Residential Nil Rate Band – downsizing calculations

PDF The draft clauses dealing with the downsizing element of the new RNRB are out today.

The RNRB is available from 6 April 2017 and the relief for downsizing or disposals will apply for deaths after that date where the disposal occurred on or after 8 July 2015.

So, working out, with the aid of a cold towel, what the calculations might actually mean is going to be important – particularly if this is potentially an area where not only the estate planning department need to know what they are talking about, but need to find a way of recording the information through the conveyancing department for most residential property sales that took place since the summer, where it is anticipated that the clients have a total estate value exceeding £650,000 (or £325,000 for non married persons).

I hope Professor Lesley King will do another talk with worked examples – that would help.

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The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 (Consequential and Contrary Provisions and Scotland) and Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014 (Consequential Provisions) Order 2014

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 (Consequential and Contrary Provisions and Scotland) and Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014 (Consequential Provisions) Order 2014.

 

In answer to a question today about whether a couple that are civil partners today, and planning to convert to marriage need to change their wills:  the effect of the subsequent marriage does not cause revocation (as it did before December 2014).

H, Re [2015] EWCOP 52 (05 August 2015)

Absolutely fascinating and relevant for parents of autistic (and other children with mental disabilities), particularly those whose impairments are severe.  Enabling the appointment of successive deputies is a very tricky issue, both legally, practically and also from the point of view that the disabled person should not be considered as a minor child requiring a guardian, nor as a chattel or other asset to be disposed of under a testamentary disposition.

I would so like to meet Master Lush.  He seems to have addressed the issues with tact, discretion and lucidity.  His economy of style is, as always, pleasing.

 

Decision

Although the disadvantages slightly outnumber the advantages, I propose to allow the appointment of successive deputies in this case.

The factor of magnetic importance is that the appointment of successive deputies will give H’s parents peace of mind. It means that they can sleep soundly at night, knowing that they have put their affairs in order. For the last twenty-six years, their lives, their needs and their rights have been completely subordinated to H’s and, when say they that the appointment of successive deputies would be in her best interests, I believe them. Moreover, they still insist that it would be in her best interests, even though they are now fully aware of the problems associated with an appointment of this kind.

In paragraph 8.43 of its report on Mental Incapacity, the Law Commission noted that “many elderly carers of young disabled persons experience great anxiety about what will become of the younger person when they, the carers, have gone.” If an order appointing successive deputies will relieve H’s parents of that anguish, then these proceedings will have been worthwhile.

Putting their affairs in order sounds like making a will. In paragraph 6.21 of its Consultation Paper No 128, the Law Commission observed that some parents attempt to provide a continuing framework of care and supervision for their mentally incapacitated child by means of a testamentary appointment, and went on to say: “We have proposed that the judicial authority have power to appoint successive managers, and think it better in principle to deal with this situation in that way.” Although the Code of Practice contemplates a scenario in which the succession is likely to take place imminently or in the reasonably foreseeable future, it is clear that the circumstances of people like H and her parents were one of the prime considerations that prompted Parliament to enact section 19(5) of the MCA in the first place.

It is suggested that, by appointing them now, the successor deputies will feel a stronger sense of responsibility and commitment towards H. I believe this, too. Their role is not unlike that of godparents. They are individuals who have been selected by the parents to take an interest in their daughter’s upbringing and development and to take care of her when her they are no longer around. English ecclesiastical law anticipates that godparents “shall be persons who will faithfully fulfil their responsibilities” (Canon B23.2). I hope that H’s successor deputies will faithfully fulfil their responsibilities when the time comes for them to take over from her parents, whenever that may be.

via H, Re [2015] EWCOP 52 (05 August 2015).

Your will can be ignored, say judges.

Your will can be ignored, say judges – Telegraph.

Actually, it might be phrased (verbatim from the judgment)

Parliament has entrusted the courts with the power to ensure, in the case of even an adult child, that reasonable financial provision is made for maintenance only

For the judgments in questionm, the Bailii references are:  Ilott v Mitson & Ors [2015] EWCA Civ 797 (27 July 2015) and the previous judgment of Ilott v Mitson & Ors [2011] EWCA Civ 346 (31 March 2011).

The case centres around the unhappy tale of a mother (Melita Jackson) who, being bereaved whilst pregnant, had her only child, a daughter (Mrs Ilott).  Mrs Jackson, died leaving a will that expressly excluded her daughter from benefit, leaving all her estate to animal charities, despite there being no obvious connection or affection for animals or such charities

There is no evidence that the deceased had any connection with the charities, or that, during her lifetime, she had any particular love of, or interest in, either animals or birds.

Mrs Ilott left home whilst a teenager of 17, to live with Mr Ilott, whom she later married.  Mr Ilott and Mrs Ilott have a very low income, below £5000 a year, have five children, and are entitled to state benefits.  They are eligible to buy their home, under the right to buy legislation.  Their schedules of expenses show a very modest standard of living.

Mrs Ilott and her mother were estranged following the departure from the family home.   Although both parties contributed towards the estrangement, three attempts were made at reconciliation, but none was successful.  The trial judge considered that the evidence showed Mrs Jackson having been

unreasonable, capricious and harsh

towards Mrs Ilott by excluding her from the will, but that on the facts of this case, estrangement ought not to affect the size of the amount awarded.

The latest decision concentrates on the factors to which the court should have regard when considering a claim made under the IPFDA and considers in particular the interconnection between the beneficiaries under a will, and the requirements that they might reasonably expect, and the needs of those who are closely connected to the deceased, and the financial provision *for maintenance* that might be appropriate.  In this case, there was no financial need on the part of the beneficiaries of residue – as charities, this was a windfall.  On the other hand, the daughter had substantial need.   The fact that Mrs Ilott did not have the ability to earn much salary or any pension provision was not considered detrimental:  Mrs Ilott contributed towards society, albeit in her capacity as mother to five children

while she may not have made the choices in life that her mother thought were necessary for her to make a success of her life, she has made a success of her life in other ways through being a mother and homemaker. Third, not only may it be difficult to apportion fault here but there may not have been fault on anyone’s part. Estrangement may simply have been the result of Mrs Jackson’s inability to make lasting relationships with anyone, of which there is other evidence. 

The fact that Mrs Ilott was an independent adult with no disabilities who was not financially dependent on the deceased limited the award that would be given to her.

Mrs Jackson’s obligations and responsibilities to the appellant (section 3(1)(d)):

Ms Stevens-Hoare submits that the ordinary family obligation weighs to some extent in her favour under section 3(1)(d) but she accepts as she is bound to do that the fact that Mrs Jackson had no responsibility for her as an adult child living independently weighs against her.

and:

Mrs Jackson’s testamentary wishes:

Ms Stevens-Hoare submits that the judge was wrong to pay such high regard to the deceased’s testamentary wishes. There was no other beneficiary’s needs to which the court had to pay attention. Since the trial judge had found that it was unreasonable to exclude the appellant, there had to be consideration of reasonable provision. Ms Reed submits that DJ Million was correct to have regard to the deceased’s testamentary wishes: see per Oliver J in Re Coventry dec’d [1980] Ch 461 (“An Englishman still remains at liberty at his death to dispose of his own property in whatever way he pleases.”).   In my judgment Parliament has entrusted the courts with the power to ensure, in the case of even an adult child, that reasonable financial provision is made for maintenance only. In my judgment that limitation strikes the balance with the testamentary wishes of the deceased whose estate is used for the purposes of making an award, at least in this case where there is no other claimant apart from the Charities. They have no demonstrated need or expectation.

3 Matters to which court is to have regard in exercising powers under s. 2.

(1)Where an application is made for an order under section 2 of this Act, the court shall, in determining whether the disposition of the deceased’s estate effected by his will or the law relating to intestacy, or the combination of his will and that law, is such as to make reasonable financial provision for the applicant and, if the court considers that reasonable financial provision has not been made, in determining whether and in what manner it shall exercise its powers under that section, have regard to the following matters, that is to say—

(a)the financial resources and financial needs which the applicant has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;

(b)the financial resources and financial needs which any other applicant for an order under section 2 of this Act has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;

(c)the financial resources and financial needs which any beneficiary of the estate of the deceased has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;

(d)any obligations and responsibilities which the deceased had towards any applicant for an order under the said section 2 or towards any beneficiary of the estate of the deceased;

(e)the size and nature of the net estate of the deceased;

(f)any physical or mental disability of any applicant for an order under the said section 2 or any beneficiary of the estate of the deceased;

(g)any other matter, including the conduct of the applicant or any other person, which in the circumstances of the case the court may consider relevant.

Deed of Variation – getting it wrong, (S142 IHTA)

Deed of Variation – getting it wrong | Withersworldwide.

Referring to the recent case of Vaughan-Jones v Vaughan-Joneswhere a deed of variation was effected in the estate of the husband.  The will of the husband had left assets both to the wife and also to the children.  The amounts left to the children exceeded the Nil Rate Band, and therefore an immediate IHT liability arose on the death.  The deed of variation was completed less than a week before the deadline (before the 2nd anniversary of death) but most importantly, failed to contain the election for Inheritance Tax which arguably was the whole point of the document.

The election for Inheritance Tax is the part of the document that enables, for Inheritance Tax purposes, the deed to be considered as if it was the wish of the deceased, rather than the wish of those who actually inherit.  To fail to include that election makes the document pretty useless – “ineffective”.  The reported case permitted the court to rectify this omission.

The Wither’s article reveals, however, that in the process of arguing the case, it was revealed that the deed of variation was not entered into freely – that the widow (to whom all was transferred so as to secure the 100% spousal relief) and children had participated in the deed in order that the widow would later give the assets back to the children.

A key part of the legistation permitting the election is that it cannot apply where there is any associated financial bargain (or “consideration”) with the election:

142Alteration of dispositions taking effect on death.

(1)Where within the period of two years after a person’s death—

(a)any of the dipositions (whether effected by will, under the law relating to intestacy or otherwise) of the property comprised in his estate immediately before his death are varied, or

(b)the benefit conferred by any of those dispositions is disclaimed,

by an instrument in writing made by the persons or any of the persons who benefit or would benefit under the dispositions, this Act shall apply as if the variation had been effected by the deceased or, as the case may be, the disclaimed benefit had never been conferred.

[F1(2)Subsection (1) above shall not apply to a variation unless the instrument contains a statement, made by all the relevant persons, to the effect that they intend the subsection to apply to the variation.

(2A)For the purposes of subsection (2) above the relevant persons are—

(a)the person or persons making the instrument, and

(b)where the variation results in additional tax being payable, the personal representatives.

Personal representatives may decline to make a statement under subsection (2) above only if no, or no sufficient, assets are held by them in that capacity for discharging the additional tax.]

(3)Subsection (1) above shall not apply to a variation or disclaimer made for any consideration in money or money’s worth other than consideration consisting of the making, in respect of another of the dispositions, of a variation or disclaimer to which that subsection applies.

(4)Where a variation to which subsection (1) above applies results in property being held in trust for a person for a period which ends not more than two years after the death, this Act shall apply as if the disposition of the property that takes effect at the end of the period had had effect from the beginning of the period; but this subsection shall not affect the application of this Act in relation to any distribution or application of property occurring before that disposition takes effect.

(5)For the purposes of subsection (1) above the property comprised in a person’s estate includes any excluded property but not any property to which he is treated as entitled by virtue of section 49(1) above [F2or section 102 of the Finance Act 1986].

(6)Subsection (1) above applies whether or not the administration of the estate is complete or the property concerned has been distributed in accordance with the original dispositions.

(7)In the application of subsection (4) above to Scotland, property which is subject to a proper liferent shall be deemed to be held in trust for the liferenter.

Finance Act 1986 Sch. 19, para. 24,with effect from 18March 1986. 

Care Act and Slough Borough Council, Financial LPAs and Deputyships with Deferred Payment Arrangements

As of 1 April the first part of the new Care Act  comes into effect.

Many things change: for example, CRAG guidance will cease to apply and the Deferred Payments Scheme will change.

Instead of CRAG we will have the Care and Support Statutory Guidance:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/366104/43380_23902777_Care_Act_Book.pdf

The relevant SI under the Care Act 2014 which sits on top of this Statutory Guidance is the Care and Support (Charging and Assessment of Resources) Regulations 2014

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014/2672/contents/made

The Care Act 2014 sits on top of them all:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/23/contents/enacted

From April 1 the discretionary system of deferred payments (with charge on the resident’s house) is being replaced by a mandatory system whereby eligible users will be entitled to the deferment option (but there are qualifying conditions).

Here is the information for the public from Slough:

https://www.slough.gov.uk/health-and-social-care/the-care-act.aspx

https://www.slough.gov.uk/downloads/care-and-support-FAQs.pdf

And the internal report for the benefit of the council.http://www.slough.gov.uk/moderngov/documents/s37092/Report.pdf

Mental Capacity Slough will assure itself that the person requesting the DPA has the requisite mental capacity to enter into such an agreement. Where a person who lacks capacity has either a Finance and Property Attorney or a Deputy, evidence of this will be required before the representative can sign the DPA on the person’s behalf. Where the person who lacks capacity is unrepresented, an application must be made to the Court of Protection: § A family member willing to take up the role may make a Deputyship § In the absence of such a candidate an application may be made for a Panel Deputy to be appointed § Slough may take the view that it will apply for Deputyship, depending on the Council’s resources and the composition and value of the person’s assets

Lots of reading…

A significant advance | STEP

A significant advance | STEP.  An article about the changes in the law relating to how much capital money can be given from a trust fund to a beneficiary where there is no existing adaptation of the general law – ie on intestacy, or where the document provides no modification to the statutory powers.  Applies to trusts created after October 2014.