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Trusts and Estates Law and Tax Journal: July/August 2012

Geoffrey Shindler looks at charitable donations for tax purposes

Like the poor, with whom it is intimately connected, charity is always with us. Never more so than just now. Last year we had a government statement that there would be a special tax relief for inheritance tax if you gave a specific percentage of your taxable estate to charity. This has been enacted in Finance Act 2012. This year we had the statement that too many people were abusing income tax relief for charitable giving, so income tax relief for charitable giving was to be restricted.

Boyes Turner

D R Sheridan LLP v Higgins serves as a timely reminder of the difficulties when acting for executors who fall out, as Mike Robinson discusses

Unfortunately it is a common occurrence for personal representatives to disagree with each other over the administration of an estate, and any solicitor acting for them needs to steer a very careful course through such troubled waters if they are to be able to complete the administration of the estate in a manner that is acceptable to all parties. Sometimes the degree of conflict is so great that it is going to be impossible to act any further for the parties in dispute, and in most cases it will be appropriate to cease acting for both of them if they will not agree a compromise involving, for example, the appointment of a neutral third party as personal representative.

Gordons LLP

In Lilleyman the divorce cross-check was applied to a claim for reasonable financial provision for a widow, as Martin Holdsworth and Louise Tatton relate

The recently reported cases of Lilleyman v Lilleyman [2012] and Lilleyman v Lilleyman (costs) [2012] concerned a widow’s application for reasonable financial provision under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (the Act). What makes the two judgments of the Vice-Chancellor Mr Justice Briggs in this case of particular interest is that:

Setting aside court orders concerning payment from one party to another can be risky, as David de Ferrars explains

The recent decision of the Court of Appeal in Independent Trustee Services Ltd v Susan Morris [2012] raises interesting questions for trust and estate practitioners about the setting aside of a court order that concerned the payment of money from one party to another. In this case the order concerned was one made in matrimonial proceedings. The case shows that, in law, there is no absolute rule that a bona fide purchaser for value gets title, and that there are risks attached to having court orders for a money payment set aside.

Anna Bruce-Smith sets out the lessons to be learned from Wharton v Bancroft

Mr Justice Norris, in Wharton v Bancroft [2012], said:

Leela Hemmings examines the approach of the UK divorce court to offshore trusts and trustees in BJ v MJ

Often the biggest unknown in financial relief proceedings on divorce is whether, and to what extent, moneys in trust will form part of the pot of assets to be divided between the separating spouses. In the case of BJ v MJ [2012], the English courts have once again ruled that offshore trust assets may form part of this ‘divorce pot’.

Katie Hawksley finds that Rogge v HMRCC summarises how the settlor-interested rules work in the UK and offshore

The First Tier Tax tribunal case of Rogge v HMRCC [2012] concerned three appeals against assessments to income tax by HMRC, relating specifically to the income tax implications for settlors and trustees of settlor-interested trusts where the settlor pays income to the trust (for example by way of rent or loan interest).

Brabners LLP

Duncan Bailey considers the best way to make a pet bequest

The question of whether leaving money to pets is a good idea certainly divides opinion. For some, pet owners and animal lovers alike, the concept provides peace of mind in the knowledge that their furry friends shall be taken care of after death; for others, the idea of leaving any legacy to an animal is just plain ‘barking’.