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Intestacy Rules are changing - are yoy ready?...

Intestacy law – the rules that govern what happens if you die without a will – is changing. On 1 October 2014 the Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Act will come into force, making several changes to where your money goes if you die intestate.

The rules can get a little complex but we’ve put together a quick guide to help you understand the major changes that’ll be introduced on 1 October 2014.

…married or in a civil partnership with children

Under current rules, the spouse receives:

  • the deceased’s personal belongings
  • a fixed legacy sum of £250,000
  • a life interest in half of what’s left (this is an interest in only the income – when the spouse dies the capital will pass on to the children).

Children inherit half of what's left when they turn 18 and the other half when the spouse dies.

From the 1 October, the legacy sum will no longer be fixed and will increase every 5 years in line with the Consumer Prices Index rate of inflation. The spouse will also receive interest in half of the remaining capital, not just the income.

Estate planning for all...

Bill and Hillary Clinton have recently come under scrutiny in the USA for using trusts to limit the amount of estate tax they will have to pay, despite Hillary publicly supporting the tax.Although US inheritance laws differ considerably to the UK, planning how you will pass on your wealth is important, no matter where you live. And it’s not just the super-rich and famous that need to prepare. Rising house prices mean that the number of people with estates worth more than £325,000 – the threshold at which inheritance tax (IHT) becomes payable – is increasing. Research by the Sunday Telegraph found that the number of estates liable to pay IHT will increase by 35% this year to 35,600. The newspaper estimates that over the next 5 years, 236,000 estates will exceed the £325,000 nil-rate band.

Online Bookkeeping: Xero, FreeAgent, SageOne, KashFlow...

Having your head in the clouds is not usually a quality you would associate with a competent accountant. However, when it comes to accounting software, we are not ashamed to live in the clouds.

Cloud-based accounting software stores information online rather than on one computer. This helps you:

  • see all your financial data from any device with internet access even while on holiday
  • automate routine tasks such as RTI payroll, invoicing, banking and credit control

The Wood and Disney App...

Wood and Disney is an office of App lovers. Apps make it easy to check train times, get directions and, erm, play games without using the internet. With more than 100 billion Apps downloaded globally in 2013, we know we're not the only ones.

However, we noticed that not many accountants have an App. We also know that searching for accountancy information on a smartphone can be tricky - websites made for desktops and dodgy Wi-Fi signals are our main bugbears.

We wanted to make it easier for people on the move to find the accountancy information they need, which is why we decided to create our own App.

 

Features

But we’re not just jumping on the App bandwagon – the wood and disney App is designed with our clients in mind.

How to run a successful famili business...

Did you know that the UK’s oldest family butcher's is almost 500 years old? Dorset butchers RJ Balson & Son has been in the Balson family since 1515, when Henry VIII was on the throne. 

Current master butcher Richard Balson says traditional recipes and personal customer service are the secrets to his family’s 25-generation success.

Ox cheeks and sausages may not be part of your business model but there are a number of factors that all successful family-run businesses should consider. These include:

1. Rules on employing family members

There are no rules against employing family members but you must not give them special treatment with regards to pay, promotion or working conditions.

They should be given a contract of employment and you will need to ensure that income tax and NI are deducted from their pay as usual.