Category Archives: Estate Planning & Will Services





Here are the latest Updated Key Guides; we have reviewed all of the Key Guides for relevant developments, some have not needed amending but here are the Nine Updated Key Guides for your information and guidance.  Contact us if you need any further guidance and/or assistance.

You can access the whole series of KEY GUIDES through the downloads in the Recent News section of our website here: –

The amended Key Guides are: –

Accessing your company profits

  • An updated introduction advises that the possibility of new, environment-related taxation may be on the horizon for businesses.
  • An example regarding national insurance contribution calculations has been revised for greater clarity.
  • Information is given about the forthcoming changes to personal service company (PSC) IR35 rules for private sector businesses.
  • Updated information about the taxation of company cars, in line with the government’s environmental policies, is given.
  • A warning is also given about the need to keep abreast of Brexit developments over the coming year and its potential impacts on business planning.


Making tax digital

  • Information about the types of roll-out for different areas of tax has been made clearer.
  • MTD for VAT became compulsory in April 2019, with an agreed delay to October 2019 and early 2020 for certain types of business; the key guide has been updated to reflect this deferral, explaining its implications for public sector bodies who use the GIANT system of tax reporting.
  • Fuller details about the MTD VAT situation in general have been given.


Making the most of fringe benefits

  • An update to the introduction makes the point that the Conservative party re-election in December 2019 makes changes to the taxation of benefits in 2020/21 very unlikely.
  • The introduction also reiterates how the company car, traditionally a popular benefit, has become less tax efficient, with the introduction of the UK’s first zero-emissions street a good indicator of the future of motoring.
  • The guide explains one way to improve efficiency is for employees to contribute up to £5,000 for a new company car which may allow them to afford a car with much lower emissions.


Starting and selling a business

  • Updated introduction touches on implications of the UK general election and the consequences of an orderly or disorderly exit from the EU on the UK’s economic growth
  • Updated advice regarding tailoring business plans to take EU exit into account for 2020
  • The latest information on the expansion of the IR35 rules to the private sector set for April 2020.
  • A new mention of the proposed further discounts (to 50%) to retail business rates.
  • Update to regarding the annual 2% write-off for the construction costs of commercial property which is now set to increase to 3%.
  • New mention of an increase to employment allowance.
  • Inclusion of the government’s announcement to conduct a “review and reform” of entrepreneur’s relief.


Strategies for a high tax environment

  • Updated information from the Office for Budgetary Responsibility has been given
  • The latest situation based on the Conservative party manifesto regarding increasing the NICs threshold has been added.
  • An additional comment regarding Entrepreneurs’ relief and the potential ‘review and reform’ it may undergo has been inserted.
  • An update regarding the abandonment of the plan to cut Corporation tax to 17% has also been added.


Tax allowances for business investment

  • An update regarding the upcoming increase in structures and business allowance (SBA) from 2% to 3%
  • Up-to-date example figures used to explain how to calculate the annual investment allowance (AIA)


Taxation of property

  • An updated introduction touches on the performance of the housing market in 2019, the projected rise in house prices and the implications of Brexit following the general election result.
  • A change to the information on corporation tax which is now remaining at 19%.


Working through personal service companies

  • An updated introduction touches on the forthcoming expansion to the private sector of the IR35 rules for personal service companies (PSCs), including the government’s review of the implementation.
  • Further advice on the CEST tool which has been updated by HMRC with 30 new or updated questions, in addition to a contract review process.
  • An additional section on retaining your personal service company.


You and yours – estate planning

  • An update on the shelving of probate fee changes and delays in processing applications.
  • A comment on whether the Office of Tax Simplification proposals on inheritance tax will be integrated into the March 2020 Budget is added.


Contact Paul Southward.

Paul Southward's News Roundup

IHT Planning

The need for IHT Planning is highlighted by record tax receipts.

With the current revelations about offshore trusts, tax havens and the disclosures about our political leaders tax affairs you may think that tax planning is all but dead and gone.  This is certainly not the case, some sensible steps based on sound, legitimate and lawful advice could knock thousands of pounds in inheritance tax (IHT) for you and your family.

The need for IHT planning is highlighted by the fact that IHT receipts leapt to a record £4.6bn in the year to February 2016 a rise of 21% on the previous year’s total of £3.8bn.

A part of that increase is probably down to increases in property values bringing many more estates within the charge to IHT.  The situation has been exacerbated by the fact that the starting threshold for paying IHT has remained unchanged for almost 7 years.

So where do you start?  Whilst we would recommend that you only take IHT Planning action after taking expert advice, there are things that can be done to ‘prepare the ground’ this will make it easier for your adviser to focus on the specific needs of you and your family and provide advice that is relevant to you and your family.

So here are some simple steps that will get you started:-

1. Make a list of all your assets and make an estimate of each asset’s current value.  If you are married or in a civil partnership make a separate list for each party, split the value of jointly owned assets according to your share.

2. Consider future inheritances you may receive are you likely to be the beneficiary of a will or perhaps a trust?  Do you own or have an interest in any capital assets that are likely to be sold within the next 5 to 10 years?  Make a separate list.

3. Make a list of all your income sources and the yearly income received from each source.  Also make a list of all your outgoings.

4. Think about significant future outgoings you may incur over the next 5 years or so, education costs, weddings etc. and make note of these.

5. Have you already made gifts to your family?  You should keep a record of any significant gifts that you have made.

6. Think about your path in life over the next 5 to 10 years and consider where it may take you, and where you would want to be.

7. Now draw up your current family tree include all from whom you may benefit, current dependents and others who you wish to benefit from your estate.

Now you can give us a call and we can lead you on to the next leg of your journey by providing you with the sound, legitimate and lawful advice you need to plan for your and your family’s future.  We may not save you any tax but the peace of mind you will achieve will bring rich rewards.

ICAEW approves KSK for probate work

1st February 2016

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has licensed Keens Shay Keens Ltd Chartered Accountants to carry out probate work.

As one of the regions leading independent practices we are proud to be one of the first accountancy firms in Bedfordshire to become licensed by the ICAEW as an alternative business structure to carry out probate work.

We have been providing advice and guidance in connection with estate planning work for many years and for some clients spanning generations.  The latest addition of probate work to the services we can offer enhances the overall package of estate planning services we provide.

Our probate services are provided by our Managing Partner Paul Howkins through our office in Luton, although the service is available to clients from all our offices across Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.
Paul says:

“We have been providing inheritance tax and succession planning advice for a long time now and the firm has a reputation of trust and understanding of providing for our clients needs.  The addition of probate services allows us to offer a more straightforward ‘whole’ service without the need to rely on third parties.  This strengthens our position as one of the leading providers of professional services in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.”

Estate Planning, Probate Administration & Will Services

We have for many years provided estate planning and advice on inheritance tax and succession planning; we have also assisted with the preparation of the required inheritance tax forms and computation.  However, until recently we have not been able to apply for a grant of probate, because this a was a reserved legal service, which could only be provided by a solicitor.

This changed in December 2014 when the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) became an approved regulator for probate services.  This meant that once licenced, an approved Chartered Accountant and ICAEW member can now provide clients with a full probate service.

As a leading local independent firm of Chartered Accountants we are pleased to be licensed to provide Probate Services by the ICAEW.

We offer these services on a standalone basis or part of our overall Estate Planning services.

About our Probate Services

* Our fees are based on time spent (and not the value of the estate); this means that you will only be charged for the professional time incurred in dealing with the probate and any advice required.

* The service we deliver will be clear and concise and is designed for you to fully understand the process without jargon.

* Our Probate Services are headed up by our Managing Director Paul Howkins who has passed the necessary exams required by the ICAEW in order that the firm can be licensed.

The benefits of using Keens Shay Keens Ltd Chartered Accountants Probate Service

* Accessible and structured fee costs.

* Professional and experienced advice given by an expert who has a wide range of expertise in all aspects of estate planning.

* Established professional firm with a long history of providing expert business and financial advice and guidance.

* Peace of mind at a time that may be stressful and unfamiliar to those charged with administering the estate that everything will be taken care of by expert and caring professionals.

* For existing clients, an in depth knowledge of your business, personal and family affairs allowing us to tailor the service directly to your needs.