Recent Articles

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)

National Living Wage

March 22, 2016 | Wills and Probate

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) rate normally increases with effect from 1 October.  Many employers will be geared up to include such changes in their annual pay reviews.  However the next rate change applies from 1 April 2016.  A National Living Wage (NLW) of £7.20 per hour is to be gradually increased to £9 per(Read more)

Gift Aid Declarations

March 22, 2016 | Wills and Probate

New model declarations were published on 21 October 2015.  HM Revenue & Customs has said that charities can use existing stocks of forms but gift aid declarations made after 5 April 2016 must make clear to donors their liability if the tax on their income and gains for a tax year falls short of the(Read more)

Gift Aid Donations - Unwanted Income Tax Repercussions

March 22, 2016 | Wills and Probate

From April 2016 more donors to charities may find themselves with an unexpected tax liability.  The zero percent starting rate on up to £5,000 of savings income and the change to the tax on dividend income from April 2016 may result in donors with low incomes not having paid sufficient income tax to frank their(Read more)

Case Summary (Successive Deputies): In the Matter of H, on the application of F & M [2015] EWCOP 52

March 03, 2016 | Wills and Probate

H, who was stillborn, had been diagnosed as autistic and had poor cognitive functioning and adaptive skills, almost unintelligible speech and limited communicative ability. An only child, now aged 26 years, she lived with her parents, F & M. They applied to be appointed jointly and severally as her deputies for property and affairs and(Read more)

Case Summary (Deputy's Use of Funds): In the Matter of A, David Ross v A (by her litigation friend, the Official Solicitor) [2015] EWCOP 46

March 03, 2016 | Wills and Probate

This case involved an 18 year old, A, who had received £5m in settlement of a clinical negligence claim which had left her with cerebral palsy, epilepsy, cortical blindness, severe intellectual impairment and extreme behavioural problems. She lived at home with her parents and siblings. A professional with 25 years’ experience, David Ross of Simpson(Read more)

Scottish Succession Bill 2016

February 25, 2016 | Wills and Probate

The Succession (Scotland) Bill 2016 has made significant changes to succession law in Scotland. The headline change is that the Bill excludes an ex-spouse or civil partner from inheriting under a will made before divorce or dissolution, by treating them as though they passed away before the deceased. It also cancels any appointment of the(Read more)