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How to Handle a Rogue Trustee
The pros and cons of setting up a trust are often discussed when planning someone’s estate. However, depending on the size of a person’s estate, the benefits of creating trusts invariably outweigh the disadvantages as they can help to minimise Inheritance Tax (IHT), protect vulnerable dependents, or generally preserve an individual’s wealth for future generations.…continue reading
Do Lasting Powers of Attorney Reduce Your Independence?
Unsurprisingly, when clients make Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs), they often ask if these powerful legal documents can reduce their independence or leave them open to financial abuse. Given that you can only make Powers of Attorney when you’re ‘of sound mind’, they’re excellent questions to ask before giving someone access to your finances. So,…continue reading
Couples: What Constitutes Reasonable Financial Provision?
In the UK, there’s a long-established principle that individuals are entitled to leave their estate to anyone they choose. However, under the Inheritance Act 1975 (Inheritance Act), certain people can challenge the terms of a Will if they can demonstrate that their loved one’s Will has left them without “reasonable financial provision”. Those eligible to…continue reading
The Importance of Capacity When Making Your Will
For lawyers, one of the most important parts of drawing up a Will is assessing a client’s fitness to make their Will. This is known as their ‘testamentary capacity’. If the client is elderly or ill or doubts their capacity, how a practitioner establishes this is very important. Since the ’70s, it’s become best practice…continue reading
Difference Between Professional & Lay Court of Protection Deputies
A Court of Protection Deputy is appointed by the Court to make decisions for someone who can’t make decisions for themselves. Professional or Lay Deputy? All Deputies must be 18 or over. Essentially, there are two types of Deputies, Lay and Professional. Lay Deputies are usually close family members or friends of the person who…continue reading
What Happens if There Isn’t a Will?
It’s estimated that two-thirds of people die without making a Will. These figures include high-profile figures such as Prince, Jimi Hendrix, Amy Winehouse, Pablo Picasso, and James Dean, to name but a few. Unfortunately, they left more than just their fame behind. Aside from their wealth, they provoked bitter family arguments, avoidable taxes, and numerous…continue reading
Can a Will be Changed After Death?
In short, yes, a Will can be changed after death. However, all beneficiaries whose interests are being affected must agree, and changes must be completed within two years after the person whose Will it is, dies. Changes are made using a deed of variation. However, this doesn’t mean you’re given free rein to rewrite someone’s…continue reading
Protecting Vulnerable Adults
Any adult should feel safe, free from abuse, and have their rights and choices respected. However, some adults are less able to protect themselves, perhaps losing capacity due to illness, accident or dementia. This can leave them susceptible to exploitation and neglect. So, what can be done safeguard vulnerable individuals? Make Lasting Powers of Attorney…continue reading
Do I need to leave everything to my spouse in my Will?
Your Will sets out what happens to your estate after your death. Without a Will, the Rules of Intestacy decide who gets what. Even without significant change in your life, such as divorce or remarriage, your Will should be regularly reviewed to ensure it’s what you want and provides for those close to you. However, what…continue reading
What Happens to Deputyship When Someone Dies?
Court of Protection Deputyships At its simplest, the role of a Deputy appointed by the Court of Protection will not stop until the Court discharges the Deputy, the person who is the subject of the Deputyship order dies, or a Deputy dies. If the person you are Deputy for dies, any Court of Protection application…continue reading
What Makes a Will Invalid in England & Wales?
It’s been widely reported that Priscilla Presley is disputing the validity of her late daughter’s Will, claiming that a 2016 amendment to Lisa Marie’s Will should be overturned. However, according to the papers filed in Los Angeles superior court, there are several issues surrounding the authenticity of this amendment, including a lack of witnesses, misspelling…continue reading
Buying a house with your partner?
Buying a property with your partner is exciting but a big commitment. Moreover, it’s not usually a step you take if you don’t know each other well. After all, getting onto the property ladder isn’t always easy or cheap. So, once you’ve agreed on the area, type of house and your budget, it’s best to ensure…continue reading
Mirror or Mutual Wills – What’s the Difference?
When couples think about making their Wills, invariably, they do them together. In most cases, they want the same thing. They’re keen to sort out their affairs so they’re cared for when one of them passes away, and they broadly agree about what to do about their children and who should be left an inheritance. Frequently,…continue reading
Deathbed Gifts and Your Estate
The Coronavirus pandemic has driven many to think more about organising their Estate after they die. If you make a Will, you can stipulate who your beneficiaries are. However, surveys show fewer than 50% of the UK’s adult population have made a Will. Furthermore, experience over the past months shows that circumstances can change quickly…continue reading
Can You Remove or Replace an Executor?
If you think an Executor is doing a poor job of managing the estate of a loved one, it may be possible to remove or replace them. But it’s far from straightforward. Executor’s Responsibility An Executor is appointed in a Will to manage the deceased person’s estate. They are responsible for distributing the person’s money…continue reading
Why You Must Make a Lasting Power of Attorney
Lawyers are always talking about the benefits of making a Will. But, of course, in drawing up your Will, you’re making provision for those you care about after you die. But too few appreciate why they must also make a Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA). Let’s face it, few of us like to think about…continue reading
Inheritance Arguments in Blended Families
Blended families are common features of modern life. Moreover, 2022 government statistics show that multi-family households are the fastest-growing category. And legal, financial and practical problems often cause tension. So, it’s essential to consider how couples can provide for each other and their children without causing unnecessary hardship and corrosive family arguments. Common Triggers In…continue reading
What to Do When Someone Dies
We know that the death of a loved one is very traumatic for families. As well as dealing with the loss, it’s tough to think about practicalities and even harder to know who is responsible for what. So here are a few pointers to help you through the process. Registering the Death By law, a…continue reading
Modern Families in The Current Legal Landscape
The world is unrecognisable since the Wills Act of 1837 became law. And the continued rise in inheritance disputes demonstrates how the current legal landscape isn’t in sync with the needs of modern family life today. Rates of opposite-sex marriage continue to fall in England and Wales, with recent official (ONS) statistics recording only 213,122…continue reading
Leasehold and Freehold – What’s the Difference?
Buying a house – leasehold and freehold? There’s a lot to keep track of when buying a house, and this includes understanding whether you own or rent the land the property you are buying sits on. In England and Wales, this will either be a freehold or a leasehold. Things got a little more complicated…continue reading