Reporting on Powers of Attorney and claims against Estates

December 12, 2017

There were several responses online to a Daily Telegraph article published last year with the headline ‘Financial abuse rockets as more powers of attorney challenged by courts’. The debate on whether Lasting Powers of Attorneys or Enduring Powers of Attorneys were subject to financial abuse was furthered following remarks by retired Senior Judge Denzil Lush … Continue reading Reporting on Powers of Attorney and claims against Estates

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The Importance of Discussing Estate Planning

October 12, 2017

According to new research from Brewin Dolphin almost half (47%) of UK adults say they have never discussed inheritance matters. 26% of the 4,000 adults that took part in the poll said that they had not discussed what would happen on their death because they were not old, so did not see it as a … Continue reading The Importance of Discussing Estate Planning

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Connolly v Connolly and Capacity Issues

June 28, 2017

The issue of mental capacity in relation to a testators wishes and a solicitor’s duty particularly towards elderly clients has arisen once again in the most recent judgement of Connolly v Connolly & Ors[1]. This article will discuss the rules laid down by the courts in relation to mental capacity, the comments made by Mr … Continue reading Connolly v Connolly and Capacity Issues

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Planning for overseas property in the wake of Brexit

In the wake of Brexit thoughts turn to the significant potential disadvantage to those who have interests in EU countries, or are thinking of buying property abroad. For those who already own property the question becomes one of how to protect your Estate. Does your estate fall under UK law, or is it governed by … Continue reading Planning for overseas property in the wake of Brexit

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Trusts for the ‘Modern Family’

March 30, 2017

Medical advances in reproductive technology and a wider acceptance of the changing, fluid form of what constitutes a ‘family’ through the introduction of civil partnership and same sex marriage have left legislators facing questions over the interpretation of various acts. A question mark has been placed over the status of illegitimate children born to same … Continue reading Trusts for the ‘Modern Family’

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Unmarried cohabitant succeeds in claim for late partner’s pension in landmark case

March 13, 2017

On 8 February 2017, Denise Brewster won a landmark appeal in the Supreme Court which could improve the rights of millions of other cohabitees across the UK. Ms Brewster had been denied payments from her long-term partner’s pension following his death because they were not married and he had not named her as a nominee … Continue reading Unmarried cohabitant succeeds in claim for late partner’s pension in landmark case

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Attention Residential Landlords! Renewal of the Landlord Registration Scheme

January 31, 2017

The Landlord Registration Scheme (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2014 came into force on 25 February 2014 and required all private landlords to be registered under the Scheme. The deadline for registration was 25 February 2015 allowing twelve months from the date of commencement of the Regulations to register.  However any properties let on or after 25 … Continue reading Attention Residential Landlords! Renewal of the Landlord Registration Scheme

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But Who Gets the Pet?

October 31, 2016

When making a will, many people only consider the bigger assets in their lives, their house, their cash in the bank or even some family jewellery. Frequently people merely want to ensure that their possessions pass to their nearest and dearest in the correct proportions.  What can easily be overlooked is what happens to their … Continue reading But Who Gets the Pet?

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Costs risk of challenging a will

July 21, 2016

The recent case of Elliott .v. Simmonds, before the High Court in England (2016 EWHC 962(Ch)) has highlighted the risks of claimants pursuing weak will challenges and acting obstructively in proceedings before the Court. This case has been widely publicised, the multi millionaire Kenneth Jordan (“the Deceased”), left his entire Estate to his partner, disinheriting … Continue reading Costs risk of challenging a will

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CO-HABITATION: What to do in the Event of Separation

April 26, 2016

The Office of National Statistics has stated that co-habiting couple families are the fastest growing type of family in the UK. Co-habitation means living together outside marriage or civil partnership. There are various legal consequences of co-habiting and you should seek professional legal advice if you are considering entering into a co-habitation relationship, already living … Continue reading CO-HABITATION: What to do in the Event of Separation

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What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?

March 31, 2016

The benefits of drawing up a will are widely recognised as in doing so you make provision for the winding up of your affairs after death. There are also opportunities available to make provision in advance for the management your own financial affairs should you become mentally incapable of managing them yourself during your lifetime. … Continue reading What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?

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Lay Executors Beware!

The death of a loved one is an extremely distressing time for anyone, however the distress can be compounded for family executors trying to deal with the administration of a deceased’s estate themselves. It is sometimes believed that if the estate is administered personally it will save on costs. This can prove to be a somewhat misguided … Continue reading Lay Executors Beware!

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Inheritance tax relief on homes

November 9, 2015

Inheritance tax is a tax levied on the value of a deceased’s assets at the date of their death and on some gifts made during their lifetime. A certain amount can be passed on tax-free and this is known as the “nil rate band”. For the current tax year 2015/16, each individual is entitled to … Continue reading Inheritance tax relief on homes

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Wills and Testamentary Freedom

The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 restricted testamentary freedom by giving children and other classes of people the right to make claims from an estate for „reasonable financial provision‟. Similar provisions were brought into force in Northern Ireland in the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) (NI) Order 1979. The recent case … Continue reading Wills and Testamentary Freedom

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Nil-Rate-Band Legacies

October 22, 2015

Since the introduction of the transferable nil-rate-band (NRB) by the Finance Act 2008, NRB legacy clauses and NRB discretionary trusts have become less and less common. However, in the situations where such clauses are required, care must be taken when drafting them. This is highlighted in the case of Woodland Trust v Loring [2014] EWCA … Continue reading Nil-Rate-Band Legacies

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The Cost of Care

May 1, 2015

The BBC has recently published a ‘care calculator’ on their website as a guide to the care system for the over 65s. This online calculator allows you to input your postcode to find out how much your care costs would amount to under your local Health and Social Care Trust (“the Trust”). Significantly around 420,000 people live in … Continue reading The Cost of Care

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The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement – A Private Client View

December 5, 2014

ISAs – Transfer to spouses on death When an individual who has an individual savings account (ISA) dies, their spouse or civil partner will receive an additional ISA allowance equal to the value of the deceased’s ISAs. ISA status still ends on the account holder’s death. It appears that this will still be the case in relation … Continue reading The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement – A Private Client View

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MEDIATE BEFORE YOU LITIGATE!

November 6, 2014

“It’s about a Will, and the Trusts under a Will – or it was, once. It’s about nothing but costs now. We are always appearing, and disappearing, and swearing, and interrogating, and filing and cross-filing, and arguing, and sealing, and motioning, and referring, and reporting, and revolving about the Lord Chancellor and all his satellites and equitably waltzing ourselves off to a dusty … Continue reading MEDIATE BEFORE YOU LITIGATE!

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Child Abduction in the Spotlight

The recent case of Ashya King, the five year old boy whose parents took him from the UK to another country for medical treatment, brought the issue of child abduction and wardship into the public domain. The case raised several questions about the rights of parents versus other authorities. The case of Ashya King is particularly unique and the facts surrounding it are not … Continue reading Child Abduction in the Spotlight

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A STEP in the right direction

November 5, 2014

It can be daunting for anyone in need of estate or tax-planning advice to know where to go to get it, as these days there are a huge number of legal firms and other providers offering Private Client services. The difficulty comes in knowing where to get the best advice – if you decide to rely upon an existing adviser, often the … Continue reading A STEP in the right direction

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FATCA: How American anti-avoidance laws impacts on UK trusts

October 29, 2014

As a result of co-operation between the UK and US tax authorities, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) respectively, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is now a part of UK law and impacts on almost every single trust in the UK, even those which have no US connection. It is therefore … Continue reading FATCA: How American anti-avoidance laws impacts on UK trusts

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Goodbye to the R27

October 24, 2014

As part of the administration of an estate it was necessary to submit a short form tax return for the incomplete tax year to the date of death. The H M Revenue & Customs (HMRC) form that had to be completed by the personal representatives was known as the Form R27. This detailed all of the income earned … Continue reading Goodbye to the R27

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Acceptance in Lieu – Two Birds with One Stone?

October 9, 2014

Figures released recently have revealed that, in the last ten years, over £100 million worth of inheritance tax has been settled by works of art and other heritage objects being accepted by H M Revenue & Customs instead of inheritance tax. The Acceptance in Lieu scheme has its legislative roots in the “people’s budget” of 1910. However, in recent … Continue reading Acceptance in Lieu – Two Birds with One Stone?

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Divorce in the Farming Community

May 21, 2014

Divorce can happen to anyone and is usually an extremely stressful experience for the couple involved and their immediate families. Unfortunately, in 2012 in Northern Ireland, about 8500 marriages were registered, while almost 2,500 divorces were recorded in the same period. In terms of finances, divorce can be devastating let alone the emotional impact that separation will have … Continue reading Divorce in the Farming Community

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A legally valid iPhone will

February 28, 2014

The recent case of Re: Yu [2013] QSC 322 highlights an interesting development for Australian succession law. In their ruling, the Supreme Court of Queensland appears to be willing to apply well established legal principles to new technologies. The case raises interesting questions for local practitioners who are used to adhering the formalities of executing valid wills under … Continue reading A legally valid iPhone will

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A New Broom Sweeps Clean

January 6, 2014

As 2014 approaches, I am quite sure that many people will be making a whole host of new year resolutions. No doubt there will be lots of diets and gym memberships which will not last until February, but there is one achievable goal which you could consider setting yourself this year- making a will. The statistics show that only about one third … Continue reading A New Broom Sweeps Clean

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Autumn Statement – Tax Announcements of Note

December 9, 2013

The surprise announcement in an otherwise quite low-key Autumn Statement delivered on Thursday 5 December 2013 was that the final period exemption for Private Residence Relief fromCapital Gains Tax (CGT) is to be reduced. This relief previously enabled second home owners to claim relief on the last three years of ownership but this period has been halved to … Continue reading Autumn Statement – Tax Announcements of Note

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Abatement of Legacies – when the estate debts exceed total bequests

October 29, 2013

The England and Wales High Court has recently given judgment in a complex case, Petterson v Ross [2013] EWHC 2724 (Ch), where the total amount of the bequests in the will exceeded the estate’s total debts. The court had to decide the proportions to abate the specific legacies in accordance with the statutory rules. At the heart of … Continue reading Abatement of Legacies – when the estate debts exceed total bequests

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The Perils of DIY Law

October 10, 2013

The death of a loved one is an extremely distressing time for anyone, however it can be more distressing for related executors trying to deal with the administration of a deceased’s estate themselves. There are many reasons people seek to administer their loved one’s estates themselves. One of the most prevalent reasons is the rise of the internet … Continue reading The Perils of DIY Law

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The Private Client Team

August 9, 2013

At Cleaver Fulton Rankin we have one of the largest Private Client teams in Northern Ireland. Private client lawyers work with individuals and families, providing legal advice on a wide variety of matters such as trusts, taxation, estate management, wills and testamentary issues. People often have a misconception that these services are only relevant to the very wealthy, but our clients vary greatly in terms … Continue reading The Private Client Team

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Statutory Wills for individuals who are mentally incapable

A statutory will is a will that is made on someone’s behalf, because they do not have the capacity to do so themselves. For example, a statutory will can be created when an existing will is out of date, where a person’s existing will names beneficiaries who have since died or when a person does not have a … Continue reading Statutory Wills for individuals who are mentally incapable

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Protect Assets from Bankruptcy with Protective Trusts

A protective trust can be set up to ensure a beneficiary is provided for even when they may be financially irresponsible, unfortunate or subject to bankruptcy or divorce proceedings. A protective trust can be used to ensure that a beneficiary obtains benefits from an asset but without the risk that it may be sold by a prolificate … Continue reading Protect Assets from Bankruptcy with Protective Trusts

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PILOT TRUSTS UNDER THREAT FROM HMRC CONSULTATION

June 27, 2013

On 31 May 2013 HMRC released a consultation document proposing a “simplification” of the way in which inheritance tax (“IHT”) is charged on trusts. The consultation contains a number of suggested amendments with the most significant being a proposal to amend the way in which the nil rate band is applied to trusts. This will be of particular … Continue reading PILOT TRUSTS UNDER THREAT FROM HMRC CONSULTATION

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Have you the will to give

April 9, 2013

This is a challenging time for the charity/not for profit, or so called “Third Sector” in Northern Ireland. The Charity Commission has been established, there is increasing pressure on funding, charitable giving has been hit hard by the current economic climate and we are seeing an increase in the number of disputes regarding wills. In the midst of this we are finding … Continue reading Have you the will to give

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