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KWW News

And then there was....one

Tony Cheverall - Sunday, May 14, 2017

KWW Solicitors is now the only law firm in Molesey following the closure of Robertson Rivers today (Friday 30th September). It is understood Robertson Rivers has been acquired by a firm based in Richmond.

“We’re sorry to be saying farewell to Pauline Rivers and her team in Creek Road – we’ve enjoyed a very good working relationship with them over the years,” said KWW’s senior partner Gary Coleman.

KWW acquired the ‘other’ Molesey law firm, Bosworths Solicitors, of Bridge Road, in 2014 and is now home to 11 lawyers covering the areas of conveyancing (residential and commercial), private client (wills, powers of attorney, probate), litigation/dispute resolution and family law.

“For all the advances of modern technology and the rise of the internet, we know how important it is for law firms to back up their knowledge and expertise with personal service,” said Gary Coleman.

“For many of our clients, the internet is no substitute for a reassuring presence on the High Street and the ability to pull up a chair with a highly trained lawyer and talk through their matter.

“KWW Solicitors has been serving the people of Molesey for more than 60 years and we’re proud to support our community not just though the range services we offer but through our involvement with sports clubs, charities and good causes.

“We look forward to building on our tradition of local service."

The Residence Nil-Rate Band (RNRB) Explained

Tony Cheverall - Sunday, May 14, 2017

The new inheritance tax Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB) will be introduced in just a few weeks.

It is on top of an individual's own nil rate band (NRB) of £325,000 and conditional on the main residence (or potentially the proceeds of sale) being passed down to direct descendants.

The rules are very complicated but here we provide an overview for your general information.

The RNRB will be phased in from April 6th, 2017 when it will be £100,000, increasing by £25,000 each year until it reaches £175,000 in April 2020.

As with the NRB, any unused RNRB can be transferred to a surviving spouse or civil partner, so by 2020/2021 families could escape inheritance tax on up to £1 million of their wealth (£325,000 + £175,000 = £500,000 x 2 = £1m) on the death of the surviving spouse/civil partner.

12 Points to Note

1. The RNRB applies only to transfers on death, not during lifetime

2. The property does not need to be left by Will
The RNRB will also apply on intestacy or where joint property passes by survivorship.

3. It is not necessary for the property to have been the deceased’s main residence (or his residence at the time of his death)
Instead, it is enough that it has been used as his residence at some point during his ownership.

4. The RNRB is available only in relation to one property
If the deceased had more than one residence, his personal representatives can nominate which is to benefit from the RNRB. Only one residential property will qualify. It will be for the personal representatives to nominate which residential property should qualify if there is more than one in the estate. A property which was never a residence of the deceased, such as buy-to-lets, cannot be nominated.

5. 'Direct descendant' is defined widely
The property must be ‘closely inherited’, meaning it must be left on death to children, grandchildren, step children, adopted children (treated as children for both the natural and adoptive parent) and foster children. It could also include the spouse or civil partner of a deceased child, so long as they have not remarried.

6. Certain trusts for direct descendants will not qualify for the RNRB
If a property is left on trust for direct descendants, the RNRB will be available only in limited circumstances, for example where they have a right to trust income, or the property is left on particular favoured trusts for children, or on a disabled person's trust. No RNRB will be available for trusts outside these limited exceptions, such as discretionary trusts or trusts for grandchildren who do not receive the property outright on the deceased's death, unless it is possible to use a deed of variation or trust appointment to 're-write' the trust terms.

7. The RNRB may also be available if the deceased was a trust beneficiary
The allowance may be available in certain circumstances where a deceased had a right to use a property held in trust and on his death someone receives the property outright.

8. The RNRB will be tapered away for estates over £2m at the rate of £1 for every £2
As a result in 2017/2018, an estate valued in excess of £2.4m will not benefit from the RNRB at all. When the relief reaches £175,000 in 2020/2021, the cut-off will apply to estates over £2.7m.

9. Unused RNRB may be transferred to a surviving spouse or civil partner even if the first to die never owned a residence

10. The RNRB may still be available if the individual has downsized
The family home doesn't need to be owned at death to qualify. This is of help to those who may have downsized or sold their property to move into residential care or a relative's home. The RNRB will still be available provided:

  • The property disposed of was owned by the individual and it would have qualified for the RNRB had the individual retained it;
  • The replacement property and/or assets form part of the estate and pass to descendants.

Downsizing or the disposal of the property has to have taken place after 8th July, 2015. But there is no time limit on the period between the disposal and when death occurs.

11. The RNRB will apply only to a maximum of the equity in a residence (ie value less any mortgage)

12. Review your Wills!
As your circumstances change you should review your Will. As the law changes you should also review your Will to ensure you are maximising all available allowances.

Important!
Please note this article is for information only and should not be seen as constituting advice. KWW Solicitors will be happy to discuss any of the legal aspects of the RNRB but financial matters will require the advice of a professional, authorised and regulated independent financial adviser

James Osborne, well-known Molesey solicitor, retires

Tony Cheverall - Sunday, May 14, 2017

James Osborne, one of the most recognised legal professionals in the Molesey area, is retiring from KWW Solicitors.

As senior partner of Bosworths, James was a key figure in the firm’s merger with KWW Solicitors in February 2014. He had been in charge at Bridge Road since 2003, having joined Bosworths in 1976.

James and a number of his Bosworths team settled in quickly at KWW, and James has played a full and active part in building the KWW client base and business.

Gary Coleman, Senior Partner of KWW Solicitors, paid tribute to James, who officially leaves KWW today (Friday, March 31).

“James showed great leadership integrating his Bosworths operation with our own, and we have come to appreciate the great consideration he shows for his clients, many of whom have looked to James for legal advice for 20 years and more,” said Mr Coleman.

“Everyone at KWW wishes James a very happy and healthy retirement, no doubt with much of it being spent on his canal boat on The River Wey. Lucky chap!”

Clients of James past and present are invited to make contact with KWW partner David Anstee, who will be taking over responsibility for any new work or work in progress. Mr Anstee can be reached on 0208 979 1131.

'Death tax' proposals put on back burner following snap General Election

Tony Cheverall - Sunday, May 14, 2017

 


Following this week's vote confirming a General Election on June 8, the Government has today announced there will be insufficient time in this Parliament to bring in the proposed probate fee hike.

Earlier this month, a Parliamentary Committee decided the proposed change in the probate fee structure from a set figure of £155 to a potential maximum figure of £20,000 was beyond the powers of the Justice Minister Liz Truss (above) and illegal. The committee concurred with the views of KWW Solicitors and other law firms that the charges were more akin to a tax than a 'fee'.

The Government indicated it was intent on pressing ahead with the changes but a spokesman today said it could not confirm whether or not the proposed fee increase would be reintroduced in the event of the Conservatives being re-elected.

"It's good news for now," said KWW senior partner and probate specialist Gary Coleman, "but there's no guarantee the issue will go away, which is why all of us at KWW will continue to lobby our MPs to drop this new death tax".

To recap, the proposal is that probate fees will be charged to everyone whose estate is valued at more than £50,000 regardless of whether Inheritance Tax is payable by that estate.

As such, widows and charities will also be required to pay the new probate fees that can go up to £20,000 for a larger estate of £2m but which will more typically in our area be £1,000 for an estate valued £300,000-£500,000 and £4,000 for an estate valued £500,000- £1m.

If you would like to know more about the probate process or have any queries regarding wills, probate or lasting powers of attorney, just contact us.


 

KWW launches Contract-Ready service

Tony Cheverall - Thursday, July 14, 2016

 

KWW Contract-Ready can speed your move


KWW Solicitors is delighted to announce the launch of a new service - KWW Contract-Ready - which can bring down the time it takes for you to move home.

Sarah Trickey, our recently appointed Head of Residential Conveyancing, said the service was already proving its worth to sellers who had wanted to have their move wrapped up before the start of the school summer holidays.

"Not everyone is in a rush to sell but for those people who are, or who want to make their property more attractive to a potential buyer, then Contract-Ready makes a lot of sense," said Sarah, pictured above with Salv Sole, our Head of Property.

Contract-Ready means all the paperwork and the initial legal work is in place as soon as the property is listed for sale. Contract-Ready works for freehold and leasehold properties, although we would need a bit more time on the preparation of the leasehold paperwork.

There is no extra charge for Contract-Ready but it does mean you need to contact KWW at the earliest opportunity when you are considering a sale.

To learn more, visit the Contract-Ready page on our website by clicking here

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