An­gela Brown

Macclesfield Express - - SPORT -

with Nigel Read ●● Q. My hus­band re­cently lent our daugh­ter and son-in-law £50,000 to­wards buy­ing a prop­erty. They are plan­ning to make monthly re­pay­ments. As we are both el­derly we are con­cerned they may have to pay in­her­i­tance tax if any­thing should hap­pen to us in the next seven years, Can we le­galise this ar­range­ment to prove it is a loan and not a gift?

A. The nil rate band – the amount an in­di­vid­ual can pass on in their es­tate with­out any in­her­i­tance tax – is cur­rently £325,000. For a mar­ried cou­ple, you can now use both tax bands bring­ing the to­tal to £650,000. In­her­i­tance tax is payable at 40 per cent over and above that. Loans are re­payable to the es­tate and there­fore will be taken into ac­count for in­her­i­tance tax pur­poses. If you can af­ford to make a gift to your daugh­ter and son-in-law, you would have to sur­vive seven years for the value of the gift to fall out­side of your es­tate. Either way, you should make clear whether the £50,000 is a gift or a loan as it may cause prob­lems for your ex­ecu­tors when deal­ing with your es­tate. You should prob­a­bly take some es­tate and tax plan­ning ad­vice.


●● Q. For 20 years I have looked af­ter the fence at the bot­tom of my gar­den, which forms the bound­ary with a coun­cil es­tate. Now the es­tate has been bought by a so­cial hous­ing com­pany, and it says it has not bought the bound­aries. It says, how­ever, that on a one-off ba­sis, it will re­place fences that are in need of re­pair. How do I know who the fence be­longs to?

A. If your ti­tle deeds don’t give any clue as to the own­er­ship of the fence – some­times they’re not very help­ful in this re­gard – then pos­ses­sion is some­times nine-tenths of the law.

If the hous­ing com­pany is telling you it has not bought the bound­aries it seems to be sug­gest­ing that if you didn’t own the fence be­fore then, as far as it is con­cerned, you do now!

If your fence is in good con­di­tion it sounds as though they will not be fight­ing with you to re­place it.

I would con­tinue main­tain­ing the fence as be­fore. ●● Q. My un­cle has died sud­denly, and my hus­band is ex­ecu­tor of his will. Un­for­tu­nately we can’t get hold of the will be­cause the per­son who has the key to his house is in hospi­tal and we are due to go on hol­i­day next week! Can we del­e­gate some­one else to act as ex­ecu­tor?

A. The only rea­son you need to see the will ur­gently is in case your un­cle left di­rec­tions for his funeral in it. The chances are you al­ready have the funeral ar­range­ments in hand, so don’t panic: there is no rea­son why you shouldn’t take your hol­i­day and sort out your un­cle’s af­fairs on your re­turn. If you need help a so­lic­i­tor will be

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