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STEP Journal: February 2015

  • Editorial - Thomas Dumont introduces February 2015 STEP Journal2015? Stop the world – I want to get off! No, of course, I don’t. Crocuses and snowdrops are burgeoning all over Britain (as we publish, not as I write). Here’s the first issue for the new year.
  • Who’s behind the registers?Richard Frimston ponders EU registers of trusts and beneficial owners.
  • Moving onIn his final column, Martyn Gowar looks back at his influences and predicts a bright future for the industry.
  • Show and tellStefano Loconte discusses Italy’s new voluntary disclosure procedure for overseas assets.
  • A call to actionNew worldwide Chair Edward Buckland TEP has assumed responsibility for STEP at a pivotal point in the industry’s history. Here, he discusses strategy: how STEP will deal with today’s challenges and how it will strengthen its position as the pre-eminent professional association for practitioners advising families across generations
  • Tax relief gone wrongAmanda 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 blissJohn Harper recalls a lesson he learned a long time ago, courtesy of Customs.
  • Political intelligence at workVal Cox ponders political intelligence, one of the many skills that members can learn more about via STEP’s CPD Centre.
  • En garde!Byron Cannon reviews a recent decision of the New South Wales Court of Appeal that highlights the importance of vigilance and awareness when taking instructions for the preparation of a will.
  • Beaten at charadesHelen Dervan reviews a recent New Zealand High Court decision that found a trust settled by the corporate trustee was a sham.
  • Forum feudPatrick Hamlin and Sharon Ser discuss a Hong Kong ruling on the appropriate forum for divorce proceedings between a German couple, and the status of their prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.
  • The year of the trust
  • A helping handDr Irina Francken-Medvedeva explains how the philanthropic environment in Asia Pacific stands to benefit from the greater involvement of professional advisors.
  • Gifts from beyond the graveMaria Elena Hoffstein and Brenda Lee-Kennedy contemplate a new era for post-mortem philanthropy in Canada.
  • Swiss-made foundationsThe Swiss tax-exempt charitable foundation is attractive, cost-efficient and easy to run, with limited formal requirements, provided none of its funds revert in any manner to the founder, donors or related persons.
  • What gives?Emma-Jane Weider and Morgan Kainth discuss the changing philanthropic environment.
  • A new trust law for Scotland?Ian Macdonald considers the Scottish Law Commission’s recommendations for reform of trust law.
  • Employee trust incentivesRobert Postlethwaite considers a new capital gains tax exemption for private company owners who sell to an employee ownership trust, and a connected income tax benefit for the company’s employees, brought in by the UK Finance Act 2014.
  • Stay and payThe statutory residence test came into force in the UK in April 2013. Fiona Fernie considers some practical examples.
  • A trap for the unwarySheena Grattan highlights an important difference between the family provision jurisdictions in Northern Ireland and England and Wales, which, if missed, could have very serious implications for practitioners.
  • Family provision in ScotlandMark Stewart provides an overview of the Scottish system of ‘legal rights’, which is not without its own pitfalls for unwary practitioners based elsewhere in the UK.
  • Let the light shine?‘Fiscal transparency’ is the current political mantra, but when is tax transparency oppressive? Paul Seal considers.
  • Time well spent: how enhanced spending strategy can help families to protect their portfoliosCharlotte Thorne explains how taking the time to devise an enhanced spending strategy can help families to protect their portfolios.
  • Happy business familiesMichael Giraud and Dale McNutt offer trustee strategies for ensuring long-term harmony between those involved in a family business.
  • Renvoi: a dying doctrineJenny Bird reflects on how relevant the 200-year-old regulation is today.
  • Still going strongFrédéric Rochat on Swiss wealth management in changing times.
  • Book review: The Arbitration Act 1996: A Commentary (5th edition)

STEP Journal: December 2014 - January 2015

  • Editorial - Nicholas Dale introduces December 2014 - January 2015 STEP JournalThe June 2014 STEP Journal was, besides this issue, the most recent edition to have had a Swiss focus. Since then, there has been no shortage of activity in the Swiss financial industry, which is grappling with legacy issues. While most clients are aware of and understand the cold wind of change, there are also a handful of diehards who have not yet confronted the tough reality of compliance. Where banks are involved, the decision will soon be made for them.
  • Did you get it right?There’s no shame in making a mistake, as long as you learn from it, says Martyn Gowar.
  • Mind the gapsRichard Frimston considers lacunae in EU private international law.
  • Welcome to the sukukLuxembourg is offering the first sovereign sukuk in the Eurozone, Julien Dif reports.
  • Rolling with the punchesCyprus-based STEP Council member Peter G Economides has over 40 years’ experience in tax planning and trusts. Throughout this time, he has witnessed a great deal of upheaval in the industry. Here, Peter talks to Hannah Downie about the increasingly strict regulatory framework facing practitioners as a result of supranational initiatives such as FATCA, and the challenge of helping members comply with these new obligations.
  • A point of interestAmanda Edwards discusses interest on pecuniary legacies.
  • My wish is not my commandJohn Harper explores some of the features of letters of wishes.
  • Engaging companyVal Cox looks at enhancing employee engagement as a way to improve performance.
  • A better quality of life insuranceGrayson Dufrene on why US life insurance and annuity contracts can make sense for foreign clients.
  • Ensure you are insuredStuart Butler urges trust companies to carry out an insurance audit to avoid the risk of litigation.
  • That’s a wrapDavid Denton explains the benefits for British expatriates and resident non-domiciles of wrapping up assets in offshore bonds.
  • Caught in the middleDr Simone Nadelhofer and Jan-Philip Elm discuss the challenges that financial intermediaries face under the proposed new anti-money laundering rules in Switzerland.
  • All shook upHeini Rüdisühli explains that Switzerland is looking to reform its corporate taxation system in response to growing international pressure.
  • An offer you can’t refuse?Dawn Register and Helen Adams consider whether the modified Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility is still useful.
  • You can run…Eric J Snyder and Benjamin JA Sauter review recent developments in the investigation and enforcement of US tax evasion.
  • Digital life after deathKimberley Martin and Peter Worrall on how to deal with a digital estate.
  • Defend your dataHuw Thomas considers how trustees should approach information security.
  • Client confidentiality under attack
  • A momentous decisionJohn Greenfield discusses a decision in the Royal Court of Guernsey that looks set to colour trustee cases in the future.
  • An entente cordiale with the taxmanAlain Moreau and Jean-Luc Bochatay examine the French voluntary disclosure regime.
  • What’s the score?
  • Risky business - potentially adverse consequences of lifestyle fundsTom Glanville considers some potentially adverse consequences of lifestyle funds.
  • Intents and purposesWilliam Hancock reviews the relationship between charities’ objects and the Equality Act 2010.
  • The world’s not what it wasOffshore legal practice for trust and private wealth practitioners has changed drastically in recent years, says Marcus Leese.
  • Unborn losersHannah Henley discusses the rights of unborn children in family provision applications.
  • The perfect choice?David Sussman explains how a private trust company can prove an extremely valuable and simple structuring tool for clients – depending on their assets and long-term goals.
  • Why diversify?Jochen Vogler examines trustees’ duty to diversify trust assets.
  • Book review: Trust Protectors: A Practice Manual with Forms Alon Kaplan reviews the book: Trust Protectors: A Practice Manual with Forms , by Alexander A Bove Jr.