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Probate and life assurance policies

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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

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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

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Inheritance tax, no change is likely until 2020 and beyond

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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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Deed of variation – not just to save inheritance tax

Piggy bank which is full, coins spilling over to the side

The usual reason for entering into a deed varying a will within 2 years of death, is to secure an inheritance tax reduction or to skip a generation so that a gift is removed from an affluent beneficiary and diverted to his impecunious children.

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Ken Dodd – tax efficient to the last

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No-one can avoid death or taxes but Ken Dodd at least managed to minimize the latter in his final days.  The key of course was marrying his long-time partner and instantly getting the benefit of total exemption from inheritance tax as a result of the spouse exemption.  He would of course have had to make a will immediately after the marriage, or may be just before but in contemplation of the marriage, because otherwise Ken’s late entry into matrimony would have cancelled any previous wills, even if they were in favour of the partner.

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