The First-tier Tax Tribunal has granted agricultural property relief on a Lancashire farmer's farmhouse and outbuildings, despite HMRC’s attempt to deny it because he had nothing but a vegetable patch and some grazing land that he rented out. The tribunal took the view that the business was a working farm and not just the holding of investments (Charnley v HMRC, 2019 UKFTT 0650 TC).
A group of test cases brought by the Office of the Public Guardian has resulted in a series of clear rules, together with a decision tree, that attorneys can use when deciding whether they can spend the donor's funds for the benefit of other parties, including the attorneys themselves.
The brother, and sole deputy, of a man who is now in an irreversible coma has obtained retrospective approval for the cash gifts he has made from his brother's GBP17-million estate to family members and political causes.
The England and Wales Court of Appeal has struck out part of a financial remedy order that awarded a Mrs Crowther the former matrimonial home, which was bought entirely from the inheritance that she had received after her parents' death. She had argued that if her ex-husband wanted to live independently he could apply for a council house or claim housing benefit, and so he did not need any capital from the GBP200,000, mortgage-free house.
A woman who spent GBP60,000 from a trust set up for the child of her deceased friends has been jailed for two years. Melaney Watford was made a trustee and legal guardian for the 17-year-old orphan in 2015, after his parents died leaving him a GBP125,000 lump sum, plus GBP200 per month. Watford, of Mitcham, south London, used the trust fund to pay her own household expenses and now cannot repay any more than GBP1,500.
Family law experts discuss the judgment in Daga v Bangur handed down at the end of last year, of great interest to trustees who are caught up in financial proceedings on a divorce. Holman J dismissed the husband's claims on assets of GBP17.5 million in two discretionary trust funds, of which the wife was the settlor and a beneficiary, noting that the trustees were highly unlikely to make funds available to benefit the husband even if ordered to do so.
Mostyn J in the Family Division of the England and Wales High Court has refused an application by the 77-year-old widow of Michael Cowan for a further share of his GBP16 million estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
Expert comment is appearing on the important matrimonial case of Martin v Martin (2018 EWCA Civ 2866), in which the England Wales Court of Appeal had to value shares in a private company founded by one of the spouses before they cohabited.
The Independent has done some research on various retailers' policies on dealing with loyalty points accrued by deceased customers. It notes that British consumers accumulate an average of GBP122 each year, making a potentially significant addition to their estate - if they can be realised, because not all retailers allow their customers to bequeath their points.
Press reports say the England and Wales Court of Appeal has invalidated a pre-nuptial agreement signed by the former wife of racing driver Kenny Brack, overturning a ruling in the England and Wales Family Court in December 2016.
A homeowner who bought a flat ‘off-plan’ before it was completed is not entitled to claim principal private residence relief from capital gains tax on the period before he could occupy it, the Upper Tax Tribunal has ruled.
South Gloucestershire Council was wrong to decide that an elderly couple's gift to their daughter deliberately deprived them of capital in order to reduce care costs, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has found.