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Recent figures have shown a steady increase in the number of estates subject to Inheritance Tax (IHT). Inheritance Tax is liable on estates that are valued at more than £325,000, and is paid at 40%. Since April 2012, people have been able to reduce the amount of IHT payable to 36% if they leave 10% or more of their net estate to charity. In respons
A recent survey from America has looked at estate planning activities of the wealthy, to determine how prepared they are to ensure the security and succession of their family’s wealth. Private bank U.S. Trust questioned 711 high net worth adults in the U.S. with more than $3 million in investable assets, and found that although the basics, such as
Seven of Ray Charles' twelve children recently persuaded an American court to allow them, his heirs , to reclaim copyrights on around 60 of his best known songs, reported Variety this week. It is a very complicated case, but in essence, in 2010 the seven offspring of Mr Charles served termination notices to end the copyright grant on the works that
The University of Rhode Island has announced that two of its alumni, John Parker, who was also a professor there, and David E Parker, have provided for legacies  of around $2.5million for the URI in their estate plans. The legacies, one of the largest bequests ever received by the URI , will be used to help fund new building works at the Colle
The University of Mary Washington has received a $2.5 million  legacy to establish a series of endowed professorships and faculty awards. The bequest is from the estate of Shirley Van Epps Waple, an alumna from the Class of 1952. Originally from Troy, NY, Waple majored in psychology at Mary Washington . After graduation in 1952, she returned t
The threshold at which people will have to start paying Inheritance Tax on the estate of a loved one is set to rise by 1% from 2015, Chancellor George Osborne announced in his Autumn Statement last week. The threshold has been frozen since the Budget in 2010, and currently sits at £325,000. It is now due to rise to £329,000 in the tax year 2015/201
The 2012 Will Aid survey into wills and inheritance issues has revealed that 60% of people surveyed have not yet written a will, yet many people have given some thought to what they would do with an inheritance, should one come their way. According to the survey : 60% of 18-24 year olds would use an inheritance to buy a home, 40% of 45-54 year olds
In a landmark ruling the Botswana High Court has overturned a customary law rule that only allows men to inherit the family home. According to the BBC , Judge Key Dingake found that the rule breached rights of equality, enshrined in the country’s constitution. “Women’s equality is long overdue in Botswana. This landmark decision will determine whet
Manx National Heritage (Manx Museum and National Trust) has received an overwhelming response to its request for ideas as to how to spend a £1 million beques t from former Isle of Man resident Donny Collister. Donny Collister was a master painter, who had served during the Second World War. He died in 2007, aged 93, leaving an estimated £1 million
A new protocol designed to ease the administrative burden on family members in England who suffer a bereavement has been agreed by the British Bankers' Association (BBA), the Law Society and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP). The protocol covers the exchange of information between banks and solicitors and estate practitioners fol
A family and estate executors are in dispute over the ownership of a listed farmhouse in Cornwall worth around £800,000, reports the Daily Mail . William 'Bill' Taylor, a former art historian, had invited his nephew and family to leave their own home in Sheffield and live with him in his farmhouse after a burglary left him feeling uneasy about livi
The estate of the late American artist, Thomas Kinkade, has become embroiled in a court battle, as his widow and girlfriend argue over the validity of two handwritten wills. According to the Daily Mail , Thomas Kinkade died of an accidental overdose earlier this year, leaving behind an estate worth an estimated $60 million. At the time of his death

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