The Resolution Foundation believes inheritance tax should be scrapped and replaced by a system that spreads the money more fairly between the generations and is harder to avoid. The think-tank has proposed replacing IHT with a lifetime receipts tax that would raise more for the state and would encourage families to pass their wealth to younger members. Under the proposal, each beneficiary would have a £125,000 inheritance allowance, above which they pay 20% up to £500,000 and 30% beyond that. Resolution estimates that the new tax would deter avoidance and raise £11bn a year in 2021, compared with £6bn under the present system.

The Times, Page: 40 The Daily Telegraph, Page: 2 The Scotsman, Page: 19 Daily Express, Page: 31

Posted 02/05/2018

 

A carer has been left with an £85,000 legal bill after a judge ruled she had “guided the hand” of a millionaire on his deathbed to sign over almost half of his £1m estate to her family. Judge Nigel Price said that he had “no hesitation” in ruling that Marcel Chu’s will was invalid.

Daily Express, Page: 22 The Daily Telegraph, Page: 11 Daily Mail, Page: 33 The Times, Page: 11

Posted 01/05/2018

The Telegraph explains how a couple could add almost £100,000 to their child or grandchild’s pension and reduce any potential IHT bill by utilising their annual gift allowance. Data published by Prudential said if a couple were to gift £3,000 each into their child’s pension every year for a decade, the amount added to the pension would be valued at £97,051, with a potential IHT saving of £24,000.

The Daily Telegraph

Posted 19/04/2018

 

 

A judge has overturned the will of millionaire Wynford Hodge who had left nothing to his partner of 42 years, Joan Thompson, instead leaving his £1.5m fortune to two tenants living in his caravan park. Mr Hodge was adamant that he did not want Joan or her four children to inherit any of his fortune, a letter attached to his will indicated, believing she was “financially comfortable”. The judge said this was an error and awarded her a cottage on the estate worth £225,000 plus £190,000 in cash.

Daily Mail, Page: 24

Posted 10/04/2018

Family solicitors say accessing and dealing with someone’s digital legacy is becoming as great a concern as how to divide up their house and bank accounts. They are increasingly drawing up “digital wills”, including a side letter recording passwords and passcodes to devices such as iPads. Solicitors are also urging clients to back up important data on cloud storage that can be accessed by family members after their death. “While most digital assets are not of monetary or financial value they can be of sentimental value and a comfort to your next of kin after your death,” says Ian Bond, the chairman of the Law Society’s wills and equity committee, who has been drawing up guidance for solicitors on how they should deal with digital legacies. The importance of planning ahead is highlighted by reports that some bereaved families have asked undertakers to use a corpse’s fingers to activate identity se nsors on smartphones and tablets.

The Times, Page: 11 The Times, Page: 65

Posted 24/03/2018

 

Lawyers have warned that families are disinheriting children by wrongly completing ‘Do It Yourself’ Wills. The kits have led to a rise in people preventing family members from being a beneficiary of their will by asking them to be a witness to their signature, ruling them out of receiving anything in the estate. Nicola Waldman, of Hodge Jones & Allen, said: “It is often a result of people trying to complete wills themselves, not understanding the small print.”

Daily Mail, Page: 43

Posted 14/03/2018

 

 

Sir Ken Dodd, who was famously cleared of false accounting in the 1980s, has prevented the taxman from getting a penny from his estate by getting married two days before he died. The size of the Sir Ken’s estate was estimated recently at £7m, which could have meant a £3m IHT bill had he not married Anne Jones last week. Tasnim Khalid, head of wills, trusts and estate planning at JMW Solicitors, said: “Leaving an estate to a legally married spouse rather than a partner or cohabitee has huge tax advantages.”

The Times, Page: 17 Daily Mail, Page: 11 The Sun, Page: 5 The Herald, Page: 3

Posted 13/03/2018

 

The Sunday Times warns that a rise in the number of divorces, remarriages and couples cohabiting – combined with a general apathy towards dealing with pensions – means many people could inadvertently be handing valuable benefits to former partners when they pass away. Figures released today reveal that more than 750,000 savers are at risk of leaving their pension to the wrong person, such as a former boyfriend or an ex-wife, because they have failed to update important paperwork after they split up.

The Sunday Times, Business and Money, Page: 14

Posted 25/02/2018

 

Tax specialists have warned that middle-class families could end up losing more of their estates to death duties after Philip Hammond ordered a review of the entire IHT system. NFU Mutual’s Sean McCann said: “This could quite easily be a money-making opportunity for the Chancellor, especially if he looked at some of the inheritance tax reliefs which are currently quite generous. It could end up being quite lucrative.”

Daily Mail, Page: 21

Posted 01/02/2018

Refunds for power of attorney fees

Hundreds of thousands of people who overpaid for power of attorney will be able to claim a partial refund from tomorrow. Applications have soared in recent years, with 2.5m registered in England and Wales in the past decade, but it emerged last year that thousands of people overpaid when registering their document.

Daily Mail, Page: 51

Posted 31/01/2018