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Tax Net to Loosen for Trusts, Tighten for Offshore Affairs

In the recent Budget, the Government committed itself to a review of the operation of trust taxation in the UK. Since reforms were introduced in 2006 to counter what appear to have been little-used tax avoidance schemes, trusts have been used less often...

Certain Inheritance Can Be Financial Resource in Divorce Settlement

Under English law, a person is able (within limits) to decide absolutely to whom their estate should pass. However, many countries have 'forced heirship' laws, under which a deceased person's estate must pass in specified proportions to a particular person...

Informal Wills on the Way?

We have written on numerous occasions of the danger of either failing to leave a will or of not taking professional advice when making your will. Among the difficulties that can arise with DIY wills are challenges by family members who have been excluded...

Solicitors Are Under a Lifelong Duty to Guard Client Confidentiality

One of the advantages of placing your trust in solicitors is that they owe a lifelong duty to maintain the confidentiality of any information you give them. That point was underlined by a High Court case in which a solicitor was banned from taking...

Minor Drafting Error Corrected - £1 Million Saved

Under Inheritance Tax (IHT) law, certain types of trust have a ten-yearly charge to IHT on the value of the trust assets. The legislation, which imposes IHT of 6 per cent on the 'relevant property' in the trust settlement, was introduced in 2006 and applied...

Council Must Consider Planning Application

People who seek advantage by going beyond the bounds of planning permission they are given can expect to be taught a very expensive lesson by the courts. However, the law does guarantee the right of a person to have a planning application considered, as was...

Judge Sees Through Attempt to Hide Assets

When a couple divorced in 2014, the ex-husband was ordered to pay his ex-wife periodical payments of £120,000 per year after he was found to have used a variety of stratagems to make himself appear worse off than he really was. A mere three months...

Business Tycoon's Wife Well Served by Lawyers Who Drafted Her Will

A solicitor's primary duty when drafting a will is to follow faithfully their client's instructions after giving accurate and level-headed advice. In a professional negligence case triggered by the early death of a business tycoon's wife, the High Court...

Libel by Internal Email Proves Expensive

Many people think that for a libel to occur, the statement made has to be both false and made in public, but in fact that is not so, as a recent libel case confirms . The libellous comments were made by a care worker at a hospital about a colleague in an...

Planning to Participate in a Tax Avoidance Scheme? Read This First!

Anyone tempted to participate in a tax avoidance scheme would be wise to take note of one case in which a businessman complained in vain that he had been subject to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) inquiries for almost seven years, with no end in sight. The...
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