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The Trust Practitioner’s Handbook

Trust Practitioners Handbook

Persisting with my theme of complexity, trusts is another legal field where taxation has been applied in a complex way. Clearly the Government views most trusts as undesirable and uses tax provisions as an instrument on the one hand to discourage their use, except in certain cases such as trusts for disabled people and, at the same time, to raise tax rates. This has inevitably led to serious challenges for those who administer trusts, whether trustees themselves or professional administrators. Both could benefit from reading Gill Steel’s new book The Trust Practitioner’s Handbook. I cannot think of another publication which succeeds so well in its coverage of the law, administration and taxation of trusts. The case examples are particularly useful. I have not finished the book yet so will comment further in a future blog.

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New Digital Probate Service

New Digital Probate Service

The Probate Registry is conducting trials to enable executors who are dealing with probate themselves, without the help of a solicitor, to apply for probate online. Here is a link to an interesting blog from the man responsible in the civil service for the project. I have not seen anything more recent than this.

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Missing at sea

Missing at sea

A couple of years ago we had a case where the deceased went “missing at sea”. His wife had to make a claim for a declaration of presumed death. Although he had not been missing for more than 7 years it was clear that he had died and that he went missing following a boating accident. But a missing person is not automatically presumed dead. You must make a claim for declaration of presumed death if you want to deal with the estate.

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A tip for will makers

A tip for will makers

Although an English will can deal with assets all over the world, in most cases it makes sense to prepare a specific will or other arrangement dealing with an asset in a foreign country, even if it is simply a bank account. Your executors will be thankful. In many cases we find that there are tremendous delays resulting from efforts to establish the validity of the English will in a foreign jurisdiction. It can be done but it does take time, and often a long time.

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It’s only funeral expenses and liabilities at death

its only funeral expenses and liabilities at death

It is surprising how many people think that legal costs during probate and other expenses incurred during the administration period can, in some way, reduce the value of an estate for inheritance tax purposes. When this misunderstanding is pointed out people do tend to see the logic. What counts is the value of the estate as at the date of death.

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