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Have you got a Will?

Signing Last Will and Testament

Currently 47% of UK adults die intestate, in other words without a will.

The new Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Act 2014 (ITPA 2014), came into force on 1 October 2014.
Here are some of the New Rules:
  1. Where there are no children, the entire estate will pass to the surviving partner (this shuts out blood relatives such as parents, brothers, sisters or their children)
  2. Where someone dies leaving a spouse and direct descendants the first £250k will pass to the surviving spouse/partner plus 50 per cent of the remaining balance as a capital sum (previously they had a life interest in 50 per cent of the remaining balance)
  3. Unmarried couples continue to recieve nothing if their spouse dies intestate

If you are tempted to try a ‘do it yourself’ Will, think again, they might be cheap but the consequences of getting it wrong could be extremely costly for your family.

If you own a business you also need to consider carefully what your succession plan will be.

My advice is to see a solicitor carryout estate planning and prepare a will.

Why do I need a Forensic Accountant?

Corporate criminal stealing business documents

Forensic accountants are called upon to help in many situations:

  • Shareholder and partnership disputes
  • Divorce Cases – assessing assets and liabilities
  • Professional Negligence claims
  • Personal Injury Claims
  • Insurance Claims – Business interruption and loss of profit
  • Fraud Investigations
  • Criminal Investigations

Often Solicitors will appoint Forensic Accountants and obtain quotes from several accountants before making a recommendation to their client.

CIMA Accountants are well suited to Forensic Accounting because of their business experience and analytical skills.

Divorce is a growth area for Forensic Accounting as its common for both parties to value assets and liabilities in different ways, to resolve this in some cases accountants will be jointly appointed by both parties.

The process is normally as follows:

  1. The Solicitor issues instructions to the Accountant
  2. The Accountant reads the brief, investigates the information supplied and searches for undisclosed information (for example Land Registry, Companies House, Internet etc)
  3. The Accountant requests further information via the solicitor
  4. Appropriate calculations are carried out
  5. A report is prepared which can be presented to the Court

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