How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask james bruce Your Own Question
james bruce
james bruce, Solicitor-advocate
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2332
Experience:  Owner at James Bruce Solicitors
90006247
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
james bruce is online now

I just found out earlier today that my Dad had my mum alter

This answer was rated:

I just found out earlier today that my Dad had my mum alter her will after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2016. She changed her will in 2017 as he did as well. My Dad says he cannot help me with my mother's estate because of UK tax restrictions limiting international help to 3000 pounds per annum. I live in Seattle, WA, United States. My Dad lives in Steyning, West Sussex. My mother died from Alzheimer's on August 29 this year. My dad is fixated on the tax issue. Can you explain what that is?

Hello, I hope you are well. My name is***** am a solicitor advocate and I will be assisting you with your question today. I am very sorry to hear of the problem you are experiencing and I will do my best to help you with this matter.
Sorry about your loss.

The £3000 tax issue that your father is talking about, is with regards ***** ***** and inheritance tax. A person can give away a tax free amount each year to another person of £3000. If no amount was given away the previous year, then in the current year £6000 may be given.
It is completely legal to give more than this, in fact any amount may be given, but the amount given would be subject to inheritance tax on a sliding scale for the next 7 years. So for example if a taxable amount of £100000 was given to you, then as the start you would pay no inheritance tax on that amount. But, if the person who gave your that money dies within 7 years, then their estate will be liable to pay inheritance tax on the that £100000, unless the total estate was below the inheritance tax limit.

If tax was payable on the money, then the amount of tax due would depend how many years after the gift was made that the person making the gift ideas. If they died 7 years later no tax would be paid. If they died in the first 3 years then it would be taxed at 40 %.

then on a sliding scale of 32,24,16,8% from 3 years to 7 years.

On a separate issue, if you believe your mother lacked capacity to change her will, then you can challenge the will.
But, just because some one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, does not mean they lack capacity.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Thank you for that response. So say for example my dad were to help out of his regular income which was first taxed at source for a car repair or a medical emergency on my part and which he hasn't liquidated an asset to help pay for does that count as a gift subject to inheritance tax just because it leaves the UK?
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
The implication of what my dad is saying is that he can't even pay for my airline tickets to come to see him in the UK. In other words I am trying to work out what is a gift subject to inheritance tax and what isn't.

Birthday presents, Christmas presents etc are tax free. But any amount over £3000 would be taxable as previously explained.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Thank you. So to recap if I needed my dad to help with a car repair or to put down a deposit on an apartment rental he can help tax free if it is under 3000 pounds in any given year but if he wanted to give more than that to help pay for the rent he would be subjected to UK tax even though he helps from his post tax income in the UK?

If it is an odd payment here and there yes that is correct. It would still come under the inheritance tax issue mentioned.

There is however another option, which many do not know exists, mainly because many people many not have funds to do it with, I will explain below.

Regular payment option.

A person can make regular gifts out of their income. If for example they are still working, or have regular pension or saving income, then if they want to give a regular payment every month then that may count as a regular payment option and would not come under the inheritance tax issue previously mentioned.

What counts as a regular gift?

The rules say that the payments must be regular rather than sporadic – although they don’t necessarily have to be monthly – and that the payments must not be from capital – i.e. savings – or cause a deterioration in your standard of living.
If this is a option for your father, then he can make regular payments to you tax free.

You may have to declare them back in the USA, as all income world wide counts as far as the IRS are concerned.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Thank you. I think that sounds like an interesting loophole. He had my mother change her will so that she's left everything to him now but she would have wanted my dad to help me. You've been very helpful. So he could if he wanted to provide a monthly income of £2000 and that would be fine so long as it didn't come from capital but rather interest or dividend income on stocks, pensions, and savings. He's 91 so he's not working.
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Thank you. I think that sounds like an interesting loophole. He had my mother change her will so that she's left everything to him now but she would have wanted my dad to help me. You've been very helpful. So he could if he wanted to provide a monthly income of £2000 and that would be fine so long as it didn't come from capital but rather interest or dividend income on stocks, pensions, and savings. He's 91 so he's not working.

Yes that is correct. As long as it is not from capital funds, and is made regularly then it should be able to work.

Thank you for using Just Answer and for allowing me to assist you with your legal enquiry. I am pleased I was able to be of assistance. Please do not hesitate to come back to me for further advice on this or any other legal matter. It will be my pleasure to be able to assist you again.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Excellent- best legal help I've received. As far as the will is concerned dad told me that the witnesses wouldn't cosign it. Mum was diagnosed in 2016. The will was changed in 2017. Maybe 2018. Anyway, thank you again.
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
I just sent a recommendation for you.

If the witnesses refused to sign the new will, then that would mean the will was not properly executed and not valid. The previous will would still apply.

You should make contact with the Probate office and raise any concerns that you may have.

I have attached a link to them below. You can call and they also have online chat.

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs/contact/probate-general-enquiries

james bruce and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you