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Charles Fraser
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On World Alzheimer’s Day, make sure that all your affairs are in order before it’s too late. Preparing and registering a Lasting Power of Attorney comes at a fraction of the cost of applying for a Deputyship once capacity is diminished.

Rosalyn Workman
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Lasting Powers of Attorney (‘LPAs’) allow you to appoint someone to assist you with your affairs.  There are two types of LPA; Health and Welfare and Property and Financial Affairs.  As the names suggest, one is used to appoint someone to assist you with health matters such as care, medical treatment, etc, and one is to appoint someone to assist you with matters relating to your finances and property such as selling your property, making payments on your behalf, accessing your bank accounts for you, etc.

Richard Horwood
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The preparation of Wills is governed by many pieces of legislation, but the primary statute is the Wills Act 1837, which still details the principal requirements for preparing a valid Will. Time has moved on significantly over the course of the last 180 years and whilst other Acts of Parliament, such as the Trustee Act 1925 and Trustee Act 2000, have updated parts of the legislation, there are many principles that endure from 1837.  The Law Commission has began a consultation on significant reforms to this.

Rosalyn Workman
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So you own a house and your partner moves in.  They spend money making improvements and on repairs.  You live happily together for some years and you tell them not to worry because half the house is theirs.  Unfortunately, you die before you have updated your Will to make provision for them.  What next?

Richard Horwood
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In light of figures released by HMRC recently on the amount of Inheritance tax being paid, I am sure more people could do more to avoid or reduce their tax bill.  In the 2016/17 tax year the amount of Inheritance Tax (IHT) paid to HMRC exceeded £5 Billion for the first time.  Information published by HMRC shows the increasing amount of revenue received for, what many consider, to be one of the most unfair taxes payable.

Richard Horwood
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In this final blog in my series about “How to Save Inheritance Tax” we look at how to save IHT through making use of exemptions.  

Bernard Flanagan
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When acting as a Personal Representative (Executor and Administrator), you must be mindful of the potential Capital Gains Tax (CGT) issues which can arise when selling the deceased’s assets.

Richard Horwood
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This is the fourth blog that I have written on the subject of how to save Inheritance Tax.  In the first blog I explained that everybody has a Nil-Rate Band allowance of £325,000.  Many of you will be aware that in April 2017 the Residence Nil-Rate Band Allowance was introduced.

Richard Horwood
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So far in this series of blogs on Inheritance Tax I have talked about gifts being made, and making use of the annual allowance, small gifts exemption, gifts in contemplation of marriage or potentially exempt transfers.  The common factor linking all of these types of gifts is that they are gifts of capital.

Richard Horwood
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This is the second blog in my series about how you might be able to save Inheritance Tax.  

Richard Horwood
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This is the first in the series of blogs about some of the ways in which it is possible to save Inheritance Tax on your estate.

Richard Horwood
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This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and in recent days there have been numerous reports, articles and news items on the subject. Footballer Aaron Lennon has been detained under the Mental Health Act, whilst cricketer Andrew Flintoff has talked about the word “stigma” not being used when discussing mental health issues.  

Richard Horwood
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Intellectual property rights can easily be forgotten about when preparing Wills.  However, if you are an author, musician, artist or have any other protected rights, then you will need to consider this at the time of preparing a Will.

Nichole  Giddings
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Until recently, no one had an automatic right to see your Will, even if you had lost capacity to make a financial decision.  If you wanted to allow your Attorney to see your Will, you would have to have included a specific condition in your Lasting Power of Attorney for Property & Financial Affairs or signed a separate letter to go with your Enduring Power of Attorney.

Rosalyn Workman
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If you are an animal lover like me you would have been outraged when you heard about the case of Illot v Mitson. This was the case where the mother, Mrs Jackson, left her estate of £486,000 to three charities; The Blue Cross, the RSPB and the RSPCA.  Her daughter, Heather Illott, took the matter to court arguing that she had not received “reasonable financial provision”.  This was despite being estranged from her mother for some 26 years. If the court disregarded the Will, where does that leave... well, basically everyone with a Will!

Alastair  Liddiard
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From May 2017, the government is introducing a new set of Probate fees based on a banding system – the larger the value of the estate, the higher the fee. In many cases a Grant must be issued by the Probate Registry in order for personal representatives of a deceased person to access their assets. When this happens, upfront costs of around £200 are met by the representative and reclaimed later from the assets of the estate. But what if the upfront cost is £20,000? 

Charles Fraser
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As T2 – the sequel to the 1996 blockbuster film Trainspotting – hit cinema screens at the end of January, a new generation were introduced to a world of drugs and addictions. The new film is set 20 years later and with the original cast in their original roles. Despite the structure therefore being the same, it was important for the director to update it.

Choice, a common theme in both films, means that you have a choice whether to keep your affairs in order and up to date. The Trainspotting characters choose to ignore the future and possible problems they might have, and to live life for the moment. But what should you do? 

Richard Horwood
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As everybody returns to work and children start back at school, a sense of normality is descending upon us. The fun of a festive season is enjoyable whilst it lasts but it is important to look ahead to the forthcoming year, whether that is for you as an individual, or whether it is your business that you are planning ahead for.

Nichole  Giddings
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There are a number of legal issues that can arise when children with disabilities move from paediatric to adult care. The transition can present challenges for families, who may need advice on how an Application to the Court of Protection for a Health and Welfare Order can give them the authority to make healthcare decisions for their child after they become a young adult. Without such an Order in place, a parent or member of the family has no legal right to interfere which that young adult’s care. 

Nichole  Giddings
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As the UK population ages, knowing our legal rights and putting in place plans for our later years is more important than ever. 

Alastair  Liddiard
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Whilst it is true that you do not need a solicitor to prepare your Will in order for it to be valid, as with most drafted legal documents, it is often safer for a solicitor to prepare it.  They are well used to the legal requirements to make a valid Will and what happens upon a person’s death.  This will help avoid uncertainty in the future. The following are some aspects of a Will a lay-person may not be aware of and which highlight the fact that legal advice is important. 

Richard Horwood
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If you are a beneficiary of a Trust you may wonder what your rights to information and documentation may be.  A distinction may need to be drawn between the type of trust originally created, in particular whether you, as a beneficiary, have a fixed right, often the case with a life interest trust, or whether you are a potential beneficiary of a Discretionary Trust.

Rosalyn Workman
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A Discretionary Trust is a trust where a Beneficiary has no right to either the income or capital of the Trust Fund.  The Trustees would normally have complete discretion as to who, within the class of Beneficiaries, can receive capital and...
Richard Horwood
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A woman who claims her mother was suffering from dementia and having hallucinations when she signed her final Will has lost her case in the High Court. While the judge admitted the facts showed that Doris Harris had begun suffering from dementia in May 2004, there was no indication she was unable to understand the Will she signed less than a year later.

Nichole  Giddings
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The Office of the Public Guardian recently produced guidance in an attempt to clarify the current rules on deputies and how they should approach family care payments.

Richard Horwood
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It is a common misconception that it is not necessary for a Will to be prepared because, in the case of a couple, everything will pass to the survivor.  Whilst this may, in part, be true this is not necessarily always going to be the case.

Natalie  Melvill
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HMRC are taking a hard line approach when it comes to failing to disclose gifts made by a deceased person.  With this in mind, it is crucial that both gift recipients and Personal Representatives have a clear idea of what is expected of them when it comes to disclosure.

Charles Fraser
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Since musician Prince passed away late last month, there has been increased press coverage of the fact that the multi-millionaire recording artist had not made a will prior to his death.

Richard Horwood
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High profile figures are calling upon the Government to scrap the UK’s inheritance tax system, following recent revelations that David Cameron’s late mother ‘gifted’ the Prime Minister £200,000 five years ago.

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For some of us, the payment of Inheritance Tax is an unavoidable reality. After someone has passed away this can seem like a daunting task when you are already dealing with other necessary arrangements. However, not all Inheritance Tax has to be paid at once. Certain assets can be paid in instalments which can provide you with an extended period of time to take stock and consider options, which is helpful in easing the initial financial burden. 

Posted in:, Private Client
Richard Horwood
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As we approach the Budget, which is due to take place next month, speculation will no doubt amount over what, if any, changes might be made to the Inheritance Tax regime.  Whilst one can only speculate prior to the Budget I thought it might be interesting to consider the projected impact of Inheritance Tax, assuming no changes are made.

Nichole  Giddings
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The Alzheimer’s Society’s recent statistics show that this year there are 850,000 people with dementia and that one in three people born in 2015 will develop dementia in their lifetime. 

Frightening statistics indeed, but what do people need to consider now to ensure that, if it happens to them, they have done all they can to make sure their assets and family are protected as much as they possibly can be?

Richard Horwood
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At the time of completing your Will, the intention is that it will cover the scenario of how your estate should be distributed in the event of your death shortly thereafter.  There may be provisions included to provide some longevity to the Will, in order that it need not be updated constantly.  However, it should still be reviewed from time to time, at least every 5-10 years, although that does not mean it needs to be changed that often.

Charles Fraser
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A quick search on the internet will reveal that each year in the USA approximately “$19billion is lost annually to fraud by criminals and abuse of trust by friends, family members, and paid helpers”. Whilst thefts from estates in this country are still relatively low, there are regular reports in the press about people being found guilty of stealing from the estate of someone who has died. This is one of the reasons we at Longmores are often appointed as a professional Executor, usually alongside a close member of the family, or a family friend.

Charles Fraser
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Longmores are delighted to announce that Charles Fraser has joined as a Solicitor in the Private Client department. 

Richard Horwood
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It is not uncommon for Attorneys appointed under a Lasting Power of Attorney (or its predecessor, an Enduring Power of Attorney) to consider making gifts on behalf of a Donor with a view to reducing his or her potential Inheritance Tax liability. ...
Nichole  Giddings
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Most commonly a crisis means we suddenly have to step in to look after a loved one but with little idea if we are entitled to any help.  The sad thing is that it is estimated that 10.6 million of us will be expected to become carers in the next five...
Miranda Mulligan
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A Trustee is appointed to administer the terms of a trust, which put simply, is a mechanism, whether in an express document or implied by law, by which one party holds property for the benefit of another, the trust beneficiaries. A Trustee can be appointed...
Richard Horwood
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Inheritance Tax is one of those taxes that everybody would like to avoid paying if possible.  Many people are well versed in the exemptions and allowances to enable individuals to reduce their Inheritance Tax liability, in particular they can use the...
Miranda Mulligan
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During the course of the 2015 Budget the Chancellor took the opportunity to make a political statement directed towards the tax planning undertaken by the leader of the Labour Party and indicated that the use of ‘Deeds of Variation’ would be the...
Nichole  Giddings
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Nichole Giddings who works in the Private Client Department of Longmores Solicitors in Hertford and who specialises in this area of Law is concerned that many businesses do not protect their assets. Are you a sole trader or a partner in a private...
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The Mental Capacity Act is designed to empower individuals who may lack the mental capacity to make their own decisions about their care and treatment.  Among many other things, the Act introduced the new Lasting Powers of Attorney, which replaced...
Posted in:, Private Client
Alastair  Liddiard
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As I explained in my last blog, http://www.longmores-solicitors.co.uk/site/blog/private-client/the-taxman-cometh , there are plenty of ways to pay the bill when Inheritance Tax (IHT) arises on an estate. But, of course, it’s never as simple as that....
Richard Horwood
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In the 2013 Budget the Chancellor announced measures were to be introduced with the intention of simplifying what is known as the “periodic and exit charges” applying to Relevant Property Trusts (often also known as Discretionary Trusts). ...
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Administering the estate of a deceased person can be a difficult job, even with access to all of the relevant information regarding their assets and liabilities. This information helps to piece together an image of the value of the estate. However, as we...
Posted in:, Private Client
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Having to receive care in the home, or having to go into residential care, can be a distressing time for individuals and their families.  The financial consequences will often exacerbate this fear, and the cap announced by the government of...
Posted in:, Private Client
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In recent decision of Brook and Others v Purton and Other the High Court has come to the aid of a family whose grief at the death of a gifted entrepreneur in a motorbike crash was compounded by the discovery of a ‘clerical error’ in his...
Posted in:, Private Client
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The Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Act received Royal Assent on 14th May 2014 and changes the law in relation to inheritance and certain aspects of Trustees’ powers.  The main provisions are expected to be brought into effect before the...
Posted in:, Private Client
Alastair  Liddiard
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The one quote of Benjamin Franklin everyone knows is “Nothing is certain except death and taxes.” Whilst his quip was in the context of whether the American Constitution would endure, the maxim still holds true. With the ongoing freeze of the...
Richard Horwood
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It has long been acknowledged that where a clerical error has been made in the production of a Will it is possible to apply to the Court for an Order that the Will should be rectified.  Typographical errors have traditionally been the reason for the...
Nichole  Giddings
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Most people consider it is prudent to make a Will, but how many people think about making a Lasting Power of Attorney?  What could happen if you do not have one? If, during your lifetime, something happens so that you cannot make decisions for yourself...
Nichole  Giddings
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Being a Deputy or Attorney can cause difficulties if you find yourself having to wear different hats: the first as the relative of the incapacitated person and the second as protector of that relative’s assets. Take for example the situation where a...
Alastair  Liddiard
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It’s a question that I hear a lot, especially in relation to the valuation of the home of a deceased person. Sadly, with property there is no such thing as a “Probate Value” that attracts a discount due to a death. The value of any asset...
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You do not need to be a member of the Crawley Family and own Downton Abbey to have a good reason to make a Will! The law sets out clear rules as to what happens to your estate – property, cash, investments and personal belongings – if you die...
Posted in:, Private Client
Richard Horwood
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Many people are aware that if an individual loses his or her capacity then in the absence of a Lasting Power of Attorney (or an Enduring Power of Attorney if prepared before 1st October 2007) then that account can be frozen. The only way to...
Nichole  Giddings
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Some of you may have seen the article in The Telegraph on 5th November saying that Doctors have been accused of signing a “death warrant” after leaving instructions for other medics not to resuscitate a patient. The lady in question was being...
Bernard Flanagan
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When deciding to make a Will you will find that after a quick search on Google, you will be presented with a number of options. One being the ‘DIY’ approach where you are guided through what steps you need to take in order to draft your own Will....
Paulette Jones
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If you are one of the many people who complete their own tax return, there are two important dates in the Self Assessment Calendar that you should be aware of: 31st October 2013 If you are planning to send a paper tax return it must reach HMRC by midnight...
Richard Horwood
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Readers will recall that one of the new aspects introduced by the government in the budget earlier this year was the proposal that certain liabilities would not be deductible for Inheritance Tax purpose. On 12th September HMRC published its guidance on these...
Alastair  Liddiard
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Trusts and trustees are no more immune to litigation than anyone else and costs can often mount up very quickly. The basic principle of litigation is that the loser pays the winner’s fees, but this is subject to all sorts of caveats and the winner can...
Richard Horwood
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Inheritance Tax is paid when an individual’s estate exceeds £325,000. An estate consists of the assets owned at the date of death, less the liabilities, together with any chargeable transfers made in the seven years prior to death. To minimise...
Nichole  Giddings
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Some of you may have seen an article in “The Telegraph ” in June entitled “Surge in Digital Dementia”.  Doctors in South Korea are reporting a surge in “digital dementia” among young people who have become so reliant...
Richard Horwood
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Hertford-based law firm Longmores is advising that HM Revenue and Customs (“HMRC”) has drawn up a timetable of investigations it plans to launch over the next 6 months as part of an ongoing crackdown on tax evasion by wealthy individuals. The...
Richard Horwood
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The current economic climate has led to a changing attitude towards tax planning.  Many people will have read the various press coverage of tax planning schemes, particularly those that have been undertaken by large corporations and wealthy ...
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Many people wish to make a gift to their family during their lifetime but not all wish to give it to someone to hold personally as it might be squandered or wasted. You can retain some control over gifts by putting them into a trust for the benefit of your...
Posted in:, Private Client
Richard Horwood
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Many people are concerned about the potential impact of Inheritance Tax (IHT) on their estate. Below are some of the basic rules that apply when calculating the IHT liability and some suggestions that can help reduce the impact of IHT. Calculation of IHT ...
Bernard Flanagan
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Many people are aware of the annual exemption which allows individuals to give away up to £3,000 free from Inheritance Tax (IHT) in a tax year. In addition there is also the small gift exemption of up to £250 to individuals. Other exemptions are ...
Alastair  Liddiard
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The award of damages in respect of a Personal Injury is often seen as the point at which a line is drawn and the claimant can get on with their life following what is, at times, a draining legal process. But is it all over? Sadly, many personal injuries...
Nichole  Giddings
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Some of you may have seen in an article in “The Times” on 31st March entitled “For the Alzheimer victims lost in time, a new village of hope”. The village is called Hogeweg and is in The Netherlands.  It has been called the...
Richard Horwood
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As January comes to an end and the festive season is well and truly in the past I wonder how many people are still sticking to their New Year’s Resolutions.  If, like me, you decided to make a resolution, (albeit only on the 31st December 2011)...
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You may not necessarily associate Trusts with Christmas and Pantomimes but, in fact, the “Babes in the Wood” actually existed and were left their father’s estate in trust until they reached 21 with their uncle being the Trustee. ...
Posted in:, Private Client
Nichole  Giddings
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As the winter approaches, more and more vulnerable people are going to find it difficult to manage.  A recent survey by Age UK shows that there are 2.9 million people over the age of 65 living in England who currently need care.  This is alarming...
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When seeking to claim the ‘principal private residence’ (PPR) exemption – which exempts from Capital Gains Tax (CGT) gains made on the sale of the PPR of the taxpayer – the criteria for exemption are strictly interpreted by HM Revenue...
Posted in:, Private Client