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  • Appropriations and partitions are different.
  • There is often more than one way to solve a problem.
  • Capital Gains Tax and deceased estates are a unique mix.

You are dealing with the three children of the late Janice – Katey, Ken and Kris, who are also the executors of her will. You prepared Janice’s will before her death and you are now sorting things out in her estate. Janice’s husband, John, predeceased her some years ago. Katey, Ken and Kris don’t get on. They are all in their sixties with several children each and the cousins don’t get on either.

In her will, Janice gave specific assets to each child which – to your surprise – did not cause any arguments between them.

Janice also had a substantial share portfolio which she very successfully built up over many years. Janice left her share portfolio to her three children as tenants in common in equal shares. Janice hoped this would give her children something to work on together as a happy family. But it hasn’t.

The shares have increased a lot in value since Janice bought them (the shares were all acquired after 1985 when Capital Gains Tax (‘CGT’) came in). The shares will be subject to CGT on sale or, as it became painfully evident later, on transfer between family members other than by will.

Katey, Ken and Kris can’t agree on what should happen with the shares.

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