It is a sad fact of life as a landowner that you spend an inordinate amount of time and effort planning your death. This is necessary so that your heir can inherit and pay the minimum amount in taxes and Death Duties, or what is now known as Inheritance Tax. One of the tricks of the trade is to ensure that any bank borrowing you may have - too many in my case sadly - are secured against property that is not eligible for any of the numerous 'reliefs' to Inheritance tax. So with co-operation of my bank - HSBC - I am now making sure that my overdraft and loans are secured against a group of cottages. Imagine my surprise when HSBC stated that they did not just desire a £500 management fee for doing this, but thought they were entitled to £250 for 'out of pocket expenses!!! Obviously I supposed that this was the amount they were planning to spend on lunching me and my agent at Exeter's most expensive restaurant. But no, it appears this sum is one they think is their due - unbelievable behaviour. Well negotiations are, as they say, ongoing - but they ain't getting that £250 out of me.