A concise but comprehensive guide to getting your affairs in order


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

  1. Corrections

* 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).

  1. Additions to the Text

* Next of Kin – page 16 (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.

*  Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) – page 49 (3 March 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 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).  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.

* Pensions – page 50 (3 March 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 is currently £1,073,100 (although some savers have locked into higher amounts).

* Inheritance Tax Exemptions – page 59 (5 May 2023)

Para. 2 – insert a new penultimate sentence:
The main residence nil-rate band applies where the property is left to a direct descendant.

* HM Government’s ‘Tell Us Once’ Service – page 70 (5 May 2023)

Add at the foot of the page the following:

Life Ledger
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.

* The Probate Procedure – page 73 (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.

Add a fifth paragraph under pensions:

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.

* Appendix 7 – Some Useful Resources – Websites – page 98 (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.

* Websites – page 99 (5 May 2023)

Add the following as a new third paragraph:
Registering a death – Life Ledger
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

(as added)

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