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STEP Journal: October 2015

STEP Journal: August - September 2015

  • Foreword - August-September 2015I am clearly becoming a grumpy old practitioner. When will the profession strike back in national newspapers against the ignorant grandstanding of journalists and politicians who equate all discretionary trusts with money laundering?
  • Spat of the landRichard Frimston asks if some EU estates are more equal than others.
  • The lives of othersWilliam Ahern examines the concept of privacy, its consolations, the threat the common reporting standard poses to it and what we should do about it.
  • Renaissance manFrom the demise of graduated-rate testamentary trusts as a tax-planning tool to an increase in planning for mental-incapacity issues, John Poyser’s practice has seen plenty of changes over the years. Here he explains that looking to the law and practice of other jurisdictions could help bring a fresh perspective to Canadian estate planning.
  • Onwards and upwards - a watershed period for professional development at STEPThe past year has been a watershed period for professional development at STEP, with major changes in all three key areas of qualifications, continuing professional development and employer engagement. Nigel Race offers a brief update on those changes.
  • Professional futureproofing In preparation for the 2015 CPD audit, which runs annually in September and auditing 5 per cent of STEP members, Val Cox considers the link between CPD recording and planning.
  • Charitable thinkingSheena Grattan outlines the evolution of the Charities Acts of Northern Ireland and some differences of which English and Welsh practitioners should be aware.
  • All present and correctJohn Harper considers quorums in the context of corporate meetings.
  • On the same pageIn April 2015, the Qualifications & Membership Framework was launched, with the key objective of harmonising standards of education wherever people are studying towards STEP exams. Val Cox explains what it means for STEP members.
  • Hire educationA supportive learning and development policy boosts employee engagement and retention, and your firm’s reputation. Here are some tips to help get your policy in good shape
  • Adapt and thriveAt STEP’s Caribbean Conference 2015, the consensus was that international financial centres can adapt to global regulatory changes and continue to prosper, Beatriz Brockhurst reports.
  • Not so black and whiteRoland Jones comments on the publication of the EU’s so-called ‘blacklist’.
  • Day of the deedPatrick W Martin and Ashley Fife consider the advantages of Bermuda trusts for Mexican residents.
  • Legitimate concernsMarianne Cave advises BVI law firms and trust companies to review their procedures and documents in light of changes to the inheritance rights of ‘illegitimate’ children.
  • Latin imperativesKlemens Zeller and Graciela Ramirez Cuevas round up recent Latin American developments.
  • Postcard from BrazilLondon-based practitioner Stephen Abletshauser reflects on his experience of working with Brazilian clients.
  • Bearer necessitiesRosa Restrepo reviews Panama’s new regime on custody of bearer shares.
  • Private viewingVivian Haines and Georgina Hepburne Scott consider if the traditionally confidential art market can resist pressure for greater regulation and transparency.
  • Moving picturesJonathan Peacock QC examines the rules on moving art collections as part of household effects and considers some practical difficulties with bringing art into the EU.
  • Notary notesAlberto Perez Cedillo explains the role of notary publics in Spain and highlights the impact on them of recent legislative changes.
  • Nil room for errorMichael Culver considers the uncertainty surrounding nil-rate-band legacies.
  • Lump sums that add upAlistair Cunningham continues his discussion on the changes to lump sum death benefits from pensions that came into force in the UK in April 2015.
  • Trouble abroadHelen Adams and Dawn Register explain HMRC’s new ‘offshore asset moves’ penalty
  • Non-dom bombshellCaroline Rao and Nicole Aubin-Parvu outline forthcoming changes to the treatment of foreign-domiciled individuals living in the UK.
  • Snell’s Equity (33rd edition) by John McGhee QC, reviewed by Edward Buckland.