A summary of key legal updates in the Private Client sphere over the past week is as follows.

OTS second report on CGT 

The Office of Tax Simplification has published its second report on capital gains tax ("CGT"), following the policy review it launched in July 2020. The first report was published in November 2020. This second report focuses on technical issues and makes thirteen main recommendations, some of which are:

  • adjusting Principal Private Residence Relief ("PPR") to cover developments in a taxpayer’s garden which the taxpayer subsequently occupies;
  • reviewing the practical operation of PPR nominations and raising awareness of how the rules operate;
  • doubling the current 30-day deadline for reporting and paying CGT on UK property to 60 days; and
  • extending the "no gain no loss" window for separating couples from one year to two years (or any alternative reasonable time specified by the court).

Also noted within the report is that the government could reflect on whether it is intended for unlimited PPR to be available to a homeowner who becomes permanently non-UK resident after purchasing a home in the UK. Capital_Gains_Tax_stage_2_report_-_May_2021.pdf (publishing.service.gov.uk)

Covid vaccine and mental capacity

In SS v London Borough of Richmond upon Thames [2021] EWCOP 31, the Court of Protection found that it was not in the best interests of the mentally incapacitated person in question to receive a Covid-19 vaccine. The previously expressed views and wishes of the person against vaccinations in general and her antipathy towards medical intervention were particular important. This contrasts with E (Vaccine) [2021] EWCOP 7, in which the Court found that the person in question should receive the vaccine, as they had chosen to receive other vaccinations and had displayed overall trust in health professionals in the past. Best interests decision to refuse COVID vaccine influenced by P's previous views (COP) | Practical Law (thomsonreuters.com)

Covid guidance for LPA signing 

The OPG has updated its guidance on making and registering LPAs during the Covid-19 pandemic (originally published in April 2020) to make clear that the parties must follow the government guidance on social distancing when signing and witnessing an LPA. Digital signatures are not permitted; nor is sending photocopies or scans of the LPA to sign - everyone must sign the same, original document. Making and registering an LPA during the coronavirus outbreak - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Removal of executor

In Ugolor v Ugolor, 2021 EWHC 686 Ch, the High Court removed the defendant as executor of his mother's estate on grounds that he is not an appropriate person to be administering the estate. The Will was admitted to probate in December 2020, despite a caveat lodged by the executor's siblings. The reasons for the executor's removal included that there were reasonable grounds for believing he had obtained the grant by falsely telling the Probate Registry on affidavit that he had served a warning off notice on the claimants. The siblings dispute the validity of the Will on grounds of lack of knowledge or approval, lack of testamentary capacity and undue influence. Ugolor & Ors v Ugolor [2021] EWHC 686 (Ch) (19 March 2021) (bailii.org)