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Private Lives

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Private Lives Welcome to the April 2016 issue of Private Lives As we emerge from winter with the uncertainties of the global economy circling and the unknowns of a possible Brexit ahead, we look forward to a spring of new legislation to keep us on our toes and in particular the rush of work that the early part of the year always seems to bring. There is nothing like a new year, other than perhaps a ride on a turbulent and anxiety inducing plane, to encourage the making of that will or lasting power of attorney long on the to do list. Death is a topic that private client lawyers are well acquainted with, frequently feeling like harbingers of doom as we address our clients on the maudlin topics of dying and taxes,. The passing of a client of whom we have grown fond is a particular bête noir, but one area that invariably warms our souls is administering the many charitable bequests that are left by generous clients in their wills. It is though unusual to deal with a charitable gift on the scale of a recent legacy of £4m left to the Imperial College Healthcare charity for the purpose of medical innovation by a client of our head of department Tim Galloway. The legacy is a magnificent one and I am delighted to include a guest article by Ian Lush, CEO of the charity, setting out the background to it and the life changing effect that it is already having on patients. On the subject of legacies, we frequently see gifts that clients have tried to make that have not been properly made. The succession and tax problems that this can create are many and are addressed by Neil Sparrow in his gifts or gaffes article. In this edition we also look at the emotive issue of who has the ultimate say over what happens to a person’s body after their death; the thorny problems that can arise from a succession perspective when children marry and the Brussels IV legislation which affects the way succession laws across the EU work (very relevant if you have a connection with other EU member states or hold assets abroad). Finally, as tax changes are never far from our desks, we comment on the recent Budget announcements, with a separate piece on SDLT changes to residential property purchases, together with the proposed substantial increase in probate court fees of up to £20,000 (inheritance tax in all but name). Lorna Spear Partner 01603 756491 lorna-spear@birketts.co.uk In this issue Give with one hand and take away with the other – probate fees or inheritance tax in disguise? All you need is love... A legacy transforming lives... Lasting Powers of Attorneys and the duties they impose Gift gaffes: How to make gifts Will you be affected by Brussels IV? Whose body is it anyway? New stamp duty land tax rules Dividends – changes to taxation from April 2016 LinkedIn Group Birketts LLP Twitter @birkettsllp Clear Legal Advice Cambridge Chelmsford Ipswich Norwich www.birketts.co.uk/privateclient

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