Legal Advice & Help Centre from Curtis Parkinson - Nottingham Solicitors

0115 964 7740 - law@curtisparkinson.com

COVID-19: Currently, we do not plan to change our procedures as a result of the government’s relaxation of regulations. Our offices remain closed but our staff are working, and telephones are fully operational. We offer meetings via video, and 'Drive In' appointments for Notarial services. Please contact us if you have any queries. More >>

Divorce and The Inheritance Act

Divorce & The Inheritance Act

The Inheritance Act 1975 gives certain people the legal right to make a claim against a person’s estate for ‘reasonable financial provision’. However, a recent case, Sismey v Salandron, is the first-ever where this type of claim has reached trial. And it’s widely believed that the decision made in this case will affect estates involving…

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Can You Leave Your Estate to Anyone You Choose?

Fundamentally, English law upholds the principle of testamentary freedom. In other words, the person making a Will (known as the testator) can leave their estate to anyone they choose. However, there is an exception. In England, the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 safeguards family members from being disinherited. Anyone eligible spouse, civil…

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Is It Easy to Challenge a Will Based On Forgery?

Challenging a Will because you believe it’s a forgery isn’t easy. You may think you have solid evidence but putting your argument together isn’t always straightforward. The recent case of Rainey v Weller tells us why. Rainey v Weller [2021] EWHC 2206 (CH) Claims over the validity of any Will invariably raise issues over capacity,…

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Unravelling The Mysteries of Probate

To many, probate is a bit of a mystery. First, there’s the classic scene we see in dramas where close family arrives at the lawyer’s office for the reading of the Will. Then the lawyer reveals that no one inherits what they expect. There are so many myths and misconceptions about the probate process, including…

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Managing Someone’s Affairs Without Powers of Attorney

If someone close to you loses mental capacity and they don’t have a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in place, it can leave you and your family in a tricky situation. It’s too late to be appointed as their Attorney because the person making the LPA (called the Donor) can only create an LPA when…

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What happens your online accounts after you die?

Planning what happens to your assets when you die is common, you’ve probably at least given it a passing thought. What will happen to your home, your savings, your collection of stuffed rabbits when you are gone? It’s essential to establish who gets what and what you want to happen to your assets. But in…

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Planning ahead? Be smart about what you leave behind.

When you’re gone, you’ll want all your hard work to fully benefit your family and loved ones. But Inheritance Tax liability can reduce the size of the estate you are able to leave behind. Be smart and plan ahead. If your estate is worth more than the threshold for Inheritance Tax, there are things you…

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Challenging Wills – How To Mitigate The Challenge

Following on from our previous article on the successful challenge, we now set out how the mother could have done things differently to ensure her wishes were respected. There is nothing that you can do to prevent a challenge to your Will or gifts made in life, but you can make it harder with correct…

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The Role of Discretionary Trusts in Your Will

It’s not uncommon to set up a Discretionary Trust in your Will. This mechanism allows you to ringfence some or all of your Estate, often to support a loved one who is vulnerable or unable to manage their own affairs. Or safeguarding cash or assets for loved ones going through a divorce or a period…

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Checklist for Making Your Will

Understandably, since the pandemic hit, we’ve seen an increase in clients making their Wills. But it’s not always easy to know what to include. So, here’s a short ‘checklist’ to help you with the process. 1. Beneficiaries If you leave your estate to more than one person, think carefully about how you’d like to distribute…

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Living Together & Owning a Property

Joint Tenants -vs- Tenants In Common – Which Arrangement is Best? Out of 19.1 million families in the UK in 2018, 3.3 million were living together. That’s an increase of over 25% in the last decade. Yet, from a legal standpoint, it can be confusing what your rights are when you live and buy a…

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Should We Sign the House Over to The Kids?

It’s a question we’re often asked. Should we sign over our house to the kids? Or put it into a trust? Whatever your circumstances are, your home is probably your biggest asset, so consider the implications very carefully. Signing over your house isn’t risk-free. And there are plenty of misconceptions about the heavily promoted so-called…

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Assessing Testamentary Capacity

For solicitors and Will writers, one of the most important parts of drawing up a Will is assessing a client’s fitness to make their Will, known as their ‘testamentary capacity. If the client is elderly or ill or has doubts about their capacity, how a practitioner establishes this is very important. Since the ’70s, it’s…

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Trusts and Protecting Your Assets

We’ve written a few articles about the government’s planned increases in probate fees. A plan which, if implemented as intended, has been dubbed a ‘stealth tax’. Unsurprisingly, amid widespread condemnation, we’ve seen a marked increase in enquiries from clients about the potential benefits of setting up trusts. Can this approach mitigate inheritance tax liability and increased…

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Marriage, Divorce and Your Will

Modern relationships are complicated. Divorce and remarriage are commonplace. As your circumstances change, so too should your Will. It’s essential your Will accurately reflects your wishes so that your beneficiaries receive what you want them to. So, how does marriage, separation and divorce affect your Will? What steps can you take to preserve your Estate…

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Probate Fees May Rise as Delays Continue

Professional bodies, including the Law Society, have criticised the Ministry of Justice’s (MoJ) plans to raise probate fees at a time when bereaved families are still encountering long delays in processing grant of probate applications. But the government claims that HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) currently operates at a loss, places an unjustifiable burden…

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Your Will, Your Family & Inheritance Disputes

Disappointed beneficiaries take family members to court over their inheritance (or lack of it) more than ever before. Notwithstanding the sharp spike in court cases last year, many inheritance disputes are settled out of court after a lot of (expensive) legal to-ing and fro-ing. Inheritance disputes are destructive and expensive. But, with careful planning and…

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Dying Without a Will: How Intestacy May Affect You

If someone dies without a Will or if their Will is not valid, they will die ‘intestate’. The rules of intestacy apply to assets, Investments, and personal belongings a person leaves behind – otherwise known as their Estate. What relatives or beneficiaries inherit is affected by the intestacy rules and distributed according to a fixed…

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Sharing Your Home With Someone

Thinking about asking a friend or family member to move in isn’t a rare thing these days. Sharing your home with someone who contributes to the mortgage and running costs often makes a real difference. But personal circumstances vary, and the motivation behind making the decision is rarely straightforward. So, it’s a good idea to…

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The Leasehold Reform Bill – Is It Farewell to Ground Rents?

The government introduced the first part of the long-awaited series of reforms to leasehold property law (in England and Wales) in the Queen’s Speech last month. The draft Bill, known as the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill, is designed to end the inconsistency surrounding the charging of ground rents to leaseholders of flats and houses.…

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