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Probate - Big Changes Ahead

Probate - big changes ahead

The Government plans to move probate online.  It seems that the project is gathering pace.  There is evidence that the hours of access to Probate Registry offices are being reduced and that some offices may face closure.  The record of various governments in relation to ambitious IT driven projects is not good.  Let us hope that there is an amazing exception when it comes to the probate reforms.

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Executors Beware - Headstones

Executors Beware - Headstones

It is a common assumption that treatment of the costs of the headstone or the memorial are the same as for the cost of the funeral and come out of the general estate funds. In other words, the cost is ultimately borne by the residuary beneficiaries. Where should the executors look first? The answer is clearly the will and it is to be hoped the will makes clear who is to bear the costs. The danger for the will executors is that if there is no clear provision in the will then they must get the agreement of the residuary beneficiaries to pay the costs of the headstone or memorial. If they don’t they are running the risk of having to foot the bill personally.

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Probate and life assurance policies

Pair of glasses sitting on an open book

Some life assurance policies do not count as part of a deceased person’s estate.  This will be the case where he or she had taken out a policy and had it written on trust for a third party – usually family members.  If this has been done a substantial reduction in inheritance tax can be achieved.

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Dog loving lawyers

Person taking a picture of a dog on a tablet, uploading to instagram

We are a dog friendly office and, now and again, you can find one or two of our dogs wandering around the premises.  My colleague, Lucy, has come up with a brilliant idea of compiling an intriguing collection of photographs on something called Instagram.  Here is a link https://www.instagram.com/doglovinglawyers/?hl=en

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Inheritance tax, no change is likely until 2020 and beyond

Person working at desk with laptop, calculator, newspaper, mobile phone, clipboard, paper and pen

Although the Chancellor has set in motion a review of inheritance tax there seems little chance of any reforms being enacted in the near future.  Any worthwhile reform will be controversial and the government’s obsession with Brexit and its lack of a working majority are pretty much guarantees that any recommendations, which might come out at a review, will sit in the long grass.

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