July 2018 Newsletter Cylchlythyr Misol Gorffennaf 2018
What happens if an individual dies intestate without leaving a will?
There are strict rules which follow marriage, civil partnerships and the bloodline and the main provisions are:
- If there is a surviving spouse and no children the surviving spouse inherits absolutely.
- Any jointly owned assets (matrimonial home owned as joint tenants / joint accounts) pass directly to the spouse under the survivorship rules.
- If there is a surviving spouse and children, the surviving spouse inherits the first £250,000 absolutely of assets held in the deceased’s sole name. The spouse is entitled to a life interest in the residue of the estate which passes to the children on the second death. The children inherit the other half of the estate immediately in equal proportions.
- If there is no surviving spouse, the children inherit in equal shares.
- If there is no spouse and no children, there is further provision for grandparents, siblings, uncles and aunts in accordance with the rules.
- Very importantly a surviving co-habiting partner who is not married or in a civil partnership with the deceased has no automatic right to inherit and this can cause severe problems and difficulties.
- There is no provision to disallow estranged members of the family, or leave legacies to charities or close friends.
- The message is clear – if you want to leave your assets to whom you want, a valid will is essential, or the above strict rules will apply.
A number of mini – bonds (Typically offering interest of say 6-8% over a period of say 5 years) have hit financial difficulties losing individuals some or all of their capital. Some crowdfunding investments have also failed. Be diligent before making any investments offering high returns.
One of my clients has suggested a new addition to the monthly newsletter, an “Ask Huw” column for matters of general financial interest which will provide information. Her question was: “What is Gift Aid and how does a charity benefit?”
Most of us will be familiar with Gift Aid, either by making regular donations to charities / chapels or via Just Giving.
If an individual taxpayer donates money to a registered charity, the Government increases the donation by 25p for every £1.00 you give.
A donation of £10.00 means an extra £2.50 from the Government.
If a charity receives Gift Aid donations of say £100,000 in a year, the Government will increase the donation by £25,000.
For higher rate taxpayers they can claim the difference between the higher rate and basic rate. If an individual donates £1,000.00 to charity, this decreases their tax liability by £200.00.
Please forward your questions for inclusion in future newsletters.
Diary of an Accountant
In addition to the normal tax returns and accounts, these are some of the other areas which have recently been discussed with clients:
- Advice on purchasing a new car (Saving £2,500 for the client).
- Advice on a first time mortgage (Saving a £1,000 arrangement fee and reducing monthly costs by £40).
- Distributing significant legacies to charities after obtaining Probate.
- Detailed Capital Gains Tax calculations for selling residential property.
- Inheritance Tax and will reviews.
If there are any matters you wish to discuss in complete confidence please contact me:
www.huwrobertsaccountant.com 07967 976854