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Bloomsburry Family law

Wills, Trusts & Probate

Statutory Wills - Making Wills for People Without Capacity

Practitioners dealing with elderly and incapable clients will no doubt be familiar with the jurisdiction of the Court of Protection in making a statutory will for a person without testamentary capacity. It is often self-evident when such a will might be necessary and the procedures involved are well-established.1 For instance a person may have made a will appointing executors and leaving assets to beneficiaries who have died, or left a specific asset which has been sold. Circumstances change and just as the capable testator should keep his will up to date so too does the incapable testator have a means of having his will brought up to date.

New Fees at the Public Trust office By Martin Terrell

One of the most common complaints about the Public Trust Office has been the level of fees charged to its clients. It has been a well founded criticism that a patient, who has already lost control over his affairs has to pay for the privilege of having his affairs monitored by the Public Trust Office.These costs must furthermore be paid out of his taxed income. If the patient is even more unfortunate to lack a friend or relative to act as his receiver then he must have the Public Trustee take on this role. The cost of having the Public Trustee as receiver is even higher and it is hardly a consolation to know that the cost would be even higher but for the charges levied on patients with private receivers.

Case Study: Mrs Collins

Background: Lady aged 82, recently widowed from a second marriage where her husband had run all the finances. The client was the sole beneficiary of her husband''s estate of over £200,000 and was referred to the IFA by the solicitor with concerns to improve her income stream and address long-term care provision.

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?

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