Former Chancellor George Osborne's introduction of a 3 per cent Stamp Duty (Land and Buildings Transaction Tax in Scotland) surcharge on second properties from April 2016 caused a dramatic fall in HMRC’s revenues from the tax, according to property specialists London Central Portfolio. They estimated that the loss to the Exchequer was GBP500 million in just six months.
1. “I’m married, it will all go to my wife” - this is not the case. If a couple are married and a spouse dies without leaving a Will, the surviving spouse does not automatically inherit the whole estate.
Aileen Scott, an Associate solicitor in our Perth office writes: “The surviving spouse has a prior right to an amount of assets in the estate, then a legal right to a share of cash in the estate along with any children of the deceased. The remaining estate then passes to children, if there are no children then to parents and siblings of the deceased. Only if there are no children, no parents and/or siblings does a spouse inherit all of the estate. To ensure the bulk of your assets on your death pass to your surviving spouse a Will should be granted in their favour”.
Recent media reports have highlighted the fact that increasing numbers of applications for Guardianships in Scotland are putting strain on the specialist social workers who deal with the applications and oversee the guardians.
An investigation by the Mental Welfare Commission discovered that in many of the cases they examined, it was clear that local authorities were struggling to carry out the appropriate supervisory visits, or to carry out the initial checks during the application process.
The new Personal Savings Allowance has now been with us for a number of months. Many people may not even be aware of it and for the majority of people, its presence will have only a minor impact, if at all, in that they will receive slightly more savings interest than before. This is because the requirement for banks and building societies to deduct tax at source was also removed on 6th April 2016 and all such interest in now paid gross. From that date, a savings allowance of £1,000 for basic rate taxpayers, or £500 for higher rate taxpayers, was introduced.
With the current low interest rate continuing to erode income and savings, we have had a noticeable increase in enquiries from clients asking us: Should we release the capital tied up in our property?
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Living in a care home can be expensive. Some people are able to pay their own care fees, others may need help. To figure out how you will pay your care fees, you should know what type of assets you own and their value. This along with knowledge of the eligibility criteria means that you can plan for your future timeously.
We hope that we will always be able to deal with our own financial affairs and make decisions regarding our welfare, and never have to reply on another individual to make decisions for us; however, sadly, this isn’t always the case. More and more clients are becoming aware of the importance of granting a Power of Attorney.
Proving that where there’s a will there’s an opportunity for charity, Tayside based solicitors and estate agents, Miller Hendry is celebrating a successful collaboration with the campaign Will Aid.
Miller Hendry raised £6925 through the annual Will Aid drive, which asks solicitors to waive their usual fees and have clients make a donation to Will Aid instead. The donations are then divided among nine Will Aid charities, which include Save the Children, Christian Aid and British Red Cross
The first significant reform of the law relating to succession to a person’s estate on death in more than 50 years came into force on 4 March 2016 through the Succession (Scotland) Act 2016.
Donnie MacLeod an Associate in the firm’s Perth office commented: “Many of the provisions have yet to come into effect but the new Act is intended to clarify the law of succession and make it fairer.”