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The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law Firms   The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law Firms   The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law Firms      

Agriculture & Estates team

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Our Agriculture & Estates team understands farming from a personal and professional perspective, taking into account that farming is more than a business, but often a whole generational way of life. We listen to the needs of each farming family and often work with them generation after generation to ensure that we can tailor advice to meet their, and their successors, wishes and aspirations.

Katie Gibson-Green
 

Budget update for farming families

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The budget has been eagerly awaited, with announcements in recent times to scrap Entrepreneurs Relief, Agricultural Property Relief (APR), Business Property Relief (BPR) and other taxes which would directly impact our farming clients. So, what...

Proposed changes to IHT and how that affects farmers

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The Tax Simplification Office has reported the need to overhaul the complex tax system under which we currently operate. The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Inheritance and Intergenerational Fairness has published a report recommending the abolition of...

Farming: the UK's deadliest industry

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Farming has now been dubbed as the UK’s “deadliest industry”. It has been named as the most dangerous profession for many years now by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Other notoriously dangerous jobs, such as working on a...

Farming and Brexit on BBC Essex

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I was listening to BBC Essex on my way to work this morning, and there was a discussion about what impact leaving the EU would have on farming in the UK, and our food supply. Dave Lewis, the boss from Tesco, noted that the devil is in the detail. Leaving...

Update on proprietary estoppel claim

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Some of you will recall my blog, written back in March 2018 , in respect of the Yeovil farm belonging to Frank and Jane Habberfield. Frank died in 2014 leaving his estate to his wife, Jane. However, their daughter, Lucy, had worked on the farm since...

How do the new probate fees affect our farming clients?

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In 2016, the government announced a probate fee hike of exponential proportions, with the fee of estates worth over £2m being fixed at £20,000. With the snap general election and Brexit looming, this plan was scrapped, and was seemingly dead in...

Farming Proprietary Estoppel claim goes to Court of Appeal

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Following on from my article last year, the case of Moore v Moore has gone to the Court of Appeal, with the Judge finding in favour of Roger Moore’s wife. At the previous hearing, the court ruled that Stephen (Roger Moore’s son) was entitled to...

The return of the 'Death Tax'

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The return of the ‘Death Tax’ and the impact on farming families Last February, we discussed the Government’s plans to significantly increase probate application fees - click here to read the blog . The changes, which were...

HMRC's appeal on Business Property Relief case dismissed

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You may recall, in August last year I wrote a blog on the case of Maurine W. Vinge (deceased) v HMRC 2017, which involved a significant win for the taxpayer against HMRC for successfully claiming Business Property Relief (BPR) on a livery business. Mrs...

Farming dispute highlights the importance of written partnership agreements

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The recent case of Wild and others [2018], heard in August this year, once again highlights the importance of having written partnership agreements in place to avoid lengthy and costly disputes. The background is that members of the...

Taxpayers victorious on Business Property Relief claim

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There have been many high profile cases in recent years in which executors have endeavoured to claim Business Property Relief (BPR) on let holiday cottages, in a bid to save on Inheritance Tax – all of which have failed. Until now, let cottages have...

Farming and cohabitation

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Cohabitees do not have the same rights as married couples in life or on death, and this is a concept that is largely overlooked when people live together as ‘husband and wife’ but do not enter into a legal arrangement. There have been two...

Another day, another proprietary estoppel claim!

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These days in the farming world, I wonder if I’ll read anything other than proprietary estoppel claims being brought against the farm. In the latest case, the High Court has granted the daughter of a Yeovil farmer a substantial cash payment in...

The importance of having adequate partnership agreements

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The recent case of Sergeant V Sergeant highlights the importance of having adequate partnership agreements in place for farming families. The widow of a farmer, Mary Sergeant, made a claim against her late husband’s estate under the Inheritance...

Farming dispute goes to Court of Appeal

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Last year I wrote an article about the contested estate of Farmer Roger Moore, who had dementia, and the claim his son made in respect of proprietary estoppel (in this case, a promise that “all of this will be yours one day”). Mr Moore’s...

Business Property Relief case won by Tax Payer

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In the recent case of Maureen W. Vinge (deceased) v HMRC 2017, the argument was won by the tax payer based on common sense, and could open the doors for other claims to be accepted in the future. Mrs Vinge died in May 2012 owning 30 acres of land with...

Lasting powers of attorney for farmers

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This morning, a retired Senior Judge has made sweeping statements about the effects of Power of Attorney documents . Denzil Lush, who was a senior judge at the Court of Protection, says that there is not enough safeguarding in place, and vowed never to sign...

Will farming tax-breaks be reviewed?

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It has been argued that tax breaks for farmers should be reviewed. The concerns are that the tax breaks are ‘extremely wasteful’ and that the government gives the agricultural sector a disproportionate level of support. There are arguments that...

Reactions to changes in probate fees

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On 18 February, the Ministry of Justice announced that from May 2017, the fee for applying for a Grant of Probate will go from being a fixed fee of £155 for solicitors making applications, to between £300 and £20,000 depending on the value...

Don't let Alzheimer's disinherit your family

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There was a very interesting article in the Telegraph last week where a mother tried to take advantage of her husbands Alzheimer’s to disinherit her son from the family farm, which totalled in the region of £10 Million. The reason why this is...

Bingo charity night

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Last night, myself and several other members of the Birkett Long staff attended at the St Helena Hospice bingo charity night held at their Education Centre in Colchester in at of our very own £50 Challenge. We arrived to a very warm welcome from...

Wills: The Final Frontier?

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If you have been fortunate enough to watch the new Star Trek film in the cinema, you will have noticed that it ends with a tribute to the late Mr Anton Yelchin. For those who do not know who this is, Mr Yelchin was cast as Mr Chekov in the new series and...