Case Studies

  • Substantial Estate
    A terminally ill client came to see us in order to discuss his (very large) estate. As he was not expected to live for more than a year it was not thought to be possible to make gifts of his estate to his family in his lifetime (generally speaking, gifts made within 7 years of death are taken into account by HM Revenue and Customs when calculating the value of the deceased’s estate).

     

    The client was keen to provide for his children from his first marriage but also wanted to ensure that his second wife (who was in her thirties and in good health) was provided for.

     

    The client left £325,000 to his children (which is currently the most that any individual can leave without incurring an inheritance tax charge), a cash sum of £200,000 to his wife and the remainder (almost £2 million) on trust for his wife for her lifetime on the basis that she would only be entitled to the income from the trust fund and to live in the house rent-free for the rest. 
     
  • Proof of Paternity for Spanish Property
    A client of Tom McInerney was the sole beneficiary of his father’s estate, who had not left a will. The client was born out of wedlock at a time when this was not considered to be socially acceptable and so his father was not named on his birth certificate. This did not cause a problem in England but the courts in Spain were not willing to transfer his father’s home to him without proof that he was indeed the only son of the deceased. They were not willing to accept the grant of letters of administration issued by the Probate Registry.

     

    Tom applied to the Family Division of the High Court in order to obtain a declaration of parentage (a devise more commonly used by mothers in order to obtain support from fathers for infant children than by men in their late sixties!). The declaration was then sent to the General Register Office in Southport which was prepared to issue a new birth certificate on the basis of the court order. The courts in Spain were then able to transfer our client’s father’s villa to him.
     

 

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