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Trusts and Estates Law and Tax Journal: October 2014

A glance at the news reveals a lack of joined-up thinking in HMRC and other government agencies, finds Geoffrey Shindler

Those of us who watch a lot of cricket, and that includes me, are prone to make the statement ‘It’s a funny game, cricket!’ at regular intervals when something untoward or unexpected occurs (a regular event). This thought went through my mind when reading a newspaper recently discussing, on different pages in articles written by different journalists, the activities of Her Majesty’s government and its offshoots.

Mark Keenan and Bethan Byrne examine changes to family provision claims

The Law Commission project ‘Intestacy and Family Provision Claims on Death’ began nearly six years ago and was subject to a lengthy period of consultation. The project considered the areas of intestacy and family provision where it was felt that the current statutes did not reflect the modern family, particularly as studies had shown that more than two thirds of the adult population did not have a will. Accompanying the report were two draft bills, the Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Bill and the Inheritance (Cohabitants) Bill. Only the former was to come into effect. The Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Act (ITPA) received Royal Assent on 14 May 2014 and the anticipated commencement date is 1 October 2014. The ITPA makes a number of changes to the current intestacy rules in relation to provision for a surviving spouse and the definition of chattels. For the purposes of this article we are focusing on the changes to the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (the 1975 Act) and we will consider what impact these changes will have for the would-be claimant.

Laytons

Simrun Seehra looks at recent case law on rectification of a deed of variation

It is a well-established principle under English law that a beneficiary may vary the effect of a will or the intestacy provisions by agreement in writing, provided that the variation is made within two years of the date of the deceased’s death. In accordance with s142(1), Inheritance Tax Act 1984 (IHTA), provided the conditions set out in this provision are met, the variations may be treated for inheritance tax purposes as if they were made by the deceased. The advantage of this is that it can result in a substantial inheritance tax saving, given that the variation is not itself taxable as a transfer of value.

Peter Steer and Sarah Clune review recent developments in third sector law

This article is a brief round-up of recent developments in charity law to bring practitioners fully up to date.

Stuart Adams discusses the correct procedure for the safe custody and registration of wills

It is often said that a will is one of the most important documents that an individual will write or have written for them. Without a will you are not able to determine who should receive your assets on death, leaving the devolution of your estate at the mercy of the intestacy rules.

Jonathan Grogan sets out the current position on gifts from deputies and attorneys to themselves

Clients often seek guidance from their legal advisers about making gifts when acting as attorney or deputy on behalf of someone who lacks capacity. Understandably, they want practical and useful advice rather than an unwieldy regurgitation of the law. The problem is, however, that the law in this area happens to be quite complex.

Joshua Rubenstein and Shelly Meerovitch give an introduction to FATCA reporting for offshore trusts and holding companies

For the past four years, many, if not most, international investors and private client advisers have heard of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), read about it, dreaded it and, with a number of amendments delaying its effective date, been successful in sticking their respective heads in the sand trying to avoid it. Well, time is up.

Forsters LLP

Dominic Ribet explains how the proposed UK registry of corporate beneficial ownership will work

At the 2013 G8 summit, the UK government announced proposals to increase transparency in relation to both the ownership and control of companies. Prime Minister David Cameron said at the time, ‘We need to know who really owns and controls our companies. Not just who owns them legally, but who really benefits financially from their existence.’