer the preserve of the wealthy, although they continue to feature highly. Recent cases hitting the headlines have included the family fall-out following the death of the billionaire owner of Sotheby’s, Alfred Tauber, through to a court case over a £600,000 estate destined for good causes, where the will was unclear. The trend towards higher numbers of inheritance disputes has been attributed to a…

Disinherited daughter receives £164,000 inheritance

In the recent, and heavily publicised case of Ilott v Mitson a woman's disinherited daughter has received £164,000 from her estate. The case involved the estate of the late Melita Jackson and her daughter Heather. Heather had left home at 17 and had not been in contact with her mother for some 26 years and had been excluded from her late mother's will. Ms Jackson had left her entire £486,000 estate to various charities, however, her daughter applied under the Inheritance (Provisions for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 stating that the will failed to…

Top FAQs from clients when making a will

Making a will is often overlooked and its importance underestimated. Regardless of the size of your estate you leave behind, a will can operate to dispose of it in accordance with your wishes. Below are a few of the most frequently asked questions from clients, answered by us, to hopefully shed some light on this often unspoken subject. I'm married with children - what happens to my estate if I don't make a will? If you have assets of less than £250,000, and die intestate (without making a will), then…

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