Legal updates


Do I have to accept an executorship?

27 March 2014

A good friend (or client) of yours has sadly passed away and has named you as an executor of his Will. What do you do now? Must you act? It is always flattering to be trusted with such a responsible role. In some respects, you may feel morally obligated to act. However, it is always […]

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Surplus income gifts and Inheritance Tax: are you fit for the fight?

27 February 2014

UK Inheritance Tax (IHT) is essentially a tax on capital at death but allowing unused income to accumulate over the years, in effect turning itself into chargeable capital, can increase a person’s IHT liability. It is a common misconception that one has to survive all gifts by seven years before the gift will be free […]

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Shall I compare thee to….a trust?

13 February 2014

Novelty is usually a quality to be applauded but not necessarily in the law. When drafting documents, the temptation is to follow the tried and tested route. I was reminded of this recently when I was asked to clarify what type of trust had been created by a will containing the phrase ‘To my trustees […]

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IHT related penalties: a warning for PRs and beneficiaries

5 February 2014

The recent case of Hutchings v HMRC [2015] UKFTT 0009 (TC) will be of interest to anyone acting as executor/administrator of an estate and anyone who is a beneficiary.  Like the sword of Damocles, HMRC was dangling a tax penalty of £87,000 over the heads of both the executors and one of the beneficiaries – […]

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Guest blog: Having property work done – understanding the basics

30 January 2014

Private Wealth law is my specialism but even I have to admit that tax and wills are not the be-all and end-all! We have an enduring love affair with bricks and mortar here in the UK, so for this blog I have invited Gillian Birkby, a partner in our construction practice, to give us some […]

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What a relief!

16 January 2014

The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement last month confirmed that capital gains tax (CGT) is to be extended to UK residential property owned by non-residents. At the time of writing this, we are still waiting for further details in the form of a consultation document. However, I predict that securing CGT Principal Private Residence (PPR) Relief will […]

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Nil Rate Band will trusts: time to review

14 November 2013

This year’s Finance Act introduced some significant constraints on when debts can be deducted for Inheritance Tax (IHT) purposes. The changes should have set alarm bells ringing for any families who are making use of nil rate band will trusts and associated loans. IHT is usually thought of as a tax that applies to a […]

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Married couples and the Koshal case

4 September 2013

The recent case of Koshal (Koshal and another v HMRC [2013]) provides a useful reminder that married couples need to take particular care when it comes to declaring income from most of their jointly owned assets. Whilst husbands and wives are taxed as individual taxpayers, this is a classic example of where a joined up […]

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Intra-family debts and IHT

20 August 2013

The deductibility of debts for inheritance tax (IHT) purposes is a hot topic at the moment, following the changes introduced to IHTA 1984 by this year’s Finance Act.  However, it’s easy to overlook more mundane loans between family members. Not surprisingly, these loans often remain undocumented as they tend to be informal arrangements.  However, that […]

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ATED tax returns

5 August 2013

The final version of the tax return for the new Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings (ATED) has been published by HMRC. So, now is the time to start thinking about whether ATED applies to you or your clients. ATED is only a potential concern if a corporate entity, or a partnership with a corporate member, […]

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