Sunday, May 13, 2007

STEPping on

Friday - STEP conference in London, update on Trust and Estate matters. Pretty good really, although a massive bundle of notes to have a read through. First section was on the FA 2006 changes and the recent case of Phizackerley. Fortunately one of the speakers was Chris Whitehouse - witty, sharp and acerbic about the Revenue. Very entertaining and has the uncanny ability to imbue all his advice with a very relaxed air as though there really is nothing to worry about at all. Also reassured us all that Phizackerley wasn't really the catastrophic herald of the end of tax planning in Wills certain newspapers would have had us believe.

Second section on contentious estate issues was a but dull - although enlivened by a tale of the almost perfect crime committed by a solicitor - sadly the devil was in the detail and trying to buy a car from the estate for around £25 less than the market price was apparently the undoing!

Lovely lunch - although as usual really pity the poor souls who have the first afternoon session. And it wasn't the most interesting of topics either - the Mental Capacity Act. The main problem being not being that the subject itself isn't interesting, but that the bits of the Act we're most interested in haven't yet come into force, so there are no interesting cases or anecdotes to keep us awake and instruct us in how to work with the new rules. Just lots of going through the act's provision and the Codes of Guidance.

Final session was on unusual Grants of Probate - not anticipating this to be particularly stimulating but it really benefitted from a lively speaker with lots of tales of how she and her department have come across them.

Even managed to get a seat on the train on the way home. Hurrah.

No comments: