Proper Planning Must Be Comprehensive

30th September 2016 By Arman Khosravi

Many wills involve a degree of planning for Inheritance Tax (IHT) as well as just the appropriate division of the estate, but for any plan to be effective, it is essential that when the will is drafted, the solicitor has full knowledge of all the assets involved, which can include financial products or plans set up years prior to the drafting of the will.

The dangers of making a will on the basis of less than full knowledge were clearly illustrated in a recent case in which a will was drafted in 2011 for a woman who died in 2013. The woman had left legacies for the children of her late husband’s nieces, for whom she had previously set up trusts. Her intention was to provide them with a total of £200,000 each on her death and legacies were set up in the will of £54,000 each to accomplish this. However, she overlooked the fact that the trust she had created did not pass to them on her death but passed into the ‘residue’ of her estate to be divided among the beneficiaries generally.

In order to achieve the net position that had been the woman’s intention, the beneficiaries took legal action against the professional advisers who set up the trust and the will draughtsman.

Although the case against the will draughtsman was settled before trial, that against the financial advisers continued. However, the judge accepted that the liability lay with the will draughtsman, not the financial advisers. Their advice was not sufficiently ‘proximate’ to the drafting of the will and, accordingly, they did not have responsibility for the outcomes for the beneficiaries under it.

Source: Concious

Latest News

Another Sad Tale of a Farmer's Disinherited Children – High Court Ruling

24th November, 2023 By

The tale of a devoted son labouring for years on a family farm only to be cut out of his father's will is so often told as to be almost a cliché. However, as a High Court ruling showed, such stories are often reflected in the sad and recurring reality of agricultural inheritance disputes. When he died, a father was the beneficial owner of a 20 per cent stake in his family farm. He also held a 25 per cent share of a company that ran a market gardening business...

Family Judge Treads the Blurred Boundary Between Life and Death

21st November, 2023 By

The ability of modern medical technology to keep patients' hearts beating and their lungs ventilating has led to a blurring of the boundary between life and death. As a High Court ruling showed, it sometimes falls to family judges to make the desperately hard decision as to when that line has been crossed. The case concerned a young man who fell to the ground after being assaulted in a pub garden, sustaining a catastrophic brain injury. He was admitted to hospital in a deep coma and, following weeks of observation...

False Claim to Be a Cash Buyer Ruled Fraudulent in Ground-Breaking Case

16th November, 2023 By

In coming to the aid of a frail and elderly householder, the High Court has ruled in a landmark case that she was on the receiving end of a fraudulent misrepresentation when a would-be purchaser of her home was falsely described to her as a cash buyer. A copy of a contract before the Court indicated that the woman, aged in her 80s, had signed a contract agreeing to the sale of her home for £840,000. Following a purported exchange of contracts, the purchaser, an investment company, launched proceedings against...

Sometimes Parental Love is Not Enough – Court Sanctions Boy's Adoption

13th November, 2023 By

Parents may be worthy of praise and deeply love their children, but it sadly does not always follow that they are able to provide them with a stable home. The High Court made that point in sanctioning a little boy's placement for adoption. Due to concerns that he was not receiving a good enough standard of parenting, a local authority placed him in temporary foster care and sought care and placement orders. His parents, although separated, staunchly resisted plans for his adoption, arguing that his mother was able to look...