Archive for December, 2014

Parental Freedom Comes Second to Child Welfare

Prioritising the welfare of young children can sometimes involve cutting down on their parents’ freedom of movement, as a mother found out when a family judge banned her from taking her son and daughter on holiday to North Africa. The mother had asked the judge to sanction her trip overseas with her children, aged six and four, saying that her intention was to introduce them to their wider family and their cultural roots. However, their father, from whom she was separated, expressed concern that she would not return with them to Britain. The children were well settled in this country, where they had spent all their lives, and their father was determined that they should be brought up here. In blocking the mother’s travel plans, the judge found that there was a clear risk that she would not return with them ... Read more

Missing Document Triggered Titanic Inheritance Tax Row

Maintaining a reliable filing system can be vitally important, as one family discovered when a crucial document could not be found following a couple’s death. The missing document triggered a costly dispute in respect of Inheritance Tax (IHT) liabilities which took more than seven years to resolve in the family’s favour. The couple were anxious to leave as much as possible to their children, particularly as one of their daughters was severely disabled and in need of constant care. With that objective in mind, they had each signed wills towards the end of their lives which were designed to take maximum advantage of the nil rate band of IHT. In order to achieve that, the couple had to sign a document which severed their joint tenancy of their home – their principal asset – so that they would become tenants in ... Read more

Pension Flexibility – Guide to the New Rules

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Delay Thwarts Pension Trustee’s £5.4 Million Negligence Claim

The corporate trustee of a large occupational pension scheme, which claimed that its professional advisers negligently failed to follow instructions, has had its £5.4 million damages claim struck out – after it delayed too long before launching legal action. The events in question went back to the early 1990s when the wind of change was in the air and retirement ages of men and women were being equalised. The trustee claimed that it had instructed its advisers – who provided actuarial and investment consultancy services – to execute modifications to the scheme so that employees of both sexes could retire and draw their pensions at the age of 65. Previously, the retirement age for female employees had been 60. The trustee claimed that that instruction was not obeyed but that it had not discovered the failure to amend the scheme until ... Read more
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