Not many people will have ever pondered the country of their domicile. Indeed, the vast majority of people living in the UK would doubtless assume that they are UK domiciled by virtue of the fact they live here.
This is not the case, and the implications of falsely assuming that you are UK domiciled can be immense. Not only does a ‘non-dom’ status potentially affect your Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax position, but it also dictates the Inheritance Tax treatment of your estate upon death. Therefore, before beginning any estate planning, domicile should always be established.
In 2010, statistics showed that 11.3% of the UK population is foreign born. Therefore, at least 1 in 10 people could be considered non-domiciled.
So what are the factors that determine domicile?
- Everyone will automatically be born with a ‘domicile of origin’ which would generally be determined by considering the domicile of your father at the time when you were born. As such, anyone whose parents were born abroad or living abroad at the time of their birth could be considered a non-dom.
- Once an individual reaches adulthood, it is possible to obtain an alternative ‘domicile of choice’ if for example they are living in a different country to that of their birth.
- When assessing whether the ‘domicile of origin’ or the ‘domicile of choice’ takes precedence, various factors need to be considered such as the strength of links to each country and how long the individual has been resident in the respective countries.
- Prior to 1974, women automatically assumed the domicile of their husbands when they married. It may come as a surprise, but this means that any woman who married a non-dom before then could be considered a non-dom herself for this reason.
If you are in any doubt about your status, then it is advisable to speak to an expert, particularly if you fall into any of the categories mentioned above. Please call us on 0800 028 2837 or complete our online enquiry form providing brief details of your circumstances.
As musical tastes change over the generations, this has a direct impact on the music played at funerals. In years gone by, hymns and religious music were the mainstay of funeral services. However, now with society becoming increasingly secular, contemporary music is played at two out of every three funerals.
Recently, a lit of the ‘top ten’ contemporary songs chosen at funerals has been released. The Frank Sinatra classic My Way comes in at number one, having been requested at over 30,000 funerals in the past year. In fact, Sinatra is the overall most requested artist with six of his hits featuring in the charts. Below is the full list:
- My Way- Frank Sinatra
- Time To Say Goodbye- Sarah Brightman/Andrea Bocelli
- Wind Beneath My Wings- Bette Midler
- Over The Rainbow- Eva Cassidy
- Angels- Robbie Williams
- You Raise Me Up- Westlife
- You’ll Never Walk Alone- Gerry & The Pacemakers
- We’ll Meet Again- Vera Lynn
- My Heart Will Go On- Celine Dion
- Unforgettable- Nat King Cole
In 2012, hymns accounted for 30% of funeral music requests (down from 41% in 2005). Among the top ten most popular hymns requested in 2012 were: Jerusalem, Morning Has Broken, The Lord is My Shepherd, All Things Bright and Beautiful and The Day Thou Gavest Lord has Ended.
Classical music has shown even more of a decline and is now only requested at 4% of funerals. The top six classical pieces are as follows:
- Nimrod- Elgar
- Canon in D- Pachelbel
- Ave Maria- Schubert
- Nessun Dorma- Puccini
- Pie Jesu- Faure
- The Four Seasons- Vivaldi
Aside from the above categories, some people have requested humorous music and even TV theme tunes at funerals. Some of the theme tunes requested were:
- Match of the Day
- One Foot in the Grave
- Last of the Summer Wine
- Top Gear
One side effect of this trend is that 25% of funeral homes have had to refuse to play a piece of music that has been deemed to be distasteful. For example, members of the clergy generally object to John Lennon’s Imagine because of the line “imagine there’s no heaven”. Other songs that have been rejected include Disco Inferno featuring the line “burn baby burn” and Meatloaf’s Bat Out of Hell. Although, a request for the “Countdown” music was upheld; with the music counting down the seconds until the curtain closed.
Recently, a Canadian woman placed an advert on her local Craigslist website with a rather unusual proposition. She wants to send her parents’ ashes to places around the globe that they were unable to visit during their lives.
The ad read: “Both my parents are now dead and the one thing that they always wanted to do was travel. If you are travelling somewhere and are willing to take a little of my mom and dad and sprinkle them and take a picture, then please contact me.”
In response, she has received phone calls and emails from people across Canada offering to take her parents’ remains to a range of destinations including Britain, Hawaii, Australia, Malaysia and the U.S.A.
Her father died in 1994 and once her mother had also passed away she started thinking about what to do with their ashes. She explained the reasoning behind her extraordinary idea as follows:
“I was looking at the boxes of my mom and dad and thought I wanted to get them out into the world. They never got to travel. They stayed home and looked after me. I thought it would be neat to get them out there.”
She intends to post a small quantity of her parents’ ashes mixed together in a jewelry bag to each of the respondents to her Craigslist advert.
Mourners in Egypt were left stunned when the man they were burying woke up during the funeral.
The 28 year old male was pronounced dead after suffering a heart attack at work but, just as he was about to be buried, it was discovered that he was still breathing. He was revived at the last minute, along with his mother who had fainted when she heard that her son wasn’t dead.
A similar incident also occurred in China when a 95 year old woman climbed out of her coffin six days after she was thought to have died. She had been left in an open coffin in her home whilst family members paid their last respects but, the day before her funeral, she was discovered cooking in her kitchen.
It has come to our attention that there are currently a number of probate scams in operation. The vast majority of these scams are internet based and involve the victim being contacted by email with the suggestion that they are due to inherit a substantial legacy from an estate. Up-front fees are then requested before any further information is provided, or any money released.
You should never make any payment that is requested, or transfer funds, as these approaches will always be fraudulent.
Genuine ‘heir tracing’ companies like The Probate Bureau Ltd, do exist and do contact potential beneficiaries of estates where the deceased had become estranged from their family. However, these genuine companies generally do not make contact by email, nor would they ever ask for money from you up front.
We have, in the past, had calls from people who had been contacted by fraudsters masquerading as The Probate Bureau Ltd, even employing the use of our logo to appear more genuine. If this happens to you please advise us.
If you receive a suspicious email of this nature it is important to report it via the following website www.met.police.uk/fraudalert