Inheritance Tax is too complicated. It needs to be simplified

Inheritance Tax (IHT) has been described as ‘fiendishly complex’. A new report by the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) offers 11 recommendations for simplifying it. When even the chancellor describes a tax as “particularly complex”, it’s a sure sign it … Find out more »


Step-sisters’ inheritance hangs on whose parent died first

Which of two step-sisters receives a £300,000 inheritance rests on a judge’s opinion of whose parent died first, in a cautionary tale for parents yet to draft a Will. In October 2016, John Scarle, 79, and Ann Scarle, 69, both … Find out more »

Case Studies

Read some of our case studies below from probate cases in Hampstead, Maida Vale, Hendon and Swiss Cottage:

Case Study 1

Mrs A’s Estate was a fairly simple one. Her only assets were a house and some cash held in the bank. She had no liabilities. The value of the Estate was £800,000. Her bank quoted £21,000 to carry out the Estate Administration but we were able to carry this out for a third of that fee.

Case Study 2

The Executors of Mr B’s Estate came to us a year after Mr B had passed away as the solicitors ‘looking after’ the case had made no progress in obtaining probate. Within three months of us taking the matter over probate had been obtained, distributions made to the beneficiaries and the case closed. Mr B’s children were also pleased to learn that their late mother’s unused Inheritance Tax nil rate band was available to be transferred to their father’s Estate – something that the solicitor had failed to mention to them.

Case Study 3 

Mr C died leaving approximately £500,000 to each of his two children, D and E. Unfortunately, as we were concluding the Estate administration E was diagnosed with terminal cancer. We therefore recommended that E varied her share of her inheritance from her father in favour of her two adult children so that a second Inheritance Tax charge on E’s eventual death was avoided.

Case Study 4

Mr D died in tragic circumstances whilst still in business. He had previously entered into a tax avoidance scheme which was now being challenged by HM Revenue & Customs. Using our experience as accountants of negotiating with HMRC, we were able to reach a settlement with them at a much reduced amount from what they were seeking.

(Names have been anonymised to protect confidentiality)