IHT Residence Nil Rate Band: depending on downsizing?

7 September 2017

HMRC have published new guidance covering the downsizing provisions of the Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB) (click here for a link to it). This will be of interest to advisers looking for a relatively straightforward introduction to this aspect of the RNRB which may be suitable for forwarding on to clients. Whenever individuals interested in […]

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Ilott v Mitson Supreme Court decision: UK testamentary freedom reasserted

23 March 2017

Last week, the Supreme Court brought to an end a 13 year legal battle over the late Mrs Jackson’s Will. The Will left virtually all of Mrs Jackson’s assets (some £480,000) to three UK charities, cutting out entirely her only child (Mrs Ilott), who was for many years estranged from her mother but who lived […]

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‘Toxic’ survivorship clauses: does your Will contain one?

12 January 2017

Do you have a survivorship clause in your Will? Chances are you do, if you leave assets to someone outright in your Will. The mischief that these clauses are designed to avoid is this. If A gives a gift to B in his Will and B dies the day after A, B’s estate will get […]

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Corporate beneficial ownership registers – where are we now?

2 June 2016

In my last blog, I looked at automatic exchange of information regimes and this blog carries on the transparency theme but in the sphere of corporate transparency. Britain is ‘having a transparency moment’, as some might say. Regular readers of this blog will know that Britain has already introduced a public register of beneficial ownership […]

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Pension death benefits and spousal bypass trusts: time to review

5 May 2016

April 2015 saw another radical overhaul of the taxation of UK pensions on death. Gone is the 55% tax charge on payment of a lump sum death benefit after death, if the pension member either died after their 75th birthday or died pre-75 having already entered into drawdown. Instead, pension payments from a money purchase […]

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Calling all EU asset owners: you’ve got mail (from Brussels)

3 September 2015

Finally, the EU Succession Regulation (Brussels IV) is fully in force. It’s been a long time coming. Part of it came into effect as long ago as 2012 but in recent months, as 17 August 2015 (‘coming into force’ day) approached, there has been much more discussion about what Brussels IV is going to mean […]

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Nearest but not necessarily the dearest: disinheriting children post Ilott

6 August 2015

The Ilott case has caused a fair degree of furore in the UK press recently. Testamentary freedom in England is sacrosanct in many English citizens’ minds but has the recent Court of Appeal ruling (Ilott v Mitson [2015] EWCA Civ 797) undermined that freedom? And if so, how can anyone ensure that their Will is […]

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The insider’s guide to English Pre-Nuptial Agreements

25 June 2015

English pre-nups (PNAs) are now an important consideration for families intent on protecting the family wealth, thanks to the 2010 case of Radmacher v Granatino. Whilst PNAs do not oust the jurisdiction of the English court to have the final say in the matter, they can be determinative when it comes to splitting up wealth […]

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Pension death benefits planning: a question of control

30 April 2015

Before the recent pension changes were announced, it made sense, for Inheritance Tax (IHT) planning purposes, to request that any death benefits payable from a money purchase private pension on the pension scheme member’s death were paid into a separate trust (a ‘bypass trust’), usually for the benefit of the member’s spouse and family. Structuring […]

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Can trusts be trusted in the event of divorce?

20 November 2014

Preserving family wealth is uppermost in many families’ minds. Therefore, knowing how structures created to hold family wealth will perform in the event of a family member divorcing is crucial. Unfortunately, the treatment of trusts on a beneficiary divorcing is to some extent uncertain. The legislation is clear enough: anyone with an irrevocable, fixed interest […]

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