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Author Archive: John Clarke

Unreasonable Financial Provision?

Posted by on February 22nd 2016 in Contentious Probate

Unreasonable Financial Provision?

Claims made under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 always have a high human interest factor and none more so when they are both high-profile and high-value, such as the claim by Thandi Wooldridge against the estate of her late husband, building tycoon Ian Wooldridge. 

Mr Wooldridge died in a helicopter crash in 2010, reportedly leaving an estate valued at £10 million.  Out of this, Mrs Wooldridge received the family home of Glanfield Manor in Surrey (valued at £4.25 million) and other assets valued at around £1.6 million. 

However, Mrs Wooldridge then made a claim for a further £3.75...

Stretching the Nil Rate Band?

Posted by on February 2nd 2015 in Blog Posts, Contentious Probate

This recent case involved a dispute between the family of the late Valerie Smith and a charity, the Woodland Trust.

What’s the background?

The current inheritance tax threshold (‘Nil Rate Band’) is £325,000. This amount is available to the estate of each individual, free of tax, in England and Wales on their death.

In order to protect against payment of inheritance tax, many people choose to leave a gift in their Will, which is equal to the value of the Nil Rate Band, with the balance being left to charity.

When someone dies leaving the whole of their estate to their surviving spouse or...

Inheritance Claims - Changes On The Horizon

Posted by on September 18th 2014 in Blog Posts, Contentious Probate, Private Client

The Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Act 2014 will come into force on 1 October 2014.

From this date, the law surrounding claims made under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 will change. This blog focuses upon the changes that will apply to claims for financial provision against the estate of deceased persons.

Set out below are some of the key changes that will come into play from the beginning of next month:-

1.     Grant no longer key to claim

It will now be possible to bring a claim against an estate without having to wait for the personal representatives of the...

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