As a probate lawyer I encounter my fair share of issues and delays when dealing with financial institutions and HMRC. However, I could always be certain that applying for a grant of probate would be a fairly painless and relatively swift process. Unfortunately, as many of you will have recently experienced, this is no longer the case.
Probate and estates
Many will have seen stories in the news about cryptocurrencies and what can happen when the owner who has sole access to the password dies. The Independent recently reported on the death of Gerald Cotten, the chief executive of the QuadrigaCX exchange, who was believed to have had the only password to £145 million of cryptocurrency.
The Residence Nil Rate Band is an additional Inheritance Tax allowance that can be claimed for estates where the deceased owned their own home and left their home, or a share of it, to their direct descendants.
The current additional allowance is £150,000 and will increase to £175,000 in April 2020. This means that in April 2020 married couples and civil partners will potentially be able to claim Inheritance Tax allowances totalling £1million.
However, there are significant limitations to when the additional Residence Nil Rate Band can be claimed:
Many will have seen stories in the news about cryptocurrencies and what can happen when the owner who has sole access to the password dies.
The Independent recently reported on the death of Gerald Cotten, the chief executive of the QuadrigaCX exchange, who was believed to have had the only password to £145 million of cryptocurrency.
Advice is on hand for people worried about an increase in probate fees, which was set to come in to force April 2019.
The fees will be calculated on the basis of the estate, meaning those with estates worth more than £2,000,000 will have to pay £6,000.
“There is a lot of concern about the plan to increase probate fees, which has been published by the Government but without guidance on how the system will work." said Sarah Clarke, a Solicitor in Stone King’s Trusts and Estates team.
National law firm Stone King LLP has been shortlisted in the Large Law Firm of the Year category of the Law Society’s Excellence Awards 2018.
The firm is one of 10 to be shortlisted in this category. Award winners will be chosen by a panel of expert judges and announced on 17 October 2018 at a ceremony in Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane, London.
Stone King is delighted to announce that Julian Blake, formerly joint head of Charity and Social Enterprises at Bates Wells Braithwaite, and commercial property lawyer Caroline Taylor, formerly partner at Michelmores LLP, have joined the national law firm as partners. The firm has also made five new partner promotions across the business.
- Posthumous conception and reproduction
As a result of advances in medical technology, such as freezing and storing embryos, it is possible for a child to be born and also conceived after a parent’s death, e.g. more commonly, through artificial insemination or in vitro fertilisation (‘IVF’) using frozen sperm or eggs extracted during the parent’s lifetime.
After more than four decades with Stone King, having been instrumental in its growth and prosperity, Michael King is bidding a fond farewell and retiring from the national law firm.
Michael has led Stone King’s Charity & Social Enterprise Group, been Senior Partner and Chairman and been instrumental in driving the firm’s growth in London, having established its first office there in 1990.
A recent case, in relation to the estate of the late Louis Patience, addresses what can be reasonably expected in terms of information on executors’ legal fees incurred during the administration of an estate. It also highlights that any assessment of the level or nature of those legal fees is likely to fall to the beneficiaries.
The administration of the Patience estate was protracted and disputed. The claimant executors were (1) a daughter of the deceased and (2) a partner in the firm of solicitors that drafted the Will.