2017 Spring Budget - The main non-pensions changes »
This year's March Budget was the last Spring Budget, as Mr
Hammond has said that from now on Budgets will be presented in
Autumn, with the Spring reserved for a financial statement. Thus in
2017 we will have two Budgets, with the second probably arriving in
Trust disputes - interesting decisions from 2016 »
This month we continue to look at some interesting Court
decisions from last year in the area of trust law. Last month we
considered one case concerning trustees' duties when investing
trust funds, and another one dealing with the more fundamental
question of whether a trust in fact existed or not. Another area
that is frequently the subject of a dispute in this area is the
beneficiaries' right to receive information from the trustees about
the trust fund and there has been a recent decision on this so we
start with it. We then look at yet another decision involving a
settlor's mistake as to the consequences of a transfer of an asset
to a trust.
The penny drops »
Inflation is on the rise. The latest numbers published by the
Office for National Statistics show prices increased to 1.8% in
January, up from 1.6% in December. Just seven months ago in June,
price rises were only coming in at an average of 0.5%.
Increasing complexity demands greater specialism »
The Society of Mortgage Professionals' recent survey
found 61% of members supported a standalone lifetime
mortgage qualification for pensions and investment advisers so
they could sell such products without having full mortgage
Getting to grips with the new buy to let affordability checks »
The new Prudential Regulation Authority regime regarding
Interest Cover Ratios (ICR) and stress tests are a mathematical
consequence of the income tax relief changes announced by George
Osborne back in July 2015.
Defined benefit green paper »
The long awaited Green paper issued by the Department for Work
and Pensions is a significant document in both number of pages and
the depth of the content. It followed an informal consultation in
2016 which was undertaken with a range of stakeholders, from which
no consensus was reached on whether or how to adjust the current
balance between protecting members and supporting employers.
Trust disputes - interesting decisions from 2016 »
Court decisions are very useful in reinforcing knowledge and
understanding, especially in the area of trust law. Recently we
have looked at some cases involving trustee mistakes and
rectification. As it happens, in 2016 there were quite a few very
interesting trust cases which deserve proper consideration. This
month we will look at two of these - the first concerning trustees'
duties when investing trust funds, and the second dealing with the
more fundamental question of whether a trust in fact existed or
Rectification of trust mistakes »
It is a well-known fact that once a trust deed has been executed
it cannot simply be amended subsequently. Certainly, changes will
not be allowed simply because the settlor changes his mind.
However, where it is clear that a mistake has been made and there
is evidence to support this, there are two possible remedies: a
remedy of rectification and a remedy of rescission (setting aside).
Both need an application to the Court and, being "equitable
remedies", are at the Court's discretion, which depends to a large
extent on the conduct of the applicant.
The inexorable rise in demand for bridging loans »
The bridging industry has gained both ground and reputation in
the past few years. The credit crunch, while creating problems for
the lending industry as a whole, saw lenders in the bridging
industry rise to fill the gap left by the mainstream lenders.
Ongoing lifetime allowance enhancements and reductions »
The lifetime allowance is one of many
aspects of pension legislation that is getting ever more complex as
we get further away from A-day in 2006. We are nearly 11 years on
and it has gone up from £1.5 million to £1.8 million and now we are
having to cope with a standard lifetime allowance of just £1
million. With this new reduction it is ever more important to
understand any enhancement or reductions that can apply to this
Will planning - some practical considerations - Part II »
This month we continue to look at practical considerations
surrounding making a will. In particular, we will look at the role
of executors and trustees and at specific issues arising in
connection with business assets and digital assets. We will also
consider the pros and cons of avoiding probate by transferring
assets to a trust during lifetime.
Reducing income tax and capital gains tax with the help of pension contributions »
Most taxpayers, especially higher rate/additional rate
taxpayers, would be happy to hear about the possibility of saving
income tax and/or capital gains tax whilst at the same time
benefiting from tax relief. The key to this is the payment of
contributions to a registered pension plan linked to the personal
tax situation of the individual taxpayer.
Will planning - some practical considerations »
We have looked at the tax considerations in will planning a
number of times over the last couple of years and whilst these are,
of course, of fundamental importance, many problems arise - judging
from the types of question we are often asked as well as the types
of case that end up in Court - from not enough attention being paid
to practical issues. So over the next two months we will look at
some of these issues.
Pension contributions and estate planning »
Different government, different agenda. The march towards
simplification has now been halted in its tracks and replaced by
objectives of 'fairness' and anti-avoidance. As such, it is timely
to consider strategies which may now come under attack.
Guide to mortgages in a low-interest environment »
The guide explores what shapes mortgage rates, what will
happen if the Bank of England reduces the base rate to 0 per cent
and what advice you should give clients in the current low interest