News

Matthew Yates comments on video wills in the Financial Times

  • September 04, 2020
  • By Matthew Yates, Partner

The Ministry of Justice has granted a concession allowing video technology to be used to witness wills being signed. The measure is backdated to 31 January 2020, covering wills that were witnessed by video under lockdown, and will remain in force until January 2022. However, the MoJ says it should be used only as a last resort when the person making the will — the testator — cannot meet people outside their household.

Plenty of readers say they will remember charities in their wills as the inheritance tax rate on an estate can be reduced to 36 per cent from 40 per cent if at least 10 per cent of a person’s taxable estate goes to charity.

This can result in some complicated calculations but overall, “the costs of carrying out the calculations should not be too steep, especially as the software provided to prepare and file the IHT accounts can carry out these calculations,” said Matthew Yates, partner at Hunters Law.

There have been a number of cases in the courts in recent years where children have challenged major legacies to charities. Mr Yates said that contemporaneous notes of meetings need to be part of the records kept with the will to give the reasoning behind the bequest. It may also be necessary to get a medical opinion on the capacity of the will-maker in the form of a letter to be kept with the will.

A final measure for those determined to leave a charity legacy might be to include a “forfeiture clause”, so that if a beneficiary challenges a legacy to an organisation or other individual they lose their own inheritance, said Mr Yates.

Read the full article in the Financial Times here

Related News

Sep 30, 2021
Hunters recognised in Spear’s 2021 Tax & Trust Advisors Index
Sep 30, 2021
Sunir Watts explains how to make use of inheritance tax gift exemptions in Taxation
Sep 21, 2021
Harriet Murray examines whether a wealth tax is the way to pay for the pandemic in Accountancy Daily
Sep 20, 2021
Louise Garrett discusses the proposed increase in probate fees in WealthBriefing
Sep 17, 2021
Molly Wills discusses Lasting Power of Attorneys in Hamilton George Care
Sep 15, 2021
Daniel Watson examines the pros and cons of vulnerable beneficiary trusts in EPrivateClient
Sep 07, 2021
Louise Garrett examines the MoJ’s open consultation regarding the fees for grants of probate in EPrivateClient
Aug 17, 2021
Daniel Watson examines the Law Commission’s call for evidence on possible reform of the legal treatment of crypto-assets and digital assets in England and Wales in EPrivateClient
Aug 11, 2021
Louise Garrett examines the news that the Ministry of Justice is seeking to increase probate fees in Lawyer Monthly
Aug 02, 2021
Harriet Murray explores the implications of paying for the pandemic with a wealth tax in Lawyer Monthly

© Hunters Law LLP 2021 | Privacy NoticeLegal & Regulatory | Cookies Policy | Complaints Procedure.

Hunters Law LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (number 657218)