STEP Student Columns

Each edition of the STEP Journal includes columns written for diploma students, which have been collected below to support your studies.

You can also search the main STEP Journal archive if you are looking for a specific topic.

2016

November

Endurance test: Amanda Edwards examines the law governing enduring powers of attorney created before March 2000.

Out with the new, in with the old?: Robin McGhee on the revival of the discretionary trust.

October

Taxing times ahead: Peter Hodson examines how the distinction between the terms 'tax avoidance' and 'tax evasion' is becoming ever more distorted.

Strong foundations: Chris Hards considers the practicalities of running a Guernsey foundation — in particular, the three sets of Regulations introduced pursuant to the Foundations (Guernsey) Law, 2012.

August/September:

Put your money where your mouth is: Julie Hutchison considers how charities can ensure their investment activities align with their missions.

Know your oats: Sheena Grattan highlights some of the differences in intestacy law between Northern Ireland and England and Wales.

July:

Trusty Foundations: Peter Hodson explains some advantages of the foundation over the trust.

June:

Legacy System: Amanda Edwards discusses the taxation of transfers to legatees.

A cure for care costs: Clive Barwell explains how an 'immediate needs plan' can be used to fund care costs in England and Wales.

May:

When’s a house a home? Jenny Wilson-Smith highlights a practical difficulty with the UK home test.

April:

Problem PETs. Amanda Edwards discusses the regime for potentially exempt transfers by life tenants and notes that, in some cases, the primary liability for inheritance tax lies with the trustees.

Protectors: a protected species?. Two recent judgments from the courts of Jersey and Guernsey prompt Peter Hodson to consider issues around the removal of trust protectors.

March:

Pass the pension. Julie Hutchison discusses the inheritance of UK pension wealth.

February:

Bringing it all back home. Amanda Edwards discusses the differences between the taxation of UK domiciled and resident individuals’ foreign income and their UK income.

2015

December/January:

Appetite for destruction: Amanda Edwards considers the revocation of wills by destruction. 

System refresh: John Harper looks at how technology has transformed the offshore finance industry over his working life. 

November:

A Comedy of errors: John Harper considers a peculiar case on which he was recently asked to advise. 

Succession shake-up: Debbie King provides an overview of the proposed changes to Scottish succession law. 

October:

Never turn a blind eye: John Harper examines Agip (Africa) Ltd v Jackson, and explains what Admiral Nelson’s eye has to do with constructive trustees. 

Splitting the bill: Amanda Edwards considers how trustee management expenses should be apportioned. 

August/September:

All present and correct: John Harper considers quorums in the context of corporate meetings.

Professional futureproofing: Val Cox considers the link between CPD recording and planning.

July:

Valuables advice: Amanda Edwards considers under-insurance risks for professional trustees and personal representatives.

The ß factor: John Harper delves into the capital asset pricing model and beta.

June:

Make yourself at home. Amanda Edwards considers the applicable inheritance tax exemption for those deemed UK domiciled.

When is a trust a Quistclose trust? John Harper considers the outcome of Barclays v Quistclose.

May:

What’s the charge? Amanda Edwards considers reversionary interests, ten-year charges and other issues.

With the best will in the world…The question of who gets what after you die may not be as simple as you think, notes John Harper.

April:

Tartan trusts. Debbie King considers Scottish trust law: its past, present and future.

The risks of playing it safe. John Harper speculates about whether the decision in Nestle v National Westminster Bank Plc would be inappropriate in the present-day investment climate.

March:

Land a tax break. Amanda Edwards explains when a capital gains tax exemption is available for a small part disposal of land.

The power and the glory. John Harper looks at powers of attorney and their misuse in days gone by.

February:

Tax relief gone wrong. Amanda Edwards explains how a claim for loss on sale of land relief following a death can sometimes result in a larger tax bill.

Ignorance is never bliss. John Harper recalls a lesson he learned a long time ago, courtesy of Customs.

2014

December/January:

A point of interest. Amanda Edwards discusses interest on pecuniary legacies.

My wish is not my command. John Harper explores some of the features of letters of wishes.

November:

Legal rights lowdown. Debbie King explains the Scottish concept of legal rights.

Are boiled-meat dumplings bad for your health? John Harper delves into the well-known case of Schmidt v Rosewood.

October:

Trial and clerical error. Amanda Edwards examines the courts’ approach to rectifying clerical errors in wills.

The Bartlett legacy. John Harper looks at one of the most important trust cases of the past 35 years.

August/September:

Trust drafting in Northern Ireland. Sheena Grattan highlights the main differences of which the Northern Ireland trust practitioner must be aware.

Anyone for ping-pong? John Harper looks at the somewhat strange outcome in the case of Re Annesley and notes how succession proceedings might change radically in the future.

July:

Incorporation by reference. Amanda Edwards on the steps for successfully incorporating documents in a will.

The battle of the titans. John Harper recalls aspects of the Thyssen case, which was under way in March 2000, when he went to live and work in Bermuda.

June:

Trustees de son tort. Amanda Edwards highlights the potential consequences of defects in trustees’ deeds of retirement, including the invalid appointment of successors.

Meeting expectations. John Harper takes a critical look at the role of chairperson and offers some practical advice.

May:

Receipt by minors. How should a personal representative proceed where a legacy is due to a minor under a will that lacks a minor’s receipt clause? Amanda Edwards explains.

New CPD resources. Val Cox introduces three new resources, available for free on the STEP CPD Centre.

April:

Bursting out of the box. Stay too long in your comfort zone and you might find yourself stuck in a ‘comfort box’ that stops you learning new skills. Val Cox offers an escape route.

March:

From Azerbaijan to Zambia: Successful online courses broaden STEP’s horizons. Hannah Downie caught up with Rob Rowe, Course Director at CLT International, to hear about online provision of STEP courses to jurisdictions with a small or fledgling need for succession-planning training.

Settlor loans and liabilities. Amanda Edwards on the perils of settlors making loans to their settlements.

February:

Death of a sole director. Businesses needn’t grind to a halt on death of the sole director and shareholder, explains Amanda Edwards.

A matter of loyalty. John Harper considers how trustees should act when faced with a conflict of interest.

2013

December/January:

Anyone can prepare a will, can’t they? Martyn Frost punctures a common misconception.

Lost in ethics. Val Cox explores the resources available to help you navigate uncertain situations.

November:

The title’s the thing. John Harper considers some of the challenges involved when trustees accept chattels into trust.

Sins of omission. Amanda Edwards explains that a failure to exercise a right may be chargeable to IHT.

October:

The lost legacy. Amanda Edwards considers the burden of expenses incurred on specific bequest in wills.

Succession crises. John Harper looks at the dangers that arise during the transfer of wealth from one generation to the next – and what trustees can do about them.

August/September:

Constant improvement. The Professional Development team at STEP reveal what’s in the CPD pipeline for the rest of 2013.

Under the bonnet. An update on the inner workings of the education programme, from STEP’s training partner, CLTI.

July:

To have and to hold. John Harper explains some of the issues arising from the use of nominee shareholder declarations.

Skills that make a difference. Val Cox introduces alchemy for managers, one of a set of new business support tools available to STEP Members.

June:

Home from home. Amanda Edwards discusses offshore mortgages and the remittance basis.

Insider business. John Harper discusses pre-emptive clauses.

May:

Equal half shares. Amanda Edwards considers the valuation of jointly owned property.

Where on Earth is Benjamin? John Harper on dealing with beneficiaries - dead or alive.

Will preparation: the value of training. Martyn Frost discusses will disputes, education and the younger generation.

April:

No levy for the lodger. Amanda Edwards considers 'rent a room' relief.

Keeping good company. John Harper on the role of the company secretary.

March:

Angel or demon? John Harper considers the role of the trust protector.

A simple estate. Exploring areas of surprising complexity for clients.

February:

STEP Qualifications Framework shapes up. A brief preview of a change to STEP's educational structure that will bring benefits to both employers and individuals as they look to differentiate themselves from the competition.

Prepared for the worst. How to be ready for an unexpected death.

Charting the future. Discussing the differences between fundamental analysts and technical analysts.

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