Recent Articles

Case Summary (Costs of Trust Litigation): Blades v Isaac & Alexander [2016] EWHC 601 (Ch)

March 31, 2016 | Wills and Probate

This case concerned trustees’ costs and their right to an indemnity in the context of trust and estate litigation.  A discretionary trust had been created by the Will of Valerie Mary Lee deceased. One of her daughters, who was a potential beneficiary under that trust, requested professional trustees, who were partners in a firm of(Read more)

IHT on Bonds Held in Discretionary Trusts

March 31, 2016 | Wills and Probate

Ten years ago there was a significant change in the taxation of most trusts. New trusts created on or after 22 March 2006 are subject to the 10 year anniversary charge to inheritance tax.  The first such anniversaries will now begin to create inheritance tax bills.  It is the trustees’ responsibility to initiate a tax(Read more)

Benefit in Kind Changes from April 2016

March 31, 2016 | Wills and Probate

From April 2016 employers are liable to account for PAYE income tax (but not national insurance contributions) via the payroll in real time for most benefits in kind (PIK).  The value of PIK will be treated as a notional payment subject to PAYE for income tax but excluded from Class 1 National Insurance pay.  (Read more)

US Passport Revocation

March 31, 2016 | Wills and Probate

All US citizens are liable to make annual tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service irrespective of whether they live outside the United States and even if they have no income arising in the United States.  Similarly anyone who was born in the United States of America has to submit annual tax returns.  In December(Read more)

No Income Tax from April

March 30, 2016 | Wills and Probate

The Prime Minister and Minister of Finance has announced the government will implement its 2014 campaign promise to abolish personal income tax on the 1st April this year.  Unfortunately the Prime Minister concerned is Mr Gaston Browne and the abolition is effective only in Antigua and Barbuda. However the news reminded us that, almost exactly(Read more)

Will Writing Company or D.I.Y. Will?

March 29, 2016 | Wills and Probate

Lawyers belong to a unique group of professionals that many of us really don’t like to go and visit. Our fear, not always unjustified, is that the visit will be painful. Painful physically (dentists, we’re looking at you) and painful financially. In the world of Private Client, which often involves difficult discussions about death and(Read more)

Court of Appeal Upholds Decision that Will is Valid Despite Evidence of Decreasing Mental Capacity: Burns v Burns [2016] EWCA Civ 37

March 29, 2016 | Wills and Probate

The Court of Appeal has upheld a decision from the High Court that a Will made by a testatrix who was showing signs of moderate to severe dementia is valid.  Background Eva Burns passed away in May 2010 leaving her two sons, Anthony and Colin. Her husband Leslie had predeceased her in 1988.  In 1982,(Read more)

Buy-to-Let Landlords in the Firing Line

March 29, 2016 | Residential Property, Wills and Probate

Buy-to-let landlords would have been left groaning after reading the Budget.  From increased Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT), to changes to wear and tear claims and mortgage interest relief, the 2016 Budget has buy-to-let landlords and second home owners in its sight.  The Chancellor confirmed that there would be a 3% increase in SDLT for(Read more)

Post Transaction Valuation Checks - Capital Gains Tax

March 22, 2016 | Wills and Probate

This service is provided free by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and can be used after the date of disposal (or deemed disposal) and prior to the submission of the tax return.  If HMRC agrees the proposed valuation, it undertakes not to challenge the use of the figure in the tax return provided that full(Read more)

Employment Allowance

March 22, 2016 | Employment, Wills and Probate

The Employment Allowance is increasing from 6 April 2016 from £2,000 to £3,000 for most employers.  One-man companies will not qualify for the Employment Allowance in 2016/17.  The extra £1,000 of allowance will be available to offset the additional employers NIC payable on the compulsory wage increases for workers entitled to the Living Wage.  However(Read more)