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Bloomsburry Family law

Wills, Trusts & Probate

The honest choice

In 1991//92 we were members of what was known as, The Shortfall Monitoring Group, this comprised of interested bodies including Age Concern, Care home proprietors and social services monitoring the effect and consequences of the level of income support being inadequate to fund the fees of residential accommodation. On the one hand it aimed to provide support for individuals and their families, who were under pressure to top up fees, facing the threat of eviction, downgrading of accommodation or use of personal allowances and remaining capital to fund fees. On the other hand it monitored the closure of care homes forced out of business by accommodating elderly people at below market rates

Provision for Elderly Children on Death: What, No Moral Obligation!

Claims by adult children for financial provision from the estates of their parents are frequently met by the answer: you are an adult and under no disability: to succeed, you must establish a moral obligation or other special circumstance: you cannot do so and your claim is bound to fail. see Coventry, deceased (1980) Ch 461 and Jennings, deceased (1994) Ch 286. Is it right to put such a gloss on sections 2 and 3 of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (the Act) and, of particular importance to readers of this journal, does any such limitation apply to the elderly child?

Planning Ahead For Post Death Events

The last three issues of Elderly Client Adviser have carried articles about the ways in which the provision made in a will or on intestacy can be varied after death. Such a variation might take place because of a change in circumstances since the will was written, the need to settle claims made against the estate or simply in order to save inheritance tax (IHT).

Advising the Elderly and the Solicitors Indemnity Fund

All solicitors will be aware of the proposed new rules for calculating contributions to the Solicitors Indemnity Fund to cover the shortfall. The proposals as recommended by The Law Societys standards and guidance committee are summarised in the Law Societys Gazette of 16 February and 5 March 1998 but the full consultation document has now been issued. I have not had time to study this in detail so this article is based on the summaries in the Gazette.

The Social Security Bill 1998

The Social Security Bill attracted considerable attention on its passage through Parliament over the issue of cuts in benefits for lone parents, but the Bill is probably more significant for the changes being made to the way in which decisions are made in social security cases. The whole system of tribunals will be overhauled and fundamental changes made to the process of decision making in social security and other cases. The role of the Adjudication Officer (AO) will disappear and there will be a new system of reviewing decisions. Most of these changes are expected in 1999.

Solicitors for the Elderly

Readers of the Elderly Client Adviser will have been aware over the last twelve months of the development of the Croup known as Solicitors for the Elderly. Throughout the period from its foundation the Group has met and has discussed critical issues affecting the older client. The concern of the Group has been the issue of the quality of legal services being offered to older people and the Groups principal aim has been to overcome this.

Tax Efficient Settlements and the 1975 Act

In the follow up her article on Deeds of Variation Sarah Lacey discusses the tax implications of post death variations under the Inheritance (Provision for the Family and Dependants) Act 1975. Sarah is a Chancery barrister practising at 3 Stone Buildings, Lincolns Inn.

Varying Provision on Death: Some Less Familiar Methods

By far the most common method of varying a will or the provision on intestacy is the execution of an instrument of variation; particularly when tax efficiency is a consideration. However, in some circumstances a simpler and equally efficient method may be available. This article looks at two such methods: disclaimers by beneficiaries, and elections by a spouse to capitalise a life interest to which she would otherwise be entitled under intestacy.

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