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Estate Planning

Hannah Allen - 0113 204 5702 - hannah.allen@wrigleys.co.uk 

Video Wills are an attempt to make it easier for people to record their final wishes whilst continuing to protect the elderly and the vulnerable.

In response to the Coronavirus pandemic the UK Government have allowed amendments, which come into force today, to the legislation that deals with the witnessing of Wills, to legalise remote witnessing of Wills.

This video answers the questions:

- What was the procedure for witnessing a Will prior to this pandemic?

- What are the recent changes?

- How does witnessing a Will by video link work practically?

- Should the wording of a Will be amended to reflect that the Will has been witnessed remotely?

- Are there any risks associated with these recent changes?

If you would rather read about this topic please visit our website for our article on video Wills: https://www.wrigleys.co.uk/news/tax-and-estate-planning/video-wills/

- Part one of this vlog covered the situation where the deceased dies leaving a spouse or civil partner. Part two will now cover the situation where the deceased dies without a spouse or civil partner.

- To recap, the intestacy rules are statutory rules that dictate how the deceased’s estate is to be distributed when they have died either intestate, or partially intestate.

- If the deceased dies leaving no surviving spouse, but does leave other relatives, the estate passes in a prescribed order, only passing to the next class if there are no surviving relatives in the preceding class.

- The order is as follows, issue (this includes all direct descendants. Including adopted and illegitimate children, but not stepchildren), parents, brothers and sisters, half brothers and sisters, grandparents, uncles and aunts and half uncles and aunts.

- The deceased’s estate will be split equally between each person who falls within the relevant class. If a person within a relevant class has died before the deceased, leaving children living at the time of the deceased’s death, those children will take their deceased’s parent share of the deceased’s estate.

- If the deceased dies leaving no relatives, their estate passes to the Crown.

- I hope this mini-series has emphasised how important it is, if you want to avoid the intestacy rules, and have your estate left in the way that you wish, to consult a solicitor to make sure that you leave a valid Will that deals with every asset of your estate.

Chelsea Martin - 0113 244 6100 - Chelsea.martin@wrigleys.co.uk - www.wrigleys.co.uk

- In this fourth and final part of our vlog series on domicile, I will focus again on the circumstances in which a non-UK domiciled individual would be treated as deemed domiciled in the UK. Part 3 explained the “15 year rule” and this Part will explain the “three year rule” in more detail.

- If the three year rule applies, an individual is treated as having a UK domicile for a three year period after ceasing to have an actual UK domicile. For example, if they decide to live in a different country and they make that country their permanent home, for three calendar years after the move they will be treated as still having a UK domicile.

- If an individual was born in the UK or has a UK domicile of origin at birth, and they return to reside in the UK for any reason, they are known as a “formerly domiciled resident” and different rules apply, I have explained these rules in more detail in Part 2 of the vlog series.

- These changes make it more difficult for individuals to cast off their UK domicile if they permanently move to live abroad. It also means that more non-domiciled individuals living in the UK will be deemed domiciled and their worldwide estate will become subject to UK inheritance tax, even if they are domiciled abroad.

The information in this vlog is necessarily of a general nature and does not constitute specific advice. You should obtain professional advice in relation to your own particular affairs and you should not rely on the information in this vlog. If you have any queries or need any legal advice please feel free to contact Wrigleys Solicitors.

Chelsea Martin - 0113 244 6100 - chelsea.martin@wrigleys.co.uk - www.wrigleys.co.uk

- In Part 3 of the vlog series on domicile, I will focus on the other changes introduced in April 2017. You will remember from Parts 1 and 2 that for UK tax purposes, domicile is used to determine the extent of an individual’s liability to income tax, capital gains tax and inheritance tax. If an individual is treated as deemed domiciled in the UK, the individual’s worldwide estate (including foreign assets) would be subject to UK inheritance tax.

- A non-UK domiciled individual would be treated as deemed domiciled in two particular circumstances, firstly if the “15 year rule” applies or secondly if the “three year rule” applies. This Part explains the 15 year rule.

- If the 15 year rule applies, both of the following conditions must be met:

a.The individual has been UK resident for at least 15 out of the 20 tax years immediately preceding the tax year in question (for example, the tax year of their death).

b. The individual has been UK resident for at least one of the four tax years ending with the tax year in question.

The information in this vlog is necessarily of a general nature and does not constitute specific advice. You should obtain professional advice in relation to your own particular affairs and you should not rely on the information in this vlog. If you have any queries or need any legal advice please feel free to contact Wrigleys Solicitors.

Chelsea Martin - 0113 244 6100 - chelsea.martin@wrigleys.co.uk - www.wrigleys.co.uk

- The rules regarding “deemed domicile” changed with effect from April 2017 and in Part 2 of this vlog series on domicile, I am going to focus on how these changes affect individuals who were born in the UK or who have a UK domicile of origin.

- If an individual was born in the UK or has a UK domicile of origin at birth (based on the domicile of their parents) then they will be treated as UK domiciled for inheritance tax purposes if both of the following conditions are met:

              o They are UK resident for the tax year in question (for example, the tax year of their death).

              o They have been UK resident for at least one of the two tax years immediately preceding the tax year in question.

- This is quite a dramatic change and makes it more difficult for individuals who were born in the UK or who have a UK domicile of origin to shake off their UK domicile and lose their deemed domicile status. For example, someone who was formerly domiciled in the UK might return to the UK to care for a sick relative, they may stay in the UK for two tax years and die during their period of UK residence. If so, they would be caught by these changes to the deemed domicile rules and their worldwide estate would be subject to UK inheritance tax.

The information in this vlog is necessarily of a general nature and does not constitute specific advice. You should obtain professional advice in relation to your own particular affairs and you should not rely on the information in this vlog. If you have any queries or need any legal advice please feel free to contact Wrigleys Solicitors.

Chelsea Martin - 0113 244 6100 - chelsea.martin@wrigleys.co.uk - www.wrigleys.co.uk

- Domicile is a concept of UK law and broadly speaking, it means the country to which an individual has the most connections, the country that an individual has made their “permanent home”. This is not necessarily the same thing as a person’s nationality or the country in which they happen to be living at any one time.

- For UK tax purposes, domicile is used to determine the extent of an individual’s liability to income tax, capital gains tax and inheritance tax.

- As it is possible for an individual to be resident in the UK indefinitely without acquiring a UK domicile, statutory rules were introduced to deem (treat) an individual as acquiring a UK domicile in particular circumstances, this individual would then be treated as “deemed domiciled” in the UK for inheritance tax purposes. The consequence of being treated as deemed domiciled in the UK is that the individual’s worldwide estate (including foreign assets) would be subject to UK inheritance tax.

The information in this vlog is necessarily of a general nature and does not constitute specific advice. You should obtain professional advice in relation to your own particular affairs and you should not rely on the information in this vlog. If you have any queries or need any legal advice please feel free to contact Wrigleys Solicitors.

Chelsea Martin - 0113 244 6100 - chelsea.martin@wrigleys.co.uk

The information in this vlog series is necessarily of a general nature and does not constitute specific advice. You should obtain professional advice in relation to your own particular affairs and you should not rely on the information in this vlog. If you have any queries or need any legal advice please feel free to contact Wrigleys Solicitors.

•The world of social distancing continues to present some practical difficulties when assisting clients with applications to the Court of Protection.

•One area of applications that have proved more difficult recently has been arranging capacity assessments in order for the COP3 form to be completed.

•Whilst it has not been possible for assessors to make face to face visits during lockdown, many assessments have successfully been carried out virtually using video conferencing facilities.

•In past experience, the person being assessed has been more than comfortable using an iPad or tablet to take part in the assessment and many of us have been using these tools anyway to keep in touch with isolated friends and relatives during lockdown.

•It may be necessary to ensure that an independent party (such as a care home member of staff) can assist with the practicalities of the assessment, so always check with the home or a carer that they are happy to assist before arranging any assessment.

• It will be interesting to see if virtual assessments remain more commonplace as lockdown eases and where they continue to be appropriate.

•If you have any queries about making applications to the Court of Protection, do get in touch with a member of the team here at Wrigleys to see if we can help.

We are continuing to advise clients of the benefits of putting a personal injury trust in place.

•Interim and final payments are still being received and the 52 week disregard period continues to run. It is still important to ensure that any money received as a result of an injury is sufficiently protected to ensure means tested benefits or support remain unaffected.

•We’re more than happy to have a no obligation telephone or video call with referrers or potential clients to discuss the benefits and practicalities of a personal injury trust.

•It's possible to deal with the trust set up process virtually and by post. Although we’re all looking forward to getting out and about again, in the meantime, we’re still able make sure you or your clients are fully informed about personal injury trusts from home.

•Do get in touch for a no obligation chat about how Wrigleys can help you or your clients with personal injury trusts.

In light of difficulties signing documents during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is now a process in place for the electronic signature of Forms IHT 100 (Inheritance Tax Account), IH T205 (The Return of Estate Information) and IHT 400 (Inheritance Tax Account)*.

Please note that this process can only be used where a professional, such as Wrigleys, is acting on your behalf.

HMRC can accept ‘typed’ electronic signatures so long as they are accompanied by the following confirmation:

“As the agent acting on their behalf, I can confirm that all the people whose names appear on the declaration page of this Inheritance Tax account have both:

•           Seen the Inheritance Tax account; and

•           Agree to be bound by the declaration on page [14 of the IHT400] or [8 of the IHT100 or IHT205].”

Wrigleys has now tried and tested this method and can guide you through the process.

* Form IHT 100 is to be used to report chargeable events to HMRC. These include the following:

  • Gifts and other transfers of value including failed potentially exempt transfers.
  • Ending of an interest in possession in settled property.
  • Assets in a discretionary trust ceasing to be relevant property
  • (proportionate charge), or a charge to tax arising on an age 18-25 trust.
  • Discretionary trust 10-year anniversary (principal charge).
  • Assets ceasing to be held on special trusts (flat rate charge).
  • Cessation of conditional exemption and disposal of trees or underwood (recapture charge).
  • Chargeable event in respect of an alternatively secured pension fund on death of scheme member, death of a dependant or relevant dependant, or relevant dependant ceasing to be a relevant dependant.

 Form IHT 205 is to be used where a person has died and that person was domiciled in the UK at the date of death and the gross value of

the estate for Inheritance Tax is less than or equal to:

•            the excepted estate limit

•            twice the excepted estate limit and form IHT217 ‘Claim to transfer unused nil rate band for excepted estates’ is attached

•            £1million and there is no Inheritance Tax to pay because of spouse, civil partner or charity exemption

Form IHT400 is to be used where the deceased died on or after 18 March 1986, and there’s Inheritance Tax to pay, or there’s no Inheritance Tax

to pay, but the estate does not qualify as an ‘excepted estate’. Please note that in some circumstances a ‘reduced IHT400’ can be filed.

 

•An LPA is a document which allows you to appoint attorneys and replacement attorneys who can make decisions for you if you need help in the future or if you can no longer make your own decisions.

•There are two types of LPA you can put in place, an LPA for property and financial decisions or an LPA for health and care decisions.

•The attorneys appointed under the property and finances LPA could act for you if you needed help in the future but could still make your own decisions. However, attorneys appointed under a health and welfare LPA can only act for you if you could not make decisions for yourself anymore. •You can give your attorneys instructions and guidance about how they should make decisions for you. In the health and care LPA you can also decide whether to give your attorneys the power to make decisions about life-sustaining treatment. •The LPA cannot be used until it has been sent to the Office of the Public Guardian for registration. •LPAs are just as important as making a Will and allow you to appoint people that you trust to act for you. Because they are such important documents, careful consideration should be given as to who you appoint as your attorneys, please contact us for more information.

- Life insurance policy proceeds form part of the policyholder’s estate on their death in the absence of other arrangements.

- After the policyholder has died, their family has to go through the process for applying for a grant of probate before accessing the money - this can be time-consuming and stressful.

- The policy proceeds could also be subject to Inheritance Tax at 40%.

- Both of these problems can be avoided by writing the policy into trust. This removes the policy from the estate of the person whose life is insured.

- In this situation, the trustees (often the same as a person’s executors) would present the policyholder’s death certificate to the policy provider and the policy proceeds would be released with few formalities.

- The policy proceeds would not be subject to Inheritance Tax if the policy has been written into trust.

- Once a life insurance policy has been written into trust, the proceeds will not pass in accordance with a person’s will so it is important they discuss this and provide relevant documentation to their solicitor when preparing or reviewing their will.

- In the first instance, policyholders should contact their policy provider or financial advisor for further information about trusts.

- Wrigleys can advise on the suitability and effects of a policy provider’s standard form trust deed. Where necessary, we can also can help draw up and advise on bespoke trust deeds and letters of wishes, to ensure your instructions are carried out in relation to the policy proceeds.

A Will provides a medium by which an individual can specify who they wish to benefit from their estate on death and how they wish for them to do so.

If a person dies without a valid Will they will die intestate, which means that their assets will be distributed in accordance with the intestacy rules. Information on the intestacy rules can be found on our website.

A Will can be invalid for a number of reasons as there are very specific requirements that must be complied with. For example, a Will must be in writing and signed by the person making the Will, in the presence of two witnesses, who must sign the Will in their presence. Be careful who you choose to be your witnesses, as this too can affect your Will.

The drafting of a Will can also cause problems. If a person does not dispose of all their assets in their Will, they will die partially intestate. This means “missed” assets will be distributed in accordance with the intestacy rules. A properly drafted Will will include an appropriate “residue clause”, which is a catch-all provision. These clauses need to be very carefully drafted for them to be effective.

A Will cannot be ambiguous. Just the description of assets or family members, or the use of the word “my” can cause serious issues. 

Mistakes in Wills can produce results that would never have been intended, which in turn can potentially lead to significant costs, stress and family disharmony.  The preparation of a Will is complicated and I hope this short video has emphasised the importance of consulting a solicitor, rather than attempting to draft your own Will.  

 

 

Who can deal with an estate?:
- When someone dies, their personal representatives have the authority to deal with their estate.
- If there is a Will, these are executors. Where there is no Will, these are administrators. 
 
Initial Steps:
- The first step is to register the death and obtain the death certificate.
- The personal representatives will need to establish the assets, as well as the liabilities of the estate.
 
Obtaining the Grant of Probate (or Letters of Administration, where no Will):
- Personal representatives may require a ‘Grant of Probate’ to deal with some of the assets in the estate.
- This process for obtaining a Grant of Probate includes:submitting a return to HMRC detailing estate assets and liabilities;
    - paying inheritance tax (if any is due);
    - registering the Will (if one was left) with the Probate Registry; and
    - submitting a ‘Legal Statement’ to the Probate Registry.
 
Recent changes to the process for obtaining a Grant of Probate:
- It is now possible to submit an application online.
- A new document, produced digitally, known as a ‘Legal Statement’ fully replaces the previous documents known as Oaths or Statements of Truth from 18th May 2020.
- Wrigleys is fully registered for this online process, and can advise or assist you with this new route.
- Once the Grant of Probate is obtained, it will then need to be registered with the asset holders who required it.
 
Instructing a Solicitor:
- Wrigleys can guide you through the steps which need to be taken, and also provide you with a comprehensive overview of the process of administering an estate.
 

  • It is now possible for both solicitors and personal applicants to submit their application via an online portal.
  • You can still make a paper application, however, because the forms are over 20 pages in length, the online portal provides a more efficient and streamlined alternative.
  • Previously professionals had to submit Statements of Truth.
  • Instead, now required information can be submitted via an online platform. This platform will produce a document known as a ‘Legal Statement’.
  • This ‘Legal Statement’ needs to be reviewed, approved and signed by executors or administrators.
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, measures have been introduced to allow electronic signatures via a prescribed format.
  • Wrigleys is able to advise on this process, as well as the wider estate administration issues.

  • The short answer is yes! Although the lockdown and social distancing restrictions pose some difficulty, it is definitely possible to make an LPA.
  • At the moment, the Office of the Public Guardian still requires people who want to make an LPA and their attorneys to fill out a hard-copy form and physically sign it.  Once signed, the LPA then needs to be sent to the Office of the Public Guardian for registration.
  • Your signature will need to be witnessed whilst observing social distancing restrictions.  The witness needs to have a clear line of sight, but does not need to be physically close.  Some practical suggestions include signing your LPA outside with a neighbour acting as your witness, using your own pen and wearing gloves to handle paperwork.
  • You also need someone to act as your certificate provider, who will sign the LPA to confirm that you understand the LPA and are not under any pressure to make it.  There are rules about who can act as the certificate provider, but potentially the same neighbour who acts as the witness could also act as the certificate provider.  
  • There is a delay with registering LPAs at the moment, but the Office of the Public Guardian is aiming to complete the registration process within 40 working days of receiving the LPA (roughly 1-2 weeks longer than usual).
  • Although it is not as straightforward at the moment, we are continuing to guide clients through the process of putting an LPA in place, please contact us for more information.

For those who are unfamiliar with the Conditional Exemption Tax Incentive Scheme (the "Scheme"), it seeks to preserve and protect national heritage property and offers an exemption from inheritance tax and capital gains tax if the owner of such property complies with certain conditions, one of which will normally be to allow public access to the heritage property.

Understandably, we have received many queries from clients who own heritage property and who have concerns about their ability to fulfil public access conditions during this lockdown period.

HMRC has confirmed that there will be temporary changes to the Scheme in light of the current restrictions arising as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. HMRC's published guidance confirms that enforced closure due to Covid-19 will be taken into account when considering if undertakings have been met. As well as closure, the guidance also covers delay in opening property, objects on loan to other organisations that have closed, objects that can only be seen by appointment and advertising/promotional material.

As events are changing so rapidly, HMRC has warned that the current advice is subject to change. It is therefore imperative to ensure that the latest guidance is being followed.

If you are the owner of heritage property and you have any concerns in relation to meeting your undertakings to HMRC then please feel free to give us a call and we can provide advice on your specific position.

We have prepared a series of videos to explain Personal Injury Trusts, through this series we will be answering the questions:

  1. What exactly is a Personal Injury Trust and why have one?
  2. Why are there so many names for Trusts?
  3. What sort of Trust should I use?
  4. What are Trustees and what do they do?
  5. What if I don't want a Trust?

Throughout this week another video will be added each day.

We have prepared a series of videos to explain Personal Injury Trusts, through this series we will be answering the questions:

  1. What exactly is a Personal Injury Trust and why have one?
  2. Why are there so many names for Trusts?
  3. What sort of Trust should I use?
  4. What are Trustees and what do they do?
  5. What if I don't want a Trust?

Throughout this week another video will be added each day.

We have prepared a series of videos to explain Personal Injury Trusts, through this series we will be answering the questions:

  1. What exactly is a Personal Injury Trust and why have one?
  2. Why are there so many names for Trusts?
  3. What sort of Trust should I use?
  4. What are Trustees and what do they do?
  5. What if I don't want a Trust?

Throughout this week another video will be added each day.

We have prepared a series of videos to explain Personal Injury Trusts, through this series we will be answering the questions:

  1. What exactly is a Personal Injury Trust and why have one?
  2. Why are there so many names for Trusts?
  3. What sort of Trust should I use?
  4. What are Trustees and what do they do?
  5. What if I don't want a Trust?

Throughout this week another video will be added each day.

We have prepared a series of videos to explain Personal Injury Trusts, through this series we will be answering the questions:

  1. What exactly is a Personal Injury Trust and why have one?
  2. Why are there so many names for Trusts?
  3. What sort of Trust should I use?
  4. What are Trustees and what do they do?
  5. What if I don't want a Trust?

Throughout this week another video will be added each day.

We have prepared a series of videos to provide hints, tips and guidance on the following subjects:

  1. Lasting Powers of Attorney
  2. Probate
  3. Disability Trusts - Why trusts for disabled children are important

To select a title from a Series of videos, click the Playlist drop down menu in the top left hand corner of the You Tube screen.

30 Oct 2020

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Use of information from WhatsApp group for a disciplinary process was not a breach of privacy rights

Is there a lower expectation of privacy for those working in certain professions?

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It’s become increasingly popular for surplus land to be considered by town & parish councils for community-led housing. We explore the reasons why.