Lasting Power of Attorney – Don’t Leave it TOO LATE!!

Whenever I see clients about their Wills, I always mention Lasting Powers of Attorney at the same time, because in my eyes, they are equally important. In the same way none of us wants to die, none of us wants either to be in a state of mind where we are unable to make our own reasoned decisions – but it happens. Don’t leave it too late to do this, as it will involve all sorts of unwanted extra bureaucracy and costs (as I keep telling my clients, who still insist that they have no intention of “losing their marbles anytime soon!) Continue reading

Changes in Inheritance Tax – July 2015 Budget

The Tories’ long-promised changes in Inheritance Tax (I.H.T.) have finally been announced in George Osborne’s latest budget. The “headline” major change being that you will now be able to pass on your family home free of any I.H.T. provided it isn’t worth any more than £1m.

I.H.T. is payable on each and every individual’s Estate at 40% if it is valued above the I.H.T. threshold when they die. Currently this threshold, which is known as the “nil-rate band”, is set at £325,000 per person. This level was set some five years ago and is not changing.

A reduced rate of I.H.T. is available to persons who leave at least 10% of their Estate to Charity. This remains unchanged at 36%. Continue reading

Deeds of Variation – Useful Planning Tools?

Unless you had occasion to use one for a family member, you probably had never heard of a Deed of Variation until yesterday’s Budget delivered by George Osborne. Thought by some to be a mere political “sideswipe” at the leader of the opposition and alleged misuses of the device in “slightly questionable” Inheritance Tax planning for the family. Thought by others to be well overdue for a thorough overhaul – if not abolition. Continue reading

Have You Kept That New Year Resolution?

January is traditionally a busy month for my Company. Lots of existing clients phoning to update, or modify their Wills in some way. But, most encouragingly, this year we have seen a three-fold increase in new clients coming to us to make Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney for the first time.  This is mostly due to the many talks I give on the subject to various groups in the area. Continue reading

Wishing You All A Very Happy Christmas!

I’ve always enjoyed Christmas – especially since having children, and now grand-children! The looks on their faces sum it all up perfectly – innocence and joy; exactly as depicted in the Nativity Story itself.

Not all of us is blessed with a simple, ideal scenario like this. Many throughout this country, and further afield, are suffering from poverty, pain, war, floods, and disasters both man-made and otherwise. Again, we are taught to remember those less fortunate than ourselves especially at Christmas time. Continue reading