Trusts, Wills and Probate

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Administering Estates - Procedures and Pitfalls

A recent survey has shown that more than one in ten people who are thought to have died intestate (i.e. without leaving a will) may actually have made a will and that a similar number of those who leave a will which is initially believed to be the last will...

Asset Valuation Problems - Chattels

When dealing with an estate, an increasing problem for executors is the valuation of assets in the form of the chattels of the deceased. In probate terminology, chattels are the ‘everyday’ assets such as furniture and ordinary possessions, as...

CGT and Shares in Estates Valuation Trap

In the UK, there are quite generous exemptions from Inheritance Tax (IHT) which apply to business assets. One problem with making use of such exemptions is the effect this may have on the subsequent value of the relevant assets for Capital Gains Tax (CGT)...

Changing Wills For Benefit

A will expresses the final wishes of the deceased person and it is commonly thought that a will is irrevocable after death. However, provided everyone agrees, it is normally possible to vary a will provided that the application is made within two years of...

Cohabitees and Death - Who Can Claim?

When one member of a cohabiting couple dies, it can come as an unpleasant surprise to the bereaved partner to discover that not all of their late partner’s estate will pass to them in the absence of a will. It is only when this happens that many people...

Dealing With an Insolvent Estate

One of the rules that applies to the administration of estates is that whilst a person appointed as executor under a will can refuse to accept the appointment, once an executor ‘intermeddles’ in the estate, in principle he or she cannot then...

Estates - What Happens if Values Fall?

One of the biggest problems now facing executors is that as the recession progresses, most assets, other than cash, are falling in value, which can mean that the value of an estate for Inheritance Tax (IHT) purposes is greater than the market value later on....

Heir Hunters - Take Advice!

Until the recent publicity afforded by television shows on the subject, many people might not have realised that ‘heir tracing’ companies exist, let alone that they research ‘promising’ estates by looking at public records and then...

Helping Your Executors

Being an executor is a demanding job at the best of times and a task that is made all the more difficult when the deceased has not given proper thought to the problems their executors will face. Here are some of the things you can do to make sure your...

How do I Leave Money to Charity in My Will?

It's easy to include a charity in your will, but you should always consult your solicitor before you write or change your will  to be sure it reflects your exact intentions and that you understand its implications. Before you call your adviser,...
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