Last updateTue, 24 Feb 2015 5pm



Fiona Campbell-White and Henrietta Watson discuss the current approach of the courts to the construction and rectification of wills

The recent case of Slattery & Jagger v Jagger [2015] and subsequent cases reveals the court’s current approach to the construction and rectification of wills.

Imogen Buchan-Smith provides an update on changes to the UK tax treatment of non-doms and their structures

The Budget of 8 July 2015 saw the announcement by the Chancellor of many proposed changes to the UK tax regime for non-UK domiciled individuals and the trust structures of which they are settlors and/or beneficiaries, with the intention that these changes will come into effect from 6 April 2017. The rationale behind the alteration of the existing tax regime is the equalisation of the tax treatment of three key categories of person – long-term-resident non-domiciled individuals, formerly UK-domiciled residents, and investors in the UK residential property market – with that of UK resident and domiciled individuals. The government, however, declared its intention that the measures that would be introduced would be ‘carefully targeted to address some unfairness in the current rules in a way that will not deter those [non-domiciled] individuals who might be considering a move to the UK’. Non-domiciled individuals planning to reside in the UK in the short and medium term would therefore not be affected by the new rules.

Daniel Sanders considers the courts’ approach to variation applications and the limited circumstances in which such an application is likely to succeed

For many clients a concluded financial settlement by consent, or following a final order of the court, marks closure in relation to the main issues surrounding the breakdown of their marriage; such settlement or final order is often considered to provide certainty for the parties. A final order is therefore, to all intents and purposes, akin to the last page of their marriage book. Certainty of closure may very well be the case in many instances where, save for the intricacies of implementation, or a potential court review of certain lump sum or settlement of property orders for example, there is a relatively immediate or foreseeable clean break. However, the focus of this article is on opening the door, which has remained ajar, by virtue of income claims being left open in a financial settlement order: that is to say, the bringing of variation proceedings – as a sequel of sorts – to the original settlement.

Tim Fullerlove gives trusts and estates practitioners an update on the remittance basis for non-doms

The ‘remittance basis’ may be relevant for any non-domiciled, UK-resident individual client. Taxpayers who choose to enter the regime pay full UK income tax and CGT on income and gains that are made or earned in the UK, but will only pay UK tax on foreign income and gains if they are brought into the UK (remitted). Details of what constitutes a remittance are beyond the scope of this article but, broadly, funds can be remitted simply by transferring them to a UK account, or by using them to purchase goods or services in the UK. The price of the regime is the £30,000 remittance charge (due to increase to £50,000 from April 2012 for individuals who have been UK-resident for at least 12 years) and the loss of personal allowances and the annual exempt amount for CGT.

Juliet Mayhew considers whether D v D is a template for maintaining the family farm on divorce

There is an area of West Yorkshire, between Wakefield, Morley and Rothwell known as the Rhubarb Triangle, famous since the 19th century for producing early-forced rhubarb. It was a farm situated in the Rhubarb Triangle that formed the subject matter of dispute in the case of D v D [2010]. The farm comprised an area of land that had been farmed by the husband’s family, initially as a small market gardening enterprise and, latterly, as a highly mechanised, efficient and dynamic business comprising farming, packing and processing operations. To a certain extent, this case might be compared to other dynastic cases involving the stewardship of farms or landed estates, because it involved an area of land owned and farmed by a particular family over several generations. However, the development and diversification of the farming business by the husband during the marriage years and the changes brought about by the husband’s own business acumen led the court to draw a distinction from other farming cases and thwarted the husband’s attempt to ‘ring fence’ his family farm in the division of the assets in the divorce.

Fiona Campbell-White assesses whether we are still at liberty to leave our property to whomever we choose, however irrational

In Banks v Goodfellow [1870], the case we all know as the one setting down the conditions that a testator has to satisfy in order to be deemed to have capacity to make a will, Cockburn CJ underlined a testator’s testamentary freedom under English law (para 565):