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Executors – don’t forget to investigate gifts

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Most people know that if you fail to survive a gift by 7 years it will form part of your estate.  It is likely that banks will co-operate with HMRC if the tax men are suspicious about whether gifts have been properly declared.  An investigation could follow that will be uncomfortable for executors and could mean additional tax and fines as well. 

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When should you review your will?

When should you review your will

As a general guide we advise clients to review their wills as a matter of course every 5 years but there are some life-changing events which should prompt anyone to bring a possible change to the top of his or her agenda and they are:- getting married or divorced, having children, the death of one of your beneficiaries or an executor or guardian, a substantial financial change – for example a business sale or similar, and more common perhaps, moving house.

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Greek holiday homes

Greek holiday homes

If you are an executor dealing with a holiday home in Greece the likelihood is that the estate might want to keep it, especially given the dire state of the Greek economy.  In theory, Greek law is amenable to implementing the wishes of a foreign testator but, as with most foreign countries, the best advice is to get a will done in Greece dealing specifically with a Greek holiday home similar assets located in the country.

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Isle of Man – it can be a bit of a nuisance for some estates

Isle of Man it can be a bit of a nuisance for some estates

The Isle of Man is an interesting place from a legal point of view.  It is a British crown possession so the Queen is head of state, but it has its own common law which generally follows English law.  The Isle of Man forms part of the non-metropolitan territories of the United Kingdom, but it is not part of the EU.  Although it is not a fully sovereign state it does have a separate jurisdiction from the United Kingdom, and that means where there are assets based in the Isle of Man, the executors will probably need to obtain an Isle of Man probate.

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European succession regulation

European succession regulation

This regulation came into force in August 2015 and it harmonizes certain aspects of the law of succession of the majority of the member states of the EU. The UK and Ireland are not signed up to it. Nevertheless, executors who are involved in administering an estate with property in France or Spain or Malta or certain other EU countries, should be aware of its provisions.

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