Inheritance Tax Nil Rate Band (NRB) and the Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB)

Inheritance Tax Nil Rate Band (NRB) and the Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB)

Inheritance Tax Nil Rate Band (NRB) and the Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB)

The current NRB is £325,000 – which means that on death, if your assets are valued under this amount, you will not be liable for Inheritance Tax. Anything above this amount is chargeable to Inheritance Tax at the rate of 40% (unless there are other exemptions or reliefs that can be applied).

If you are married or are in a civil partnership and on your death you leave everything to your spouse, the NRB can be transferred to your spouse. Therefore, on the second death, there will be a total NRB available of £650,000. This is because transfers between spouses are exempt from Inheritance Tax.

Since 6th April 2017, there has been an additional Nil Rate Band available for those who own all or part of a home, which has been left to a direct descendent:- the ‘Residence Nil Rate Band’.

For deaths on or after 6th April 2017 the band was introduced at £100,000, rising £25,000 per year. Therefore, for the current tax year of 2019-2020, a further £150,000 can be claimed where the criteria is satisfied. The maximum amount, at the time of writing, will be on 6th April 2020 when it will be £175,000. Again, this is transferable between spouses.

Applying the RNRB is by no means simple and there are many conditions that will need to be satisfied for it to apply, but potentially there will be a total nil rate band of £1m available, on the second death of a spouse.

For more information or to review your Will, contact our private client department.

For more information on Inheritance Tax Nil Rate Band and the Residence Nil Rate Band

Contact our Private Client Department on 01206 577676 or email [email protected]

Work experience at GoodyBurrett

Work experience at GoodyBurrett

Work Experience – Sydney Window

Work experience is an important factor in helping graduates like myself achieve the job role they want. In today’s competitive work environment, employers look for graduates that are not only able to show a strong academic background but are also able to demonstrate durable commercial skills. As a recent graduate myself, I know how difficult it can be to have all the perfect qualities that employers are looking for!

Now I have concluded my 2-week work experience placement at Goody Burrett, I thought I would reflect on my time here and hopefully encourage others to experience this lovely and friendly firm! Recently graduating from my 3-year law degree, I have been trying to ensure that over this time I have been enhancing my CV as much as I can. With a desire to work in high street law, and growing up in Colchester, I have always targeted local firms. Goody Burrett was the perfect place to go.

At the start of my two weeks here, I was welcomed warmly by paralegal Bee, who quickly made me feel comfortable. Once shown around the office, I swiftly realised that everyone was smiley and welcoming. Over my two weeks here I was able to be involved in many opportunities that I had not experienced at other firms. Some of the duties I experienced were:

  • Sitting in on client meetings: In the family and litigation department, I was invited to sit in on client meetings and take notes. With a strong interest in becoming a family lawyer, I enjoyed experiencing these meetings first-hand and was encouraged by Chloe and Sue to be involved with discussions. After meetings, I was trusted to use my notes and write up the attendance note to be sent to the client. I loved this responsibility and felt it gave me a true insight into the life of a solicitor.
  • Writing client letters: During my time here, I was working alongside fee earners in family, conveyancing, litigation and wills and probate. I was asked to draft letters to clients on several matters, whether it was chasing a client or letting them know that their file was being closed. I was helped with formatting and wording, due to this my letter writing skills were enhanced.
  • Attending out of office meetings: On one occasion, trainee solicitor Jess took me out of the office to attend a meeting at a care home. This was such a good experience as I was able to be involved with the meeting, taking notes and liaising with the client. This was practical experience for me and provided me with such an insight into wills and probate.
  • Reception Work: During my time here, I was asked to sit at reception to cover lunch breaks. I was familiarised with the phones, taking messages and taking payments. This also gave me an insight into all the people working at Goody Burrett and what they do.
  • Registration of Land: Another task I was asked to do was to complete a first registration of land. This was an area of law I had not delved much into, but I really enjoyed learning. I was able to see some old conveyances and mortgages, that were extremely interesting to read (I was shocked to discover that houses used to sell for only £200! That would be nice!) I was then trusted to create a deeds pack and sort the file accordingly.

Altogether, my time at Goody Burrett was jam-packed full of tasks and new experiences, which helped me to improve my hands-on knowledge of the law. I know we’ve all been on those work placements where your prime job is to make tea and coffee and the only thing you learn is how strong or how many sugars everyone takes! However, this firm was quite the opposite. It was very rewarding to be trusted with real responsibilities and to then receive feedback on how to improve. It is so difficult to come out of University with a perfect CV and to then land your dream job, which is why it is so important to have experiences like the one Goody Burrett offers. If you’re looking for the perfect law placement and you want a career in high-street law, this firm truly offers invaluable experiences to display on your CV.

Once I leave my placement, I am extremely excited to enter this unique, interesting, crazy and rapidly changing career. Ultimately, I aspire to be a successful family solicitor and to help people in the local community. This firm has encouraged me to better myself and I will hopefully remain in contact with everyone that has helped me during my time here. Thank you to everyone at Goody Burrett.

If you are currently looking for a work experience placement in a successful and welcoming high-street law firm, then do not hesitate to contact us here at Goody Burrett. To apply please email us with a covering letter and your CV, our deadline for Summer work experience is the end of February every year.

Sydney Window

If you are interested in work experience at GoodyBurrett

Contact us on 01206 577676 or email [email protected]

Listed buildings

Listed buildings


Is not a listed building a joy to behold?  The law underpinning listed buildings is designed to preserve for posterity buildings of special architectural or historic interest.  When considered in that context, it is perhaps inappropriate to ever consider one individual as an owner of such a building, but more realistic to regard them as custodian of it for the time being. Therefore, it is no surprise that the legislation in relation to listed buildings and the related sanctions are draconian and can give rise to both civil and criminal liability.

There are three types of listed status for buildings in England and Wales being Grade I, Grade II* and Grade II.  The majority of buildings by far are Grade II listed but a small number, of national importance, are listed as Grade I or Grade II*.  Once a property is listed then, with certain limited exceptions that relate primarily to ecclesiastical buildings, a Listed Building Consent is required for any work that would affect the character of the building as a building of special architectural or historic interest.  It is important to appreciate that the listing will affect not only the property itself but all structures within its curtilage and I will comment further on that point below.

The Local Planning Authority has significant powers of enforcement which are open-ended and are not subject to any time limit.  The remedies that the Local Planning Authority can seek can involve a criminal prosecution for penalties and a requirement to carry out works of restoration or otherwise to the building.

It is a criminal offence to demolish a listed building or to carry out any works of alteration or extension which would affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest without Listed Building Consent.  The criminal sanctions extend to any person who executes or causes to be executed any works for the demolition of a listed building or for its alteration or extension in any manner that would affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest.  The potential liability under these sanctions can therefore extend beyond the owner or occupier of the property to builders, surveyors and even architects.  The offence is punishable summarily or on indictment and can therefore involve significant fines and/or imprisonment.

The powers of restoration can include requiring the current owner of the property to rectify any unauthorised work even if that had been carried out by a previous owner of the property.  The Local Authority can insist that the property is returned to the condition that it was in at the date of listing and enter the property itself to carry out that work in the event of a default.

As mentioned above, the listing affects not only the building itself but all structures within its curtilage.  Broadly speaking, a Listed Building Consent would certainly be required in relation to any such structure that pre-dated 1948.  Beyond that, fixtures to the building are protected as part of the listing.  A planning consent would be needed for the construction of any free-standing structures within the curtilage of a listed building and the primary consideration upon any such application would be the visual effect on the setting of the existing listed property.

All of the above of course begs the question as to how one does know when a proposed alteration would affect the character of the building in such a way. There are cases when even what appeared on the face of it to be the most minor change to a property (such as painting a door in a different colour) was deemed to require a Listed Building Consent. In all cases, it is a question of fact and degree.  Therefore, it is always advisable before undertaking any work to a listed building whether internally or externally and however minor it might appear on the face of it, to check with the Local Authority, or Conservation Officer if it has one, as to whether a Listed Building Consent is needed.  During the course of any proposed purchase of such a building it is equally important to try and ensure from your own inspection and specialist survey that Listed Building Consents cover all identified alterations that have been made to a property since the date of listing.

The bottom line is that whilst living in a listed property can be a joy, one needs to think carefully and budget for the potential costs that might be involved in maintaining and preserving such a building and bear constantly in mind the restrictions on alterations that the law imposes.

If you have any questions on listed buildings, our Conveyancing Team would be happy to help. 

For more information on listed buildings

Contact our Conveyancing Department on 01206 577676 or email [email protected]

How to obtain a divorce when your spouse won’t return the papers

How to obtain a divorce when your spouse won’t return the papers

How to obtain a divorce when your spouse won’t return the papers

You can’t make progress with your divorce if you can’t prove your spouse has received a copy of the divorce petition.   Once you have submitted your divorce petition to the Court,  the Court will send the following to your spouse:

  • A copy of the issued Divorce Petition
  • Blank Acknowledgement of Service
  • Notice of Proceedings

Your spouse is expected to complete and return the Acknowledgment within 8 days. This is the proof that your s/he has received the petition.  Once the Acknowledgment has been returned, you can progress your divorce to the next stage.

If your spouse ignores or refuses to return the Acknowledgment, you might want to consider the following:

Deemed Service

If you know s/he has received the papers, you can make an application to the court and ask the court for an order for “deemed service”.  You may rely on evidence such as text messages, emails, letters or posts on social media from your spouse which confirm that they have received the petition.   

Personal Service

The other option is having the Divorce Petition served personally on your spouse, either by a Court Bailiff or by a Process Server.

  1. The court bailiff will be asked to deliver the Petition, Acknowledgment and Notice of Proceedings to your spouse personally. You will need to provide the Court with a recent photograph/description of your spouse.
  2. Instructing a process server may be quicker and more economical then a Court Bailiff. The process server will also personally serve the Divorce Petition, Notice of Proceedings and blank Acknowledgment of Service Form to your spouse.

Once the job is done, the process server will provide you with a Certificate of Service and the divorce can progress. 

You can then apply for a Decree Nisi without waiting for your spouse to return the Acknowledgment.

How We Can Help

At GoodyBurrett, we provide skilled advice and assistance with your divorce.

For just £99 + VATwe can offer you an initial consultation to provide preliminary guidance to enable you to decide on the best way forward. Please do not hesitate to contact our Family team on 01206 577676 for more information.

For more information on Divorce

Contact our Family Department on 01206 577676 or email [email protected]

Fixed Fee Meeting

Fixed Fee Meeting

1 hour fixed fee meeting

We understand that going through a divorce or separation is a worrying time and therefore it is important to seek professional advice as soon as you can:  the more clear information you have, the easier the path ahead.

We can advise about divorce/separation procedure and the financial implications of divorcing or separating.  For those of you who are unmarried, we can advise you on the law relating to cohabiting couples, the ownership of property and what financial arrangements can be made for children. 

We also offer advice about protecting yourself and your property and can help you make arrangements for your children.  

We offer a fixed-fee meeting of 1 hour to provide preliminary guidance to enable you to decide on the best way forward. The meeting is followed up by a letter confirming what we discussed.  The charge is £99 + VAT.  This is a popular option because we can cover quite a lot in one hour so it’s also economical. Please contact our Family Department on 01206 577676 who will be happy to help.  

For more information on our fixed fee meeting

Contact our Family Department on 01206 577676 or email [email protected]