After a warm welcome from Paul Beck, Mark Terrar and Emma Green from the law firm Meridian Private Client LLP took us through contentious probate and how Will writers can minimise risk. Do we keep copies of previous Wills on file when there are significant changes in the new Will? Do we take full notes? Mark explained that he was able to advise on the full range of disputes that can occur with Wills, whether it be a claim or potential claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependants) Act 1975, or otherwise.
Peter Gate from Meridian covered IHT planning and discussed how it was important for the Will writer to take an holistic view of all the client’s arrangements including life covers and pension benefits and taking into account the ways these arrangements can reduce IHT as part of an overall plan.
After a coffee break, next came Nigel Merchant from Kings Court Trust discussing the various gift exemptions against IHT that we should be aware of, or perhaps more importantly, be aware of the misconceptions that our clients have about the rules, having taken advice from “the man down the pub”!
Nigel continued to discuss Overcoming Objections which is seldom a problem with Will writing, but more so with probate provision.
We then had a light lunch and a good natter, which reminds me I never had any chips! When we all get together you
can learn a good deal from these casual conversations.
Then after lunch came members issues where any member can bring a problem or issue to the table to benefit from the collective knowledge. This was, as usual, enlightening and reassuring to see others grappling with similar issues.
Our member Geoff Eggleston with his financial adviser skills, attempted to introduce us to the basic elements in the massive subject of pensions. It is possible to write a book or two just on the subject of pension death benefits, but Geoff managed to keep it simple for us and this acted as a much needed refresher course.
Finally, our Chairman led a group discussion about whether TAS should establish an online knowledge base, but I shall keep you in the dark on that matter. Some things have to be kept secret!