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Bloomsburry Family law

Wills, Trusts & Probate

Tax planning post death: Opportunities and pitfalls By Emma Chamberlain

Deeds of variation (or deeds of family arrangement as they used to be called), are well-known as a way of mitigating inheritance tax. Disclaimers of an interest under a will or intestacy are less common but can be equally useful planning devices. And for the more adventurous there is the possibility of using what are called two year discretionary trusts in their wills. All these options are worth considering but there are a surprising number of pitfalls which can catch out the busy practitioner. This article attempts to summarise the basic law on post death tax planning and outline some of the opportunities and pitfalls.

Advising grandparents on their wills in the modern family By Susan Midha

With one in five children in the U.K. being born out of wedlock, the shape of the family is changing. Many families now include what used to be the unconventional but is now becoming the norm - stepchildren, half-brothers and sisters, parents living together who are unmarried, married parents who live apart, sometimes in different countries, with every conceivable combination of responsibility for, and arrangements for access to, the children. Even for those families where this has not yet happened, in planning wills and trusts many clients now wish to take these possibilities into account.

The Future of the Public Trust Office by Gordon Ashton

The Public Trust Office (PTO) may not be everyone’s favourite institution, but do we really want to see it abolished and its functions delegated to a variety of bodies including the Inland Revenue, the Benefits Agency and local authorities? This was proposed last November in a little known administrative review and the Public Trustee retired early following the appointment of a Director of Change. Receivers and solicitors have experienced a downturn in the service provided as experienced staff become involved in the process of change and the remainder struggle on with the workload in a demoralised state. What is going on?

TheTrustee Bill

The Trustee Bill, if passed and when it comes into force, will be a practical answer to some of those tricky issues we all come across from time to time, and a lot else besides. While it includes provisions relating to charitable trusts this overview concentrates on those relating to non-charitable trusts and wills.

Care in the Community Safe or Not?

It is now social services policy to keep people in their homes for as long as possible under the care in the community regime that was brought in by the NHS and Community Care Act 1990, and in Surrey the NHS have set up a home support system so that elderly people do not have to go into hospital unless absolutely necessary. Instead a team of professionals and carers helps to rehabilitate the person, and this may or may not include long-term care at home

Persuading reluctant clients to draw up a will

In this article I wish to touch upon a few points which may help you persuade a reluctant client to focus their mind on drawing up a will. These are presented from the point of view of a professional in a different field, that of probate genealogy. One of the services provided by Title Research is the identifying and locating of heirs at law under intestacy. The perspective and the insights gained from dealing on a daily basis with some of the practical problems caused by intestacy may perhaps lend weight to the message, which all legal advisers endeavour to get across to their clients.

Will drafting and execution: some cases to remember.

There have been a spate of cases on Wills recently which it will repay the busy practitioner to study carefully. Some relate to the negligence of solicitors in preparing the Will and ensuring it is executed properly. Others concern the enforceability of Wills against disappointed beneficiaries. This article is merely a brief summary of a few recent cases.

Taxation within the administration of an estate Liability and Protection

As if personal representatives did not have enough to worry about in the general administration of their estate, eg legatees demanding immediate payment of monies due to them, creditors of the estate wanting their money likewise, problems disposing of assets at the best price and possible questions arising from the interpretation of a will, personal representatives have also got to bear in mind the three main taxes and how they impact upon them during the administration of an estate

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