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Musings from Manchester: Candidate for change

Geoffrey Shindler looks beyond these shores for a possible vision of IHT reform At the moment the IHT position in the UK is strange and illogical and encourages avoidance or rather encourages evasion. We British are a very insular lot – pun intended. We live on an island which makes us an insular people and …
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Probate: A far from minor inconvenience

The court has provided welcome clarity on applications to court for authority to sell a property abroad on behalf of a minor. Remi Aiyela explains The judge decided that it was plainly in Ilyas’ best interests that the property be sold at a good sale price higher than the current valuation. Re Shanavazi [2021] was …
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Tax: The future of CGT?

Ramandip Kaur and Jo Summers provide a review of the OTS’s second report on CGT The OTS is recommending that a Single Customer Account for all taxpayers, which is easily accessible and secure, should be a key component of the government’s vision, particularly for CGT. The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) is the independent adviser …
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Powers of appointment: All in the wording

Elizabeth Houghton examines implied revocation of deeds of appointment Those drafting wills should be cautious about including general ‘sweeper’ wording unless there is a good reason to. In the recent case of Equiom (Isle of Man) Ltd v Velarde [2021] it was held that a wide power of appointment contained in a will had the …
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Charities: When should the court intervene?

An internal dispute at a religious charity led to High Court clarification on the extent to which members of a charity are fiduciaries. Philip Reed explores the implications Jaffer represents a step towards greater certainty in respect of members’ duties outside charities established as Companies Act companies. Readers will doubtless be familiar with the Supreme …
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Trustees: What is reasonable?

Stephen Alexander asks when a trustee can charge fixed fees The reasonableness (and therefore recoverability) of the fixed fee will vary according to the size of the trust fund, the complexity of the situation, and the risks and responsibilities in relation to the trust. Individual trustees will usually charge by reference to time spent. Corporate …
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Testamentary capacity: When capacity fluctuates

Joseph de Lacey and Rowan Cope update practitioners on the High Court’s current approach to interpreting testamentary capacity It is striking that what appeared to be settled conclusions by respected professionals made contemporaneously with the execution of the disputed will… could be partially displaced by a misunderstanding as to the scale of the difference between …
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Musings from Manchester: Who is responsible?

Geoffrey Shindler examines the government’s vision for a streamlined future tax administration system Will HMRC blame me if my tax return is wrong but the information which has been put into it by HMRC is supplied by somebody else who has made the mistake? A corporate report from HMRC and HM Treasury tells us that …
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Testamentary intentions: Presuming too much

A challenge to a will on the grounds of want of knowledge and approval where a compos mentis testator has read a professionally prepared will may seem doomed. Daisy Brown analyses a rare successful case A testator who has waited 24 years to change his will and then inexplicably gives two sets of contradictory instructions …
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Trusts: Perception vs reality

Caroline Doyle reviews STEP’s recent report on trusts and its findings STEP reports that is clear that the perception in the UK is that trusts are the purview of the rich and famous. It is suggested that this is in part due to many people being introduced to the concept of trusts through literature focusing …
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