The FCA have stated that power of attorney should be granted online to make it easier to apply. The regulator said: “We would like to see the OPG and other authorities in the devolved administrations develop more customer-friendly approaches to setting up, registering, storing and understanding Lasting Power of Attorney”. However, lawyers have warned that the move would put older people at higher risk of fraud. A helpline for elderly people, Action on Elder Abuse, has found that each year more than 160,000 over 65s are victims of financial abuse.

The Telegraph    The Sun, Page: 9

Posted 22/09/2017

 

With latest figures revealing HMRC collected £4.8bn in IHT last year, the Telegraph looks at some of the ways in which families can limit death duties. One tactic increasingly recommended by financial advisers is to buy a life insurance policy. “As long as the policy is ‘in trust’ the sum assured will go to the beneficiaries and will not be subject to inheritance tax,” says Ed Fairey of Ed Fairey Associates.

The Daily Telegraph, Your Money, Page: 4

Posted 02/09/2017

A retired window cleaner who inherited £300,000 from one of his customers could be jailed after failing to hand the money back to her family. Albert Pearce was left the fortune when 98-year-old Julie Spalding changed her will. In 2014 her nephew successfully challenged the will. However, Mr Pearce has been declared bankrupt after claiming he had spent or lost the entire fortune.

The Daily Telegraph, Page: 3

Posted 31/08/2017

 

The Dogs Trust is one of four charities claiming a will that cut them out of a woman’s £340,000 estate is invalid. Tracey Leaning left the charities her assets in her will in 2007 but wrote a new one in 2015, leaving everything to her partner, Richard Guest. That will, which was handwritten and witnessed by a neighbour, was on the understanding that Mr Guest stayed at the house and gave her dogs a home. Wilsons Solicitors, acting on behalf of the charities, said: “Our solicitor is liaising with the other involved parties to ensure that Miss Leaning’s estate is administered in accordance with her last valid will.”

The lesson to take from this is that home made wills can be open to dispute;  it is safer to seek advice from a qualified solicitor before drawing up or amending a will.

The Daily Telegraph, Page: 7

Posted 21/08/2017

 

The Treasury raked in a record £4.84bn in death duties in the 2016/17 tax year, driven up by rising house prices, while the IHT threshold held at £325,000. The total tax free allowance will rise to £500,000 by 2020-21, at which point the threshold is due to be pegged to inflation and rising asset prices. Danny Cox, head of financial planning at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “There is a long time between now and 2020 for things to be changed. It is unreasonable for people to be taxed on indexed gains, it is just unfair.”

The Daily Telegraph   Daily Express   Independent i, Page: 56

Posted 29/07/2017

 

 

 

The Ministry of Justice has said a refund process will soon be announced after an increase in applications for power of attorney meant thousands were overcharged. The MoJ is only supposed to charge enough to cover the cost of the service, the Mail reports, but the increase in applications generated an £89m surplus which must be repaid.

Daily Mail, Page: 37

Posted 26/07/2017

 

Controversial plans to raise the cost of probate from a £255 administration fee to up to £20,000 could be reintroduced without notice, experts have warned. Chris Millward, Institute of Legacy Management chief executive, says the “stealth tax” could be brought back at any time and with very little warning. George Hodgson, Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners chief executive, said ‘suspicion was growing’ that the probate fee hike would return.

Daily Mail, Page: 33

Posted 12/07/2017

Martin Lewis argues that a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is more important than a will in many respects, yet fewer than one in six people have one. He says there is more reason than ever to set one up as the cost of registering an LPA in England and Wales has recently been reduced from £110 to £82.

Independent i, Page: 54-55

Posted 06/05/2017