Posts by Richard Jackson

New probate fees to affect many estates

Probate fees are to be changed

The current fees are £215 for individual applications and £155 via a solicitor, with nothing payable if the estate value is up to £5,000. Under the new banding, there is a maximum effective charge for probate of 0.5% of the estate, which is triggered at £50,000 (a £250 fee) and £500,000 (a £2,500 fee).  The…

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State pension equality means increases for all

State pension age equalises at 65 for men and women

The State Pension Age (SPA) became equal for men and women for the first time, at age 65, on 6 November 2018. Having reached this landmark, the next stage of SPA increases has already started. For both men and women, the state pension will become payable for anyone born between 6 December 1953 and 5…

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State pensions rise with inflation thanks to the triple lock

A 2.6% rise in the single tier state pension was announced in the 2018 Budget. The increase to the single tier state pension, and its predecessor the basic state pension, will apply from next April. Other state pensions, such as the State Earnings Related Pensions Scheme (SERPS), will rise by 2.4%. The higher increases for…

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Inflation eating into the value of savings

Inflation still outpaces nearly all available deposit rates. At the end of September, the US bank, Goldman Sachs, launched a new online easy-access savings account in the UK under the name of Marcus. It has offered a similar account in its home territory since 2016, gaining over 1.5 million customers according to the bank’s second…

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The risks of late estate planning

Imagine you are named as the executor and a beneficiary of your wife’s wealthy aunt. You learn that she is suffering from terminal cancer and has ‘a very impaired lifespan’. What do you do? This is what happened in the case of Nader and others v Revenue & Customs. The executor/beneficiary, a Dr Nader, decided…

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Unmarried couples lack the rights of married couples

Two recent events have shone different lights on the government’s view of unmarried couples.    As the graph shows, marriage has been drifting out of fashion for close to 50 years. There are now over 3.3 million unmarried couples in the UK, of which nearly half have children. In spite of this major social change,…

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The Budget: an end to austerity?

The 2018 Budget – delivered on a Monday for the first time since 1962 – produced a number of surprises, not least some high-profile ‘giveaways’. Announcements in the Budget included: A £650 increase in the personal allowance to £12,500 for 2019/20, the level originally pencilled in for 2020/21. A £3,650 increase in the higher rate…

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More people working past 65

Do you want to work into your old age? Do you fancy working past 65? The trend of rising employment levels is not limited to working-age people, according to the latest employment statistics from the Office for National Statistics. The data reveals a growing number of people have working beyond what is still often thought of…

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Tax reform – taking a different view

Proposed tax reform would target FAANS companies

Tax reform has raised its head as a leading think tank has proposed a radical shake up of the UK tax system. The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) is a centre-left think tank that has a long history of influencing Labour Party policy. So, its ideas on tax reform published in the final report…

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Losing interest in cash ISAs

The appeal of the cash ISA is waning

The popularity of cash ISAs is continuing to wane, according to new statistics from HMRC. With inflation persistently above interest rates, it’s not hard to imagine why. The bank of England recently increased the interest rate to 0.75%,but inflation was 2.7% in August 2018. This means, if you are holding cash in an ISA or…

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