Last updateTue, 24 Feb 2015 5pm

Siân Hodgson considers the differing statuses of spouse and cohabitee in claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975

Claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (the 1975 Act) have been reported frequently in the national press recently, particularly the case of Ilott v Mitson [2015] which received wide press coverage after the Supreme Court ruling in relation to claims by adult children.

Paul Saunders looks at when trustees should submit details of trust income to HMRC

What does ‘mandated’ mean when used by HMRC in its internal Trusts, Settlements and Estates Manual (TSEM) in relation to whether or not trustees are required to submit a return of trust income?

Potential beneficiaries excluded from a will or trust may have a claim under human rights. Scott Taylor outlines recent case law

The recent case of Hand v George [2017] has brought into focus the implications of the European Convention of Human Rights (the Convention) on some older trusts and wills that import statutory terms that could be potentially discriminatory. These could have a far-reaching effect on classes of potential beneficiaries who have previously been excluded from trusts and wills.

Mark Pawlowski examines the presumption of a resulting trust where assets are owned by a company

In what circumstances is it open to a claimant to argue successfully that assets vested in the legal ownership of a company belong to them beneficially, relying on the presumption of a resulting trust? The point has been considered recently by the High Court in NRC Holdings Ltd v Danilitskiy [2017], which raises new issues surrounding the applicability of the presumption in cases involving the ownership of company assets. Until now, the leading case on this topic has been Prest v Petrodel Resources Ltd [2013], a decision of the Supreme Court, which merits initial consideration.

Geoffrey Shindler asks why HMRC should not be held accountable when it breaches a legally binding agreement

The holiday season has brought about confirmation that as a country we are in a mess. An article in a leading newspaper pointed out, as if we did not know, that the power base of the leading party has been drastically and dramatically reduced by an uncalled-for election that produced a result that nobody anticipated: that the Prime Minister is dependent for her survival on a bunch of MPs from Northern Ireland, some of whose views are distinctly dubious; that members of the Cabinet are now briefing against each other; and that if anyone has an idea what our Brexit policy is then no one has told me (or you?). Not that I am in favour of disclosing a negotiating hand at any time other than in the negotiating room, but I wonder whether those doing the negotiating (for me and for you) have any experience of negotiation.

Simrun Garcha reports on the charitable status and disposal of assets of a now defunct religious sect

The High Court’s recent decision in Buckley v Barlow [2016] explored whether the assets of a religious organisation that had ceased to function by the middle of the 20th century should be applied in accordance with a cy-pres scheme for general charitable purposes or be treated as bona vacantia.

Steve Appleton and Joshua Eaton outline HMRC’s new approach to trusts and the taxation of index-linked loans

Before the introduction of the transferable nil rate band (TNRB) on 9 October 2007, the nil rate band discretionary trust (NRBDT) was a common tool used by solicitors to ensure that spouses took full advantage of both of their nil rate bands (NRB). It worked by the first spouse to die making a gift (the gift) of their available NRB allowance to the trustees of a discretionary trust which included the survivor amongst the class of discretionary beneficiaries. The trust assets would then usually pass to the intended beneficiaries on the death of the survivor. The survivor would still have their own NRB available to set against their free estate. As such, both NRBs were utilised.

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.