As noted on page 5 of the Book, on this page will be posted:
- any significant developments either in the law or in practice after 1 November 2022,
- any amendments to the text, and
- any notable changes to the content of the forms on the website.
(A) Significant Developments in Law or in Practice after 1 November 2022
Budget 2023 (31 March 2023)
Very significant changes to the pensions regime were proposed by the Budget of 15 March 2023, including abolition of the Lifetime Allowance from 6 April 2023 and changes to the Income Tax rate at which particular payments from a pension scheme would be taxed. All this is subject to confirmation in Finance Act 2023.
(B) Amendments to the Text
* Page 44, third paragraph – the penultimate sentence should read: ‘Mum paid each of us an annual rent, on which we paid Income Tax’. (20 February 2023)
* Page 73, the third paragraph should be replaced by: ‘If the value of the estate is no more than £5,000, there is no Government fee for applying for probate. If more than £5,000, the flat fee is £273 (on top of course of any professional charges).’ (8 March 2023).
- Additions to the Text
* Page 16 – Next of Kin (31 March 2023)
Add a new second paragraph under The Court of Protection:
Next of Kin
The legal definition of next of kin is as its name suggests the one or ones who are closest to you in the bloodline. This has a particular application in the case where a person has not left a Will, in which case those who are entitled to your Estate are as set out on page 25. A similar priority operates in terms of who can apply to be the Administrator(s) of your Estate – to do what Executors do where there is a Will.
But the other situation where a person who is to be treated as your next of kin becomes important is where decisions have to be made on your behalf when you are no longer in a position to make them yourself. This is especially on matters of health, where the hospital might ask ‘Who is your next of kin?’. And here, while the answer may well be your closest relatives, in fact you have a choice. And this is where the importance of Lasting Powers of Attorney (whether for Property and Financial Affairs or for Health and Welfare are concerned) comes in: see pages 11 to 15.
* Page 24 – What happens if you don’t make a Will – the Intestacy Rules (20 October 2023)
Add a new final sentence:
The effect of the ‘forced heirship’ rules in Scotland means that particular relatives (typically a
surviving spouse/civil partner and children) cannot be disinherited.
* Page 25 – The Intestacy Rules (6 September 2023)
In line five after ‘£270,000’ add [£322,000 for deaths on or after 26 July 2023].
Please add a new fourth paragraph:
In the absence of a Will those who will administer the estate (as do the Executors under a Will) are called ‘Administrators’. Here the above order of priority to inherit the estate operates, to determine the order of priority in which application can be made to the Probate Registry for what is called a Grant of Letters of Administration.
* Page 26 – Making and updating your Will (20 October 2023)
Add a new paragraph at the foot of the page:
Remember that marriage revokes a Will, except for a Will made ‘in contemplation of marriage’ (to a particular individual). Similarly, with a civil partnership. So a new Will should
be made in that event. While divorce of a marriage/dissolution of a civil partnership does not revoke a Will, it effectively revokes any entitlement of the former spouse/civil partner.
This happens by interpreting the Will as though the former spouse/civil partner had already died. Depending on the terms of the Will, this could create a partial or even a total
intestacy. And so it will be important to review the Will in that case and ideally make a completely new one.
* Page 47 – Your house/flat and any other land (20 October 2023)
Add the following sentences at the end of the end of the first paragraph:
Where you have a lease, your Executors should be aware of the continuing obligation to meet both ground rent obligations and service charges. In some cases there may be a
requirement to pay a percentage of sale proceeds to the freeholder.
* Page 49 – Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) (3 March 2023) and (20 October 2023)
Add a fourth paragraph under Building Society Accounts and any investments:
Balances in ISA Accounts will attract Inheritance Tax like any other asset, subject to the exemption for spouses and civil partners. Freedom from Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax continues until the ISA is closed, whether on the completion of the administration of your estate or on closure by either your Executors or the ISA provider, but in any case no later than three years and one day after the death. The ISA provider will either sell the investments and pay the sale proceeds (whether to your executors or to the beneficiary under your Will) or they will transfer the investments to the surviving spouse’s or civil partner’s ISA, provided that they have the same ISA provider as you.
This in effect is an ISA allowance additional to the normal annual allowance (£20,000 for 2022/23 and 2023/24). Alternatively, even if the ISA goes to another beneficiary under your Will, your surviving spouse or civil partner is entitled to an ‘Additional Permitted Subscription’ (APS) equal to the value of the ISA, to which they can contribute out of their own resources additional to their normal ISA allowance.
* Page 50 – Pensions (25 August 2023)
Add an additional section at the top of the page:
On your death you may have a prospective entitlement either under a defined benefit pension (also known as a final salary pension), to which you and your employer have been contributing, or under a money purchase pension (also known as a personal pension, such as a Self-Invested Personal Pension or SIPP). In either case you should consider what will happen on your death.
With a defined benefit pension, what happens in terms of procedure and so tax implications rather depends on the pension provider’s own rules, which you should try to find out. They will certainly want to have a copy of your up-to-date Will. And there is no harm in letting them have a specific nomination of your chosen recipient(s).
With a money purchase pension, you should nominate your chosen recipient(s) to the pension provider. The value on death irrespective of age will pass free of Inheritance Tax. There is a big difference between dying under the age of 75 and having attained at least age 75. If you die aged under 75, the recipients can draw the fund value at any time, free from any Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax also. If you die aged at least 75, while there will still be no Inheritance Tax liability, the withdrawal of funds from the scheme will attract Income Tax in the recipient’s hands at their marginal rate. While it may be sensible in financial terms for the value to go to a surviving spouse/civil partner, this rather wastes the Inheritance Tax exemption. It all depends on your overall financial circumstances and the value of the pension fund within that. If you want your surviving spouse/civil partner to have access to the pension fund after your death, there may be a case for transferring the value to a settlement established for the purpose, where under current rules the Inheritance Tax liability would be limited to 6% at most every ten years – and the rate may be much less than that. The vital thing is to make a nomination to your pension provider of your chosen recipient(s).
Alternatively, you might have started drawing on your pension by the time you die, whether defined benefit or money purchase. If defined benefit, again the position will depend on those specific rules. If a money purchase, the income will be being paid to you either as an annuity or by flexi-access. If flexi-access, the pension fund remaining on death can be transferred to any nominated beneficiary, whether spouse/civil partner or children. For purposes of the lifetime allowance any inherited pension can be held alongside their own, effectively creating an additional allowance. As above, if you die before age 75, there will be no Inheritance Tax liability, though there could be Income Tax to pay if the amount exceeds your own lifetime allowance. If after age 75, there is no lifetime allowance test and any withdrawals from the inherited pension fund will attract Income Tax for the recipient. The lifetime allowance was £1,073,100 in 2022/23 (although some savers have locked into higher amounts).
Budget 2023 (31 March 2023 and 25 August 2023)
Very significant changes to the pensions regime were proposed by the Budget of 15 March 2023, including abolition of the lifetime allowance and an increase in the annual allowance from 6 April 2023. These changes were confirmed in Finance (No 2) Act 2023.
* Page 50 – Insurance Policies (20 October 2023)
To the list of insurance policies add at the end:
* professional indemnity insurance, where you are or have been a professional adviser such as a lawyer, accountant, chartered tax adviser, architect, quantity surveyor, etc. In such case your executors need to consider carefully the terms of cover in relation to whether you were still practising at the date of your death or when you stopped practising and the possibility of run-off cover to take potential liability beyond the reach of your estate at a certain date.
* Page 59 – Inheritance Tax Exemptions (5 May 2023 and 20 October 2023)
Paragraph 2: add a new second sentence:
The rate of 40% is reduced to 36% if gifts to charities or registered clubs total 10% or more of the amount otherwise chargeable at 40%.
And replace the last two sentences of paragraph 2 with the following:
The residence nil-rate band of £175,000 applies where a property which has at some time been the residence is left to a direct descendant. The residence nil-rate band is tapered
once the chargeable estate exceeds £2 million and disappears completely if the estate exceeds £2.5 million. To the extent that either nil-rate band is not used on the first death of
as married couple or a civil partnership, the unused percentage can be passed on to the second death.
* Page 70 – HM Government’s ‘Tell Us Once’ Service (5 May 2023)
Add at the foot of the page the following:
For a very significant supplementary service to the ‘Tell Us Once’ facility see Life Ledger. In the words of the website, you can ‘close, freeze or transfer all of your loved one’s accounts from one place, and for free’. Again, as the website says, this service can be used to inform over 1,000 companies of the death, including: banks, building societies, credit cards, email, energy providers, life insurance and many more. The system works very simply and efficiently by three steps:
1. Registration – creating an account and adding the deceased’s details;
2. Selecting companies to be notified, adding their account details; and
3. Pressing send, to create the new account.
* Page 73 – The Probate Procedure (3 March 2023)
Add a second paragraph:
You should be aware that Probate is not required in every case. For example, if your only possessions are an interest in your home and/or bank accounts which you own as ‘joint tenants’ (see page 46) with your spouse/civil partner, Probate is unlikely to be required, as your interest will pass to the survivor by operation of law. Similarly, if at death you have savings in your own bank account of no more than £20,000. Your Executors should check with any relevant financial institution (or other regulator of ownership) whether they need to see a Grant of Probate before they will register the change of ownership.
* Page 98 – Appendix 7 – Some Useful Resources – Websites (3 March 2023)
Add before Premium Bonds the following:
Company Shares – https://www.shareview.co.uk/4/Info/Portfolio/default/en/home/shareholders/bereavementsupport/Pages/Bereavement-Support.aspx
This is a very useful set of procedures on what to do when a shareholder dies.
* Page 99 – Websites (5 May 2023)
Add the following as a new third paragraph:
Registering a death – Life Ledger
This enables you to ‘close, freeze or transfer all of your loved one’s accounts from one place, and for free’. See Updates, page 70.
(C) Amendments to the Forms (and the Text)
Page 82: Comprehensive Checklist (3 March 2023)
Add 11A Financial Assets
|Yes||Date||Yet to do||
Page in Book
|Have I considered what happens to my ISAs?||49|
|Have I taken steps to make notifications to my pension provider(s) of my wishes, including nominating a beneficiary?||50|