Why the Taxman Is Getting a Share of More Family Inheritances

More people face being presented with a bill for inheritance tax (IHT) as house prices rise and people’s estates increase in value.


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Three-fifths of those surveyed by insurance company Canada Life didn’t realise their estate would be liable for IHT when they died, while over half did not know the tax is charged at 40%.

The current figure of £325,000 has been in place since 2009, but rising house prices have taken many people over the limit. IHT is no longer a tax on the rich, who are likely to protect their assets.

Families paid £4.7bn in IHT in the tax year 2015/16 – up 22% in one year. Experts warn many people are unaware of IHT or do not realise that all of their assets, including investments and savings, are added to the taxable pot.

Help on the Way

In order to lessen the number of people hit with an IHT bill, the nil-rate band – the threshold for IHT – will stay frozen until the year 2021 at today’s rate, and there will be a new IHT allowance for those who want to leave their main family home to their offspring. It’s being phased in from April.

By the year 2020 this will mean, for parents, IHT will not be payable until the estate is wroth £500,000, or £1m for a married couple.

Avoiding IHT

There are several ways you can avoid leaving your beneficiaries with a whopping tax bill. Firstly, everyone is advised to make a will and keep it up to date. If your assets are likely to be affected by IHT, consider setting up trusts – speak to an independent financial advisor for help.

You can also make gifts to people before you die, but these are subject to certain rules and depend on how soon after giving a gift you die. According to HMRC, gifts made three to seven years before your death are taxed on a sliding scale.

If you have debts, consider setting up an Individual Voluntary Agreement (IVA) to help you pay them off and let you leave more of your assets. There are plenty of companies who can help with an IVA.

Whatever your assets, there are steps you can take to ensure your family doesn’t lose out when you die.

Three Classic Rugby World Cup Moments

The 8th Rugby World Cup saw New Zealand keep their crown.  After a few unpredicted results at one point it was arguably anyone’s game.  However, the All Blacks reigned supreme in the end.  We decided to take a look at some of the spectacular moments in Rugby history that ran up to the commencement of 2015’s world cup.


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To whet the appetite, here are three of the greatest moments in Rugby World Cup history.

Jonny Wilkinson’s Last-Gasp Winner

As reported in the Daily Mail, the England legend’s dramatic winning drop-goal against Australia in the 2003 final has been voted by fans as the greatest moment in the history of the World Cup. It is certainly hard to think of anything that could top it, unless you are Australian.

Jonah Lomu Destroys England

It would not be a true list of greatest World Cup moments if there was no mention of arguably the greatest rugby player of all time. In the 1995 tournament held in South Africa, England came up against a formidable New Zealand side in the semi-finals. Lomu, at the time just twenty years of age, ran riot, scoring a remarkable four tries.

Nelson Mandela Makes History

The 1995 tournament was notable for being the first major sporting event held in South Africa since the end of apartheid. In a truly fitting finale to a historic occasion, the host nation beat favourites New Zealand 15-12 in the final. The victorious team were presented with the Webb Ellis Trophy by President Nelson Mandela. The story was turned into a film, Invictus, in 2009.

There have, of course, been many other classic moments during the twenty-eight-year history of the Rugby World Cup. Who could ever forget the amazing comeback made by France in the 1999 semi-final against New Zealand, or the twenty-two tries scored by Australia in their 2003 match against Namibia? Any team can improve their rugby drills by watching the rugby training drill videos by sportsplan.net.

What makes a good Agile project tester?

Assessing the qualities which define a good software tester can vary depending on the type of environment in which they are operating. When it comes to projects which are being handled via an Agile approach, there are a multitude of metrics to take into account.


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Some may be concerned that the job of software testing itself is, like many other professions, being put at risk by the rise of AI. But for the time being, it is still necessary to rely upon dedicated specialists in this field and ensure that they develop the right skills, so that progress can be made.

Agile Testing – The Basics

Agile projects require staff to operate in a collaborative manner, while also ensuring that individuals are given the opportunity to take the initiative where appropriate. This means that a good Agile tester is constantly thinking about the quality of the end product, rather than only considering it after every other piece of the puzzle has fallen into place.

A mobile software testing company like https://www.bugfinders.com/ will take all this into account, working with testers to ensure that teams operate effectively as a whole, making use of speedy feedback and delivering reports quickly, so that great results can be achieved in the limited time allotted to a project.

Getting Technical

The merits of an Agile tester must include a solid grounding in the more technical aspects of the job, including test automation. This will further streamline the process and enable a tester to inform and advise others about the best route to take, while also ensuring that tests can be executed continually.

Automation must also not be seen as the be all and end all of testing, since there are some flaws in software that can only arise outside of this environment. A good Agile tester will have an appreciation of this fact.

Learning on the Job

When constructing a team of Agile testers, it is necessary to look for people who can fulfil specific roles and plug gaps in knowledge with their own expertise.

This also means that individuals with multiple skills must be willing to learn and adapt to new technologies, whether that might be new coding techniques or getting to grips with emerging APIs. Intellectual agility is just as important as prior experience, so take stock of this.

Architecture Projects Stall After the Brexit Vote

Several industries are facing uncertain times following the Brexit vote, and architects are just one group that are already seeing the impact.

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Many firms across the construction industry are delaying projects in favour of waiting to see how the economy starts performing in the wake of the vote to leave the European Union, and that has a knock-on effect for professions such as architects. Several of the UK’s most-respected architecture firms are having to let staff go as a result of projects falling through or being delayed at the least, all as a result of the current uncertainty.

Reducing Headcount

For many firms, their staff are the most important asset to the business, so the decision to cut numbers will not be taken lightly. Some firms are finding a full-time presence is too risky and are closing offices rather than fold the business completely.

The fragile state of the industry covers all areas, from housing to fabric architecture, and no one is immune from needing to tighten up.

Recession Forecast

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has suggested that the UK construction industry was already facing another recession even before the EU referendum vote, and the Brexit result has just compounded the situation, so fewer house and tensile fabric structure designs are required.

The industry had been declining – 0.4% in April, May and June – despite an overall growth of the economy in the UK. Activity is now declining at its quickest rate in seven years, with a weak outlook. A similar pattern emerged prior to the 2008 global recession in that there was widespread job-cutting in construction and architecture across UK businesses.

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has some useful advice in its “Brexit Briefing” calling for various conditions to be implemented in light of the result to protect the UK industry before firms have to take more drastic action.

The construction industry, and architects, can often be a good barometer of the economy, and businesses often find themselves at the front end of slowdowns. Many architecture firms are looking to diversify their services to reduce the impact of this sort of downturn.

Ultimately, time will tell what happens post-Brexit, and there is still so much uncertainty surrounding the outcomes. Formal negotiations have not yet been triggered, which might prolong the uncertainty.

A Guide to the Different DIY Sealants

If you need sealant for a DIY job you’ll find yourself faced with a confusing choice of builders’ sealant products. In fact, builders and construction professionals sometimes find themselves confused when choosing the right sealant, so didn’t worry, you’re in good company. Here’s a quick guide to the different kinds of sealants.


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Silicon Sealants

The most common types of sealants around are silicon sealants and its probable that one of these will be able to do the job for you. There’s a choice of acetoxy and neutral cure silicon sealants, both using the moisture from the atmosphere to react to. Acetoxy cure sealants tend to be high modulus, meaning they have a more vinegary odour and cure faster. Neutral cure options tend to have a low modulus and are practically free from odour. Low modulus sealants accommodate a smaller amount of movement and are typically the choice for interior jobs, whilst high modulus sealants allow for greater movement and are therefore the choice for extrerior jobs.

DIY Jobs – Which Sealant?

Jobs you may want to use low modulus sealant for include the sealing of UPVC doors and windows. Panel joints and concrete joints can also be fixed using low modulus sealant. Jobs that may require high modulus sealant include sealing kitchen units, bathroom fittings and interior window seals. Some jobs require more of an all round solution, but luckily this comes in the form of a low modulus acetoxy sealant which can be used on a number of indoor or outdoor jobs. This kind of sealant is cheaper but won’t last as long on exterior jobs as a neutral sealant might.

Specialised Sealants

Some jobs require a specialised silicon sealant such as food grade, high temperature or aquarium sealants.

Polymer Sealants

Polymer sealants are also good all rounders, especially for the DIY-er. They can be used for sealing non porous materials. Those looking for metal bonding adhesives should consider a hybrid polymer sealant like those available from http://www.ct1ltd.com/en/metal-to-metal-adhesive.html.

Getting the right sealant can be the fastest way to get the job done properly. If you are not sure, then spend a while reading the packaging and also ask someone who works in store. If you are buying from an online stockist then contact the customer services team to make sure you are buying the right sealant.

Could This Fridge Be a Canadian’s Best Friend?

If you’re backpacking around Europe, then you might want to bring – or make – a good Canadian friend. A quirky new fridge campaign could see you getting close to all the free beer you could possibly want.


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A Quirky Campaign

Molson, the Canadian brewer, has installed a series of beer-dispensing fridges across Europe with a twist. Located in big cities, including Brussels and London, the bright red fridges are packed with free beer inside – however, there is a catch. It requires possession of the all-important Canadian maple leaf and an authentic Canadian accent.

Only One Type of Key

This little slice of refreshing heaven may sound wonderful, but the fridges are locked. And they can only be opened by one very special type of key – a Canadian passport. A clever integrated camera inside the fridge will take a photo of the passport and will only unlock if the document is recognised as bearing the official insignia of Canada – the famous maple leaf.

The campaign has received a lot of attention and seen large crowds of participants flocking around the fridges. You can see one of the fridges in action online at youtube.com/watch?v=8gper3YkzMg – and don’t forget to Google the nearest location if you’re inclined to get involved.

Singing for Your Beer?

An earlier advertising campaign from the same company saw beer-packed fridges being installed in Canadian cities, but this time there was another way to get them open. Successful beer winners had to sing the Canadian national anthem. To celebrate Canada Day, flocks of locals turned up to try to sing the door open but only succeeded if their tone and delivery were spot on.

Similar fridges were installed at the Sochi Winter Olympics, and they caused quite a stir among all those who saw them. It helped too that the fridge models themselves were beautiful and well designed.

It’s a great advertising campaign, and it won an award for its innovative nature. The agency behind it have promised more fridges of the same ilk to follow. Will commercial refrigeration firms be inclined to offer something similar? Certainly, there is an ever-increasing number of quirky, innovative and high-end fridges on the market, from domestic to commercial solutions. You can find a huge range of options for commercial refrigeration by Fridge Freezer Direct.

You can find great inspiration online when it comes to fridges from some of the top reviews. A beer fridge is also a great way to keep your favourite drink cool if you’re planning a party or if you have space in your kitchen, cellar or utility room for a standalone beer storage facility – some bedrooms and offices have also been known to boast one.

In the meantime, if you’re in possession of that all-important Canadian passport and looking to travel across Europe any time soon, keep your eye out for a beautiful big red fridge promising instant free refreshment inside.

Top ways to successfully wear a denim jacket this autumn

When the humble denim jacket was invented in the early 1900s, no one would have thought that it would become such a fashion essential in the 21st century. These jackets were originally developed for steelworkers, miners and cowboys, who wore the jacket for its durability and versatility due to its easy wear and cotton textile. Nowadays, the denim jacket is very much a fashion statement, worn mainly in the spring and autumn months to complement an outfit for work, rest or play.


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Wear it with anything!

According to the Wall Street Journal, wearing a denim jacket will subtly stand you out from the crowd thanks to its ageless design and classic look. Denim jackets can be worn with pretty much anything and usually have the effect of creating a casual style. However, these jackets can also be worn to dress up an outfit. They keep you warm but won’t overdo the outfit, so experiment with your wardrobe this autumn.

Double up with denim jeans

Skinny jeans are on trend this autumn, and more of us are opting to purchase an expensive pair of womens skinny designer jeans as a wardrobe essential.

Take a look at some of the style images on http://www.cuba-clothing.com/womens/jeans.html and note how teaming the jacket with a striped T-Shirt underneath to break the denim up is a great and stylish combination. However, when pairing denim, be sure to use different washes.

Make it feminine

A girly look is nice with a touch of denim to complete the outfit. Blue denim teamed with a floaty lace dress and calf boots is an understated yet flirty and feminine look that can be achieved easily.

Wear it cropped

One of the key fashion designs this year is the cropped jacket. Go for a chic look with a maxi dress and cropped denim jacket. Make a statement on style and elongate your body, too!

Button it up

Have you ever thought of wearing your denim jacket as a shirt? Why not try it this autumn and button it up? Wear it with a bright maxi skirt or fitted trousers for a tailored look.

Wear it out

Denim jackets can also flatter an evening outfit. Jazz it up with sequins and heels for a bit of fun. It will also keep you warm on the way home!

FDA tells congress that drug firms are abusing citizen rights

This year’s citizens’ petitions report from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) again highlights that the majority of petitions are filed falsely. It claims that these inappropriate petitions are filed solely to delay competing companies bringing new, similar or generic products to market. This leads to higher drug costs for those who might otherwise choose the lower cost product.Continue reading →

How to Make the Most of your Uganda Holiday

Uganda is the perfect tourist destination. It is situated in East Africa and is considered as a “landlocked country” since it’s right in the middle of several other countries including Kenya and Tanzania. The world’s most unique and captivating wildlife derive from this country, including gorillas, lions, giraffes and elephants etc. It is famous for its breath-taking views and beautiful national parks. If you’re planning on going to Uganda on a holiday, you better make the most of it! Here are some of the best aspects to this fascinating country.

How to Make the Most of your Uganda Holiday

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Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

This gorgeous nation park in south-western Uganda is home to 348 species of birds, gorillas, chimpanzees, chameleons, geckos and many endangered species. These species are protected in the park, but visitors may still get a chance to see them in their natural habitat. As well as endangered animals, this massive national park is also home to endangered flora such as the Brazzeia longipedicellata and the brown mahogany.


This town has been called the “adrenaline capital of East Africa” by Lonely Planet, describing the town as a buzzling place filled with colonial architecture. There is plenty of activities here to enjoy. The most popular of which include horseback riding, bungee jumping, quad biking, mountain biking, kayaking and white-water rafting.

Gorilla Trekking

As you know, Uganda is famous for its gorilla inhabitants. The huge national parks provide the gorillas with the perfect habitats, offering them constant sources of food, water and shelter. These gorillas are protected from harm, which means tourists can enjoy a peaceful Gorilla Trekking Holiday from companies such as http://www.steppestravel.co.uk/uganda-holidays. Discover this mystical animal as it goes about its daily life without being disturbed. Just remember to pack your best hiking boots!

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Another park you don’t want to miss in Uganda is the Queen Elizabeth National Park. With over 612 bird species, you’re bound to come across a few rare creatures that you won’t find anywhere else on this planet. There is plenty to do here, including various safari trips that will take you closer to some of the parks most breath-taking wildlife. The land is mostly bushy grassland, however, there are also areas of woodland, swamp vegetation and forest grassland. Some animals you will see on your visit include the great flamingo, martial eagles, backed pelicans, elephants, hyenas, leopards, lions, waterbucks, cape buffalos and the Shoebill stork etc.

Pancreatic cancer treatment drug goes into testing stage

Pancreatic cancer cells can grow to be too large for surgical removal, and chemotherapy and radiation therapy are not always enough to battle the growing cancer cells alone.

Pancreatic cancer treatment drug goes into testing stage

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This is where clinical trials come in. Recently, a new drug by AstraZeneca called Olaparib started its initial trial to help treat pancreatic cancer that has not yet metastasized but cannot be removed surgically. Olaparib is paired with chemotherapy and radiation therapy to form a triple threat in the treatment of the cancer.

Response to treatment

The results for any treatment can vary according to the stage and the severity of the cancer, but this new treatment drug hopes to benefit most patients whose pancreatic cancer has not spread to other parts of the body. The drug is expected to work by helping cancer cells respond better to the chemotherapy and radiation therapy that the patient is given. According to Cancer Research UK, Olaparib is already being used to treat ovarian cancer and is now in the testing stage for certain pancreatic cancer cases.

The drug’s goal for patients with pancreatic cancer is to make the cancer small enough to be safely removed with surgery. First, the drug will be tested to find the perfect dosage to pair with the chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and then doctors will be watching to find out how long the drug takes to shrink the cancer to a surgically removable size.

Help with the process

Knowing that a competent team of doctors, drug developers and scientists are taking care of every aspect of the drug trial should help relieve some of the anxieties that patients have when just starting out with a drug that is in a trial testing stage. Another important part of the trial team is the clinical trial assistants, such as those found at http://www.gandlscientific.com/clinical-trial-assistants/. These assistants from scientific staffing solutions act as knowledgeable, efficient helpers to the facility, trial and patient.

Certain cancers have very limited treatment options, leading patients to turn to clinical trials either in place of or in addition to the usual treatment. All of the choices that need to be made can be overwhelming for a patient, and hopefully the positive outlook for this new treatment drug for pancreatic cancer can help ease some of these worries.