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Usufruct

Usufruct

If you are an executor and have foreign property to deal with you may have come across this term. Usufruct is a legal right to property found in civil law jurisdictions such as France and Spain. Its Roman roots can be seen in the fact that it combines the two interests of usus and fructus. Usus is the right to use property directly and without altering it and fructus is the right to derive profit from that property, for instance by renting or selling crops. Usufruct is not equivalent to absolute ownership of the executor of estate and often will last only during a person’s life and, in that sense, is similar to a common-law life interest.

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Property in France

Property in France

The French state has traditionally taken a very interventionist stance in relation to inheritance. For many years a surviving spouse got a very raw deal but her position is no longer out of line with the position in other states. If you are an executor with an estate where the deceased held property in France, you will benefit by ensuring that the French aspects are dealt with by a knowledgeable and expert notaire in France. At Probaters we have in our team Katie Budd who is not only a STEP* qualified solicitor, she also speaks French and has dealt with her own family’s property in France.

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Freedom of Testation

Freedom of Testation

Basically what this legal phrase means is the unfettered ability of anyone to make a will deciding exactly who will inherit his or her estate. The freedom is great in this country and in most American states but much less common in Europe and other jurisdictions where Roman law has had more influence on the development of legal systems. Even here the courts have generously interpreted the Inheritance Family Provision Act to enable the disinherited to make successful claims.

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Tax Again – stamp duty land tax

Tax Again stamp duty land tax

The good news for those in the world of probate is that stamp duty land tax is seldom an issue. Transfers of property and land from estates to beneficiaries are free of tax. But, if beneficiaries are going to use their inheritance to purchase a property or some more property, then SDLT will raise its ugly head. It used to be a simple tax – a straight percentage above a certain value. But of course in recent years the tax has been made more onerous and complicated. The government was able to collect £2.5 billion from the tax in the fourth quarter of 2017. That was 5% higher than the comparable period of 2016. 

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The Importance of an Inventory

The Importance of an Inventory

Executors and administrators have to swear or affirm the following statement before they can get a grant of probate or letters of administration:-

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