Legacy Bulletin - Winter 2020

Welcome to Stone King's Winter edition of the Legacy Bulletin.

In this edition;

  • Can charity legacy officers challenge solicitor executors’ costs?
  • Can charity legacy officers challenge the costs of other professionals acting as Personal Representatives?
  • UK charities receive £14m Swiss tax windfall
  • Legacy Notification - what will 2020 bring?
  • In case you missed it
  • Meet the team - Harriet Burt
  • Legacy lunchtime seminar dates
Can charity legacy officers challenge solicitor executors’ costs?

Legacies left to UK charities under a Will are an important source of income for charities. However the costs incurred in administering the estate can often seem excessive and charity beneficiaries (particularly residuary ones) who have concerns about the costs being charged by the solicitor acting as executor or on behalf of the executors of a Will, often can be left feeling like they have no control. In such circumstances however, charity legacy officers have various methods available to them for challenging the costs of the solicitor.

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Can charity legacy officers challenge the costs of other professionals acting as Personal Representatives?

Following on from Part 1, where we dealt with charges incurred by solicitor executors, this second Part considers charges incurred by personal representatives, who are not solicitors but are acting in a professional capacity and where the Will allows for payment to be received for their time and services. Again, if you are a charity beneficiary who has concerns about the level of charges being levied, there is a means of challenging those charges.

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UK charities receive £14m Swiss tax windfall

When two UK charities were left a significant sum by an Englishman living in Switzerland, cross-border complications brought the administrative process to a standstill. Stone King’s specialist team helped the UK executor solicitors and Swiss lawyers negotiate these obstacles, saving the charities up to £14 million in tax.

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Legacy Notification - what will 2020 bring?

At the start of last year HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) announced that its arrangement with Smee & Ford would be terminated. Smee & Ford, a private company, had previously offered a paid-for bequest notification service to charities however, after reviewing the arrangements, HMCTS found that these were “not consistent with the department’s legal duties”.

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In case you missed it

UK newspapers raised £4.5m for charity this Christmas

Baby boomers more generous online than younger age groups

Record levels of solicitors raise the topic of legacies with clients

Meet the team - Harriet Burt

Harriet Burt is a solicitor in Stone King’s International & Cross-Border Team. Every day is certainly different and here Harriet explains what her work involves and why she enjoys it.

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Legacy lunchtime seminar dates - 2020
  • Thursday 26 March 2020
  • Thursday 18 June 2020
  • Tuesday 6 October 2020

These seminars will be hosted in our London office with video links to our Bath and Cambridge offices. More details TBC.

The law and practice referred to in this article has been paraphrased or summarised. It might not be up-to-date with changes in the law and we do not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided at the time of reading. It should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice in relation to a specific set of circumstances.

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