Legal Eagle - Inheritance Tax, PPI and an Accident at Work

A few of us at work were discussing inheritance tax in the light of the Tory party's proposal to include a living allowance component, and talked about how to avoid paying it - legally. One of my colleagues suggested that you could make a will leaving up to the IHT threshold to your family and the rest to charity. Will this get round the IHT problem?

Absolutely it will, though as IHT is only levied as 40% of taxable part of the estate, you will be ensuring that not only the government but also your family get nothing more beyond the sub-threshold estate. It is definitely worth seeing a solicitor experienced in wills and succession to go through the various options and alternatives before committing to such a will.

I contacted a PPI company regarding a loan. After investigating they informed me the bank had refunded my PPI already. When I looked back at statements I realised that was right. I confirmed this and assumed this was the end of the matter and have heard nothing from them since. Last month I got a letter and cheque from the bank informing me that they had examined their records and I was due additional compensation. I have received a letter from the PPI Company looking for commission of almost 40% of the amount I received.

Check your signed agreement with the PPI company. If it covers all compensation received by whatever means, you may be liable to them. But if not then they have done nothing to earn this assuming the bank's letter and payment ere not triggered by the PPI original letter. See a solicitor with PPI experience before taking a firm position.

I had a work accident and was deemed medically unfit. I got industrial injuries benefit awarded after a tribunal and also a backdated payment. However, the benefits office snapped all of that award up. Can they do this? I can't get a straight explanation.

It is well-established procedure that if you suffer loss of wages as a result of an accident and get the relevant compensation, the DWP can claw back the benefits they have paid you in the interim - that way you don't get paid twice for the same lost earnings. However, in your case there seems to be some mismatch between two kinds of benefit, and you would be best to consult the Citizens Advice Bureau who have staff that are trained in benefits entitlement. There may be a simple explanation once they get to the bottom of it.

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