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Wills, probate and administration

Procedure – personal income tax

At issue in this case was whether A owed HMRC a debt in excess of the current bankruptcy level of £5,000. If he did, HMRC could serve a statutory demand on him ahead of bankruptcy proceedings. HMRC claimed that A owed a debt under s59B(5) Taxes Management Act 1970 which applies to tax payable as a result of an amendment/correction of a self-assessment under s28 ATMA.

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Wills – dependant claims; adult children

The County Court has allowed an adult child ‘reasonable provision’ from her father’s (T) estate. This continues the recent trend allowing disinherited children a share of a deceased parent’s estate in specific circumstances.

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Procedure – CoP accredited legal representatives

The Law Society has published new practice guidance for lawyers seeking appointment, or acting, as accredited legal representatives (ALR) in the Court of Protection. The guidance applies only to situations where the ALR is acting for P (the subject of the proceedings) where P has been joined as a party.

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Procedure – unsealing will

An application by the librarian and assistant keeper of the Queen’s archives for a full copy of the will and codicil of the Duke of Windsor (who died on 28 May 1972) for research purposes was granted.

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Procedure – Court of Protection

The Court of Protection Rules 2017 are now in force, revoking and replacing the Court of Protection Rules 2007 and subsequent amendments. The new 2017 rules are long overdue, and consolidate CoP practice and procedure.

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Wills – validity

A homemade holographic will was held to be valid. T was born in Montenegro but came to England after the Second World War, though his English never became particularly fluent.

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Probate – e-material

The author looks at the issues raised by drafting wills in a digital age, and the challenges for administrators who are left to discover what the deceased owned (and owed) if they left no accessible records.

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Wills – dependency claims

In this case, T was estranged from his three daughters and left his entire £265,000 estate to a friend who was in financial difficulties. He left a letter explaining his reasons for excluding his daughters from his will. However, one them (D) made a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 for reasonable provision of £59,000.

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Trustees – money laundering

Private client practitioners need to understand the implications of the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017. The regulations came into force in June 2017 and will have an impact on trustees and advisers.

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Wills – mutual wills

At issue in a recent case was whether or not mutual wills had been created, and when a constructive trust may then have arisen.

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