Mum and Dad need to get with it

Parents who help their children get on the property ladder are being urged to adopt a more professional approach when it comes to handing over the cash.  Faced with high rental costs and soaring property prices, more parents are dipping into savings or releasing capital from their own property to support the next generation. Research by Legal & General estimates that a massive £6.3bn was provided last year by the Bank of Mum and Dad – or BoMaD - as it’s known.  The figure effectively makes BoMaD the 11th largest mortgage…

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…

Feathering new nests for fledglings

Exam results have been released and new students know where they will be heading for university.  Following the relief of results day, the next big headache for parents is often the search for accommodation, whether for first-timers or returning students. Faced with high rental costs, shortages and sometimes poor-quality student digs in many cities, increasing numbers of parents are investigating the option of buying property instead of renting, but the different options can make it a minefield.  Explained Property legal expert, Jeremy Lewis of Bowling & Co Solicitors: “For parents…

Inheritance tax – could the rising value of houses push more ordinary people into the inheritance tax bracket?

The last thing you want to think about when you’re mourning the passing of a loved one is divvying up the estate (including the taxman’s cut). However, because of the rise in value of property in the UK, more people are finding that they fall into the inheritance tax bracket, and are getting hit with an inheritance tax bill they were not expecting. What is inheritance tax? It’s exactly what it says – a tax on the estate (including property, possessions and any money) of a deceased person. Thresholds are…

Where there’s a Will, there’s a way

When thinking of making a will, the idea of a Victorian lawyer taking down the last instructions at the bedside still springs to mind for many people. And the 19th century lawyer would find things pretty much as they were if they time travelled to 2017, but a major change to how people can say what should happen after their death is likely to happen soon. If the proposals from the Law Commission get the go ahead, the law is likely to catch up with technology, and in future we…

Maximising your opportunities for inheritance tax reliefs

As the end of the tax year approaches on 5th April, it's a good time to make sure you're maximising your opportunities for inheritance tax reliefs.  This year, as well as taking advantage of exempt lifetime gifts and transfers, property owners should also look at how the new transferable residence nil rate band fits their profile. The Residential Property Nil Rate Band Under the new rules, when a person leaves a residential property to direct descendants there will be an additional nil-rate band for inheritance tax purposes – the transferable…

Unmarried couples need to protect themselves

A landmark victory in the Supreme Court has seen a Northern Ireland woman win a share of her former partner’s pension, with commentators saying it’s likely to add impetus to the drive for greater rights for unmarried couples.  But, in the meantime, cohabitees should face up and formalise arrangements, rather than keeping their fingers crossed.   The victory of Denise Brewster involved her claim for a survivor’s pension after her long-term, live-in partner Lenny McMullan died suddenly, shortly after they had become engaged.  He had paid into Northern Ireland’s local…

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…

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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