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Residue, Residuary Beneficiaries, Residual Estate – The Jargon Explained

Residue, residuary beneficiaries, residual estate – the jargon explained

All these terms are referring to what is left in a deceased’s person’s estate after all the legacies of money or other items have been paid out and the costs of administering the estate have been cleared.  This is the residue or residual estate and it is then paid out to the persons or others named in the will.  These are the residuary beneficiaries.

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On the Tube - Life After Death

On the Tube - Life After Death

It is amazing what adverts you can see on trains.  The other day I was surprised to see an advertisement dealing with all sorts of issues associated with death so we had references to funeral plans, getting the right undertaker, making wills and last but not least dealing with probate.  I suppose because the opportunities now offered by IT platforms are so great, that there must be a temptation to come on to these all singing all dancing services.  It may be that everything which is being offered is absolutely marvellous but my reservation is that the spread is too thin and the right answer for the discriminating consumer must be to head for a specialist.

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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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