Last updateTue, 24 Feb 2015 5pm

Gavin Ferguson and Chris Hards discuss the rise in the use of protectors

The offshore fiduciary industry began to see protectors being introduced during the mid to late 1980s. The rise in the popularity of their use may be attributed to many concerns but the following factors, rightly or wrongly, appear to dominate perceptions:

Martin Terrell and Louise Mathias-Williams set out the lessons from the Public Guardian’s recent decision over severance applications

Practitioners involved with the ever-increasing demand for lasting powers of attorney (LPAs) may struggle to find judicial guidance on the finer points of drafting and practice. Details of cases are often hidden away in footnotes of textbooks or in obscure corners of the government website. It is therefore quite an event when 17 applications made by the Public Guardian have been dealt with in a single case, heard by District Judge Eldergill in April 2017. His impressive judgment was reported on 19 June 2017 in the case of The Public Guardian’s Severance Applications [2017].

Finance Bill 2 contains changes to the taxation of non-doms and more. Alex Ruffel and Tom Barber give the lowdown

The UK government announced on 13 July 2017 that it will introduce a second Finance Bill (Finance Bill 2) in September 2017. Finance Bill 2 will revive changes to the taxation of certain non-domiciled UK residents (non-doms) and to the taxation of UK residential property in offshore structures.

Professor Nick Hopkins and Spencer Clarke offer an overview of the Law Commission’s consultation paper on the law of wills

The Law Commission published its consultation paper, Making a Will, on 13 July 2017, setting out its ideas for reform of the law and asking for views. A formal consultation period follows and we encourage responses from readers (see the box below for details of how to respond).

In a time of uncertainty Geoffrey Shindler urges private client practitioners to get back to basics

We may, or we may not, in Chinese terms, live in interesting times. We certainly live in strange times. Normally we can have some idea of what the short-term future holds for us. We can always be certain that the England football team will be humiliated in the next major European or World Championship, even assuming that they reach the qualifying stages. The might of Iceland lies in the way and in the not too distant past so did that of the United States of America. Indeed, only in 1966 did we triumph over all of the odds. We can be certain that our cricket team will both delight and infuriate us in equal measure; we will beat the Australians and lose to Bangladesh on a tour there. And there is one further absolute certainty which is that either Oxford or Cambridge will win the Boat Race.

Edward Cumming and Timothy Sherwin bring the doctrine of deathbed gifts up to date

In this article, we consider donationes mortis causa (DMCs), sometimes called deathbed gifts.

Ruth Hughes explores the notion of ‘doing the right thing’ in a will

Re Jones [2016] was a case riven with tragedy, but with a relatively happy ending.

Claire Blakemore and Jemma Thomas give the lowdown on trusts and divorce

Establishing whether the court is likely to view the trust as a nuptial settlement capable of variation, or a resource available to the parties, is often a key consideration in a case where there is a mixture of trust and non-trust assets. Answering these questions involves a detailed analysis not just of the trust documents (including the trust deed, trust accounts, any letter of wishes) but also evidence from any relevant party as to how the trust was managed during the marriage. Sometimes it is a gap in the information that can be important in understanding how a trust will be treated; for example if there is an inconsistency between the family’s earned resources and their lifestyle, it may indicate either the trust or its assets are assisting in meeting the family’s expenditure. It is this level of rigorous scrutiny of family finances that the court will expect. Consistency between how the trust is structured and how it is managed is often a key factor when it comes to analysing the impact of trust interests on the division of assets on divorce.