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Executor Feuds

EXEXCUTOR FEUDS TREBLE IN A YEAR

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The Danger of DIY Wills

The Danger of DIY Wills

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"Cowboy" Will Writers

Crackdown on Cowboy Will Writers

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Have you thought about giving away your home?

Have you thought about giving away your home?

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Your Funeral Arrangements

"YOUR" FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS

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OFT warns over £40m wills cost

Failing to shop arround

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Where there's no Will

Where there's no will

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Dying without a will

Warning against dying without a will in place

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Dying without a will

Warning against dying with a will in place

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Britons failing to make will

More than half of UK adults do not have a will and are risking their assets not being distributed as they wish after death, an Axa Sun Life survey suggests. If there is no will the law of intestacy applies, meaning spouses and close family members are the first in line to inherit.

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Dangers of Not Making a Will

BBC News Item - Half of all Britons have not made a Will. A Legal Expert looks at the risks these people are running....

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Taxman can take frightening amount from your children's inheritance

Now the taxman can take a frightening amount from your childrens' inheritance. But only if you let him. Most people think that Inheritance Tax is only a problem for the super-rich. But after years of soaring house pries even people of relatively modest means are targets. Inheritance Tax starts to bite -instantly at the top rate of 40% aver £300,000. With many homes costing far more than that, the death of the surviving parent can mean a big tax bill for the children, at a time when they may be least able to cope. Take the case where someone leaves a home worth £360,000, plus savings and other property adding up to a total of £440,000. That would trigger a tax demand for £56,000 - which could force the sale of the family home. But the saddest aspect of the situation is that this punitive tax could have been largely avoided - perfectly legally - with just a little professional planning. With property prices so high more and more families will face these swinging tax demands, just because they weren't aware of the alternatives." 'The Government is creating two classes of family -financial winners and financial losers - based purely on whether or not they have access to sound professional advice.' So if you believe you may be liable for Inheritance Tax, it could make a big difference to your family if you take action sooner rather than later. Thewillplace.com will be holding Inheritance Tax Surgeries. If you would like to know more about reducing or eliminating your Inheritance Tax liability, then telephone 0151 632 6281 for a consultation without cost or obligation.

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INHERITANCE TAX SET BACK (From the Daily Telegraph 14th April 2007)

THOUSANDS of families face the prospect of being hit by a new tax blow following a landmark ruling, it became clear yesterday. Up to 500,000 families have entered into arrangements to pro¬tect them against inheritance tax. The scheme, which involves splitting the value of property between a husband and wife, is aimed at lessening the tax burden. But after the ruling, seen by The Daily Telegraph, thousands of families could now face higher tax bills. The case involved the family of an Oxford don and his wife who were told the scheme did not applv to them because the wife died first. Tax experts said this was a major ruling. Thousands of couples take ou "tenants in common" schemes to protect their estates and their children from paying the tax. The family were expecting that they would not have to pay tax on the wife's half of the property. But the ruling by the Special Commissioners, who settle disputes between taxpayers and the Revenue, means the couple's children have to pay tax at 40 per cent -£60,000 - on the mother's £150,000 half share of the property. The experts said that because the wife had no income, the scheme did not apply. Last night, a leading accountant said the ruling "devalues the contribution that a wife has made". Estates over £300,000 attract inheritance tax. Experts advise people with property worth more than £500.000 to divide it between the, two parties to avoid liability. The court case involved a trust used by the late Dr Patrick Phizackerley, a" fellow of Balliol College, Oxford, and his wife Mary - also known as Daphne - to minimise their children's inheritance tax lia¬bility. The couple bought a £150,000 house in Woodstock Road, Oxford, in 1994. By the time Mrs Phizackerley died it was worth twice that. But despite the couple's best efforts to protect their children's inheritance, the ruling meant an extra £60,000 had to go to the taxman following their deaths. Dr Phizackerley was a highly respected clinical biochemist whose work saved the lives of many babies. He retired in 1992. The decision not to allow Mrs Phizackerley inheritance tax eemption rested on the fact that she had not worked, had not contributed to the mortgage and had died first. The Government made a fanfare in the last Budget about increasing the inheritance tax threshold from £285,000 to £300,000. But tax experts yesterday attacked the court ruling made by the Spe¬cial Commissioners, the body set up to settle disputes between claimants and the taxman, saying it is just another way'for Gordon Brown to squeeze more cash out of middle England to help top up the Government's coffers. Mike Warburton, of the accountants Grant Thornton, described the law as "archaic". He said: "The ruling devalues the contribution that his wife has made. "HM Revertae & Customs is saying that if you iry to save inheritance tax by setting up a nil-rate band discretionary trust in this way, it is only going to work as long as the person who dies first has contributed the cash." Financial experts say the arrangements are still worth doing if they are set up in the correct way. Mr Warburton said: "You don't know who is going to die first and professional advisers have already identified ways to structure the will to overcome this problem. "It is the children that suffer because 'the law is devaluing a woman's contribution to the family's financial wellbeing." Simon Brown, a partner at the solicitors Thomson Snell & Passmore - who acted for the couple's daughter Stephanie Phizackerley in appealing against the case - agreed that the discretionary trusts arrangement still works and should be used. But he added: "It needs to be set up in the right way." Miss Phizackerley was unavailable for comment. But in her claim,she stated: "From my knowledge of my parents, I believe my father wanted my mother to enjoy the security of joint ownership." Ray Boulger, of the independent mortgage brokers John Charcol, warned that the IHT rules could change. He said: "Because the rules may be different on the first death of a couple compared to What they are today you need to bear this in mind in any IHT mitigation planning." One way to mitigate IHT without using a trust and without putting the occupation of the property by the survivor at risk, according to financial advisers, is by first making sure the property is owned as tenants in common with both parties making mirror wills, each leaving their share of the property to the other. On the first death, the survivor should consider a Deed of Variation to pass all or part directly to an alternative beneficiary and keep it out of the estate of the survivor. A spokesman for HM Revenue & Customs said: "The decision was on the basis of the individual facts of this case. The Special Commissioner found that the particular circumstances fell foul of longstanding anti-avoidance provisions in the IHT regime."

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Where There's a Will

Where There's a Will... Married with children? Who will benefit from your lifetime's work? Your family or the Taxman? Inheritance Tax (IHT) is charged at 40% on the value of your taxable assets over an IHT threshold of £300,000. Bearing in mind recent property price rises, many of us who would not regard ourselves as rich will be severely affected by IHT. Wills need to be drafted to ensure both spouses use their own IHT exempt band. Do this and you can save your family £120,000! For further information ring thewillplace.com 0151 632 6281.

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Inheritance Tax

Official figures tell us that over 70,000 private homes have been sold to pay for long term care fees. Don't let this heartbreaking situation happen to you and your family. Straight forward and inexpensive measures, costing under £300, can be taken at the time of making a Will to help avoid this awful predicament. Inheritance Tax (IHT) is sometimes called the 'New Middle Class Tax'. However, it is a voluntary tax because most people will onlu pay IHT if they do nothing about it! Again, inexpensive measures, costing under £500, can be taken at the time of making a Will to avoid or substantially mitigate IHT.The Chancellor will take over £5 Billion in IHT this year from 'ordinary folk'. Call thewillplace.com 0151 632 6281

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Business owner

The law firm, Mace & Jones, made its warning, after research from Lawpack revealed that almost two thirds of Britons have not made arrangements for their will. Peter Houghton, a wills and probate partner at Mace & Jones, said serious complications can arise in the ownership of the business if a Will is not made or poorly written.

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Civil Partners

December 5 marks the first anniversary of the Civil Partnership Bill but despite a year having passed since the introduction of this legislation, the Institute of Professional Willwriters is warning that many same sex couples have no idea of the impact their union has on their inheritance arrangements.

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Family Panic!

If you have a home, make a will. And name someone your executor. My family had long talked about living wills and wills. All three siblings have them, and we all confidently told the doctors that first night that Mom had one. It took three days to find her reasoning — written out for all to see — saying she hadn't done either, but planned to soon. My mom turned 70 in August. Soon is not an option now.

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Who Pays Inheritance Tax

Inheritance Tax is the tax that is paid on your 'estate'. Broadly speaking this is everything you own at the time of your death, less what you owe.

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WILLS ARE A WAY TO KEEP CONTROL

Homeowners will be reminded of the importance of making a will and keeping it up to date when National Will Week begins next Sunday. Incredibly, 60 per cent of adults fail to make a will even though this leaves them open to the risk of their assets not being passed on to their loved ones after their death.

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Problems with one in four UK wills

The register offers a nationwide online will registration, location and retrieval service. For further information click on www.thewillplace.com.

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Avoid the Death Trap

Anger at the outmoded, unfair inheritance tax system is growing. Financial Mail has received thousands of I contributions to its 'inheritance tax debate', which asks readers how it should be reformed. We will publish the results shortly.

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Husband died without a will

THE widow of award-winning comedy writer Harry Thompson faces an uncertain financial future, as it was revealed her husband died without a will.

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Where there's a will

A NATIONAL register was being launched today to tackle the problem of wills found to be missing or damaged when a per­son dies. An estimated one in four wills is found to be lost or damaged on the death of the author — sometimes by relatives hoping for a larger share of the inheritance.

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Where there's a will...

Where there's a will there's a way to register - THE first UK national wills register has been set up in Merseyside.

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will Power

A NATIONAL register has been launched by a North Wales businessman to tackle the problem of wills found to be missing or damaged when a person dies. An estimated one in four wills is found to be lost or damaged on the death of the author.

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online service to register wills

MERSEYSIDE solicitor Paul Rooney has launched the UK's first national wills register, with accountant Phil Hall and business advisor Geoffrey Prince. www.thewillplace.com

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