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

Offshore – Register of Overseas Entities

In a Hansard debate on 12 July 2022, it was suggested that the Register of Overseas Entities (to be implemented as part of the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022) will go live on 1 August 2022, with further regulations to follow in the autumn. The outstanding regulations needed under the Act include those defining what is meant by an "exempt overseas entity". Practical Law comments that, given "exempt overseas entity" is a key term, it would be surprising if the Act was brought into force without it being defined. New practice note on Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022: property implications | Practical Law (thomsonreuters.com)

Mental capacity – LPA registration times

It looks as though the registration time for an LPA has come down from 81 days to 73 days, according to justice minister Tom Pursglove who revealed in a written parliamentary response that the average time taken to register an LPA between 1 June 2021 and 31 May 2022 was 73 days. However, in another parliamentary response, he revealed that the backlog in processing LPAs has affected the ability of the Office of the Public Guardian  to respond to complaints within its target of ten working days. LPA registration speeding up - but complaints taking longer to resolve | News | Law Gazette

Tax reporting – Ecclestone charged after failure to declare offshore assets

The Crown Prosecution Service has authorised the charging of the former head of Formula 1, Bernie Ecclestone, with fraud by false representation following an HMRC investigation into Ecclestone's failure to declare the existence of assets held overseas believed to be worth more than £400 million. The first hearing in the case is expected on 22 August at Westminster Magistrates Court. Fraud charge authorised against Bernard Charles Ecclestone | HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) (mynewsdesk.com)

Mental capacity – MCA Consultation

The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners ("STEP") have published their response to the joint consultation on proposed changes to the Mental Capacity Act 2005 Code of Practice from the Department of Health & Social Care and the Ministry of Justice. The consultation closed on 14 July 2022. Wedlake Bell also submitted a response and this is available here. Professional bodies respond to consultation on MCA 2005 code | STEP

Probate – PPI claims

On 11 July 2022, STEP published a briefing note on payment protection insurance ("PPI") claims made by personal representatives ("PRs"). This builds upon a briefing note on the same topic published by STEP in 2019. The 2022 note takes into account discussions that STEP has had with HMRC on valuing PPI claims for IHT purposes. It is HMRC's view that the IHT value of PPI claims in deceased estates depends on whether there was a valuable right at the date of death, or merely a right to make a claim without knowing whether any compensation would be payable. For example, for where a PPI claim has been submitted, but, at the date of death, there is no indication that it might be successful, HMRC would expect PRs to enter a nil value on the IHT400 form. STEP reports HMRC guidance on IHT treatment of PPI claims in estates | Practical Law (thomsonreuters.com)