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Only Gifts Without Reservation Are Effective in Minimising IHT

Giving away your assets to the next generation before your death can be an effective means of minimising Inheritance Tax (IHT) liabilities. However, as one tribunal case showed , such gifts have to be absolute and bring you no personal benefit in order to...

Don't Delay in Completing 'Formalities'

There is a tendency to think that procedural matters are mere formalities and there is no need to be in a rush to dot the i's and cross the t's, but sometimes failing to deal with them promptly can cause significant problems, as a recent case involving a...

Parenthood is Not a Trump Card to Avoid Imprisonment

Imprisoning parents is inevitably traumatic for their children, and striking a balance between child welfare and appropriate punishment of criminals is a dilemma confronted by judges every day. However, a Court of Appeal ruling has emphasised that parenthood...

Estranged Daughter Gains Share of Late Father's Estate

The dangers of concluding that estranged children who have been disinherited will have no claim against a deceased person's estate were made very clear after a widely reported case decided last year. They have again been highlighted in a recent case in...

Everyone Has a Civic Duty to Assist Judges in Resolving Disputes

It is a civic duty to assist the courts in the resolution of disputes, and judges have the power to compel reluctant witnesses to give evidence. Exactly that happened in one case in which a solicitor was required to attend court to testify in respect of a...

What is an 'Existing Building'? - Tax Tribunal Clarifies the Law

A property owner who demolishes an existing dwelling house and replaces it with an entirely new one is entitled to reclaim VAT on the costs of construction – but what happens if part of the original building is retained? A tribunal considered that...

Equality of Division of Assets on Divorce Abolished? Hardly

The popular press has made a great deal of a recent Court of Appeal case , reporting that there had been a significant departure from the general principle that the assets built up by a couple during their marriage are to be split more or less equally on...

Court Upholds Restrictions on Holiday Homes

The old adage that 'an Englishman's home is his castle' is only partially true and the impact of planning law on a property owner's rights can be far-reaching – even extending to limiting the right of occupation. This is particularly an issue in areas...

High Court Dementia Ruling - Judge Acts to Protect Widow

Amidst an ageing population, the role of judges in protecting the weak, vulnerable and infirm is of ever increasing importance. In one case that proves the point, the High Court stepped in to set aside land transfers made by an elderly farmer with dementia...

Private Investors - Beware of Wolves in Sheep's Clothing!

There have always been wolves in sheep's clothing ready to take unfair advantage of private investors and they can be difficult to spot without professional advice. In one case, a company that participated in the sale of coloured diamonds to the public at...
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