One of the less talked about implications of losing capacity in old age is that Inheritance Tax (IHT) planning often becomes impossible without court intervention. Incapable wealthy family members cannot make gifts because they lack the capacity to authorise them. Even if they have had the foresight to sign a Property & Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney, by law an attorney’s ability to make gifts is extremely limited and this cannot be overridden by any terms placed in the Lasting Power. If the member lacks capacity and there is going to be a big IHT bill to pay on their death, the only option is to make an application to the Court of Protection for authority to make a substantial gift.
Is a company or a trust the best vehicle to hold family money?
Companies can be used to hold family wealth. Often referred to as Family Investment Companies (FICs), at their simplest they can be seeded with funds by subscribing for shares or, if continued access to family wealth is needed, by way of loan (with any growth in the invested loan funds being the FIC’s assets).
The Public Guardian’s new ‘Practice Note PN7: giving gifts’ is a must-read for any attorney appointed under an Enduring or Lasting Power of Attorney, or deputy, faced with the thorny issue of whether they can use the incapable donor’s funds in a transaction which is not for value – such as a payment by way of gift or to meet a person’s needs.
Developers often identify land that looks good for development on the face of it, only to discover that there are restrictive covenants preventing the land from being developed or used in the way they would like. This can be incredibly frustrating; especially where the restrictive covenants are historic and the interests they seek to protect appear to be of limited modern relevance.
In this article I will explore what a developer can do when confronted by such a restrictive covenant. I have used “beneficiary” to describe the party with the benefit of the restrictive covenant and “you” to describe the developer.
The tale of Two Right Feet Limited reminds us of the importance of investigating and considering the merits of a claim prior to commencing proceedings, and the dangers of forging ahead with speculative litigation.
In July 2017 a judgment of the High Court of Justice in Two Right Feet Limited (In Liquidation) v National Westminster Bank Plc, Royal Bank of Scotland Plc, KPMG LLP ordered Two Right Feet Limited, an insolvent online baby products business (previously featured on BBC’s Watchdog), to pay indemnity costs of the three defendants.
Claims arising from construction projects often require consideration of the law of limitation.
Limitation periods are statutorily prescribed windows within which claimants must commence claims. These periods do not, however, sit naturally against the nature and timeline of projects, where numerous parties are involved, the period from commencement through to completion can span many years, and the parties’ liabilities extend beyond completion.
Block insurance policies are a very common way of insuring multiple properties. Landlords can benefit from economies of scale and may find the administration easier with only one renewal date and uniform terms. However, earlier this year the Upper Tribunal held that one landlord could not recover its block policy premia, despite being permitted to do so under the terms of its lease, because the premia were not “reasonably incurred”.
In a landmark decision in Lungowe v Vedanta Resources Plc the Court of Appeal has ruled that a number of claimants can pursue their claim against a Zambian mining company and its English parent in the English courts despite the claim’s limited connection to England. The decision has widened the scope of potential claims against a UK parent company to include claims by those affected by a subsidiary’s operations. The decision should be on the radar of UK companies with foreign operations.
Occupiers must be alert to changes to lending and insurance requirements as a result of the Grenfell Tower tragedy. The fire initiated the largest review of health and safety legislation in the UK since 1945. Two inquiries are currently underway which are expected to lead to substantial changes to building regulations and fire safety, with a public inquiry investigating the causes of the fire.
Mrs Mary Sargeant’s case is a classic example of why advisers of bereaved widow(er)s are ideally placed to help their clients consider whether sufficient provision has been made for them under their deceased spouse’s Will. The problem, as Mrs Sargeant found out, is that this is sometimes not obvious even a number of months after their spouse’s death. However, the law places restrictions on how long bereaved spouses can take to try to improve their financial lot if insufficient provision has been made for them.