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Articles

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Pre Nuptial Agreements

A pre-nuptial agreement is a document entered into prior marriage, in which a couple set out their rights to any property, debts, income and other assets purchased together or acquired individually or that they have bought into their relationship in the event that the relationship ends. Pre- nuptial agreements can be drawn up by couples who are about to marry or enter into a civil partnership.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Estate Planning - Normal Expenditure out of Income

By far the most common method of varying a will or the provision on intestacy is the execution of an instrument of variation - particularly when tax efficiency is a consideration. However, in some circumstances a simpler and equally efficient method may be available. This article looks at two such methods - disclaimers by beneficiaries, and elections by a spouse to capitalise a life interest to which s/he would otherwise be entitled under intestacy.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Guardianship - A Crucial Appointment in your Will

The court can appoint guardians under the Children's Act 1989 if you die leaving young children surviving and without a surviving parent. It is sensible to consider who should be appointed in the knowledge that a spouse or partner does not survive the first spouse to die.

Monday, 16 November 2009

The effect of divorce upon Wills

The basic rule is straightforward: divorce will treat former spouses as if they were omitted from the Will. No gift will pass to the former spouse; furthermore even if a former spouse is named as executor they cannot act as executor. The remaining terms of the Will (excluding any reference to the former spouse) remain valid.

As always there are always exceptions to the rule!

Friday, 13 November 2009

Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) - A Solution to Rising Taxes

The income tax rate increases and reduction in tax relief for pension contributions have prompted an increasing number of people to consider leaving the UK to live elsewhere. If individuals do decide to leave the UK, or are already living abroad, they should consider whether they should leave any UK pension rights here, or move them overseas.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Estate Planning - Varying Provision on Death

By far the most common method of varying a will or the provision on intestacy is the execution of an instrument of variation - particularly when tax efficiency is a consideration. However, in some circumstances a simpler and equally efficient method may be available. This article looks at two such methods - disclaimers by beneficiaries, and elections by a spouse to capitalise a life interest to which s/he would otherwise be entitled under intestacy.

Deed of Variation

A Deed of Variation sometimes known as a Deed of Family Arrangement enables beneficiaries of a deceased's estate to alter the distribution of that estate, or relinquish a bequest from an estate. Thus changing the deceased Will.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975

Family lawyers do not often deal with claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. When a potential claim under the 1975 Act arises, there are certain areas that they need to be aware of, as there are substantial differences between claims under the 1975 Act and ancillary relief applications.

An Explanation Of Personal Injury (PI) Trusts Some Frequently Asked Questions

Why Should I have a Personal Injury Trust?

If you are in receipt of means tested benefits then you should consider having Rollingsons Solicitors set up a PI Trust for you. The following are means tested benefits:

Discretionary Trusts - Still an ideal tool for estate management

For the death of a surviving spouse or civil partner occurring after 7th October 2007 the transferable nil-rate band has meant that the previously popular nil-rate band discretionary trust is no longer required to ensure that there would be £650,000 (at current rates) passing free of Inheritance Tax to the next generation.

Friday, 6 November 2009

The Intestacy Rules

What Happens to an Estate if a person dies without a valid Will?

The intestacy rules govern the distribution of a person's estate if they die in England & Wales without a valid Will. The rules changed on 1st February 2009 - but what do the changes actually mean in practice? Here we summarise the key changes.