Private Client Blog
Friday 5th August 2022
If you are going to dispute a Will, or defend an allegation of a Will being invalid, you need information about the circumstances around the preparation of the Will, or Wills, in question so that you can decide the basis for your challenge or defence of the Will. In almost every case, this is going to involve a Larke v Nugus letter.
The Law Society updated its practice note: Disputed wills:...
Friday 29th April 2022
We all want the best for our children; health, happiness, a good education and financial security. But what other steps should you be taking now to protect their future, particularly when you are no longer around to do so? The importance of a having a carefully thought out and professionally drafted Will should not be underestimated.
What happens if you die without making a Will?
If you die...
Tuesday 4th January 2022
For many people, owning a holiday home is a major aspiration. Having a place to enjoy at leisure certainly has its appeal, and demand for UK holiday homes has significantly increased over the last 18 months, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, owning one may have Inheritance Tax (IHT) and Capital Gains Tax (CGT) implications which should be considered.
The basic position...
Monday 1st November 2021
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document which enables you to decide who you trust to make decisions about your finances, property or healthcare, in the event you are no longer able to do so, and appoint them as your Attorney.
Age-related issues, such as dementia, are often the reason that people are no longer able to make such decisions. However, an event such as an accident or...
Friday 29th October 2021
If a dog is a man’s best friend then making sure that they (or any other pet) are provided for if something happens to you will be a priority for all animal lovers.
The good news is that you can make provision in your Will for what will happen to your pet when you die. However, it is not possible to make a gift to your pet, so it is important to take advice so that a correctly drafted...
Tuesday 14th September 2021
Leaving money to a charity in a Will is a great way to leave a lasting legacy for a cause particularly close to your heart, and reduce the Inheritance Tax your estate will be subject to on your death at the same time.
Types of charitable giving in Wills
Cash Gift - Leaving a gift of a cash amount is the simplest way of leaving a gift to charity. However, this can be problematic if...
Tuesday 6th July 2021
You may have considered putting in place a Lasting Power of Attorney (‘LPA’) which relates to your personal financial and property affairs, but have you considered how this might work in relation to your business? Would you be comfortable with your personal Attorneys being in control of your business interests?
An LPA is a powerful document in which you appoint people of your...
Tuesday 6th July 2021
The UK Trust Registration Service is gradually being developed and requires more information. As a Trustee of a tax paying trust, you may have already had to engage with the Online Register, but this is now being extended to the vast majority of UK express trusts.
With effect from June 2017, trustees have been required to submit and maintain information for the trust on all interested parties...
Monday 15th March 2021
Following the recent UK release of the documentary, “Framing Britney Spears”, the case of the court-ordered conservatorship of the singer Britney Spears has been in the headlines.
This article looks at US conservatorship and the English equivalent, Deputyship. Both appointments grant power to an individual to act on another individual’s behalf when they do not have the...
Wednesday 17th February 2021
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a powerful legal document, enabling you (the Donor) to appoint an individual or individuals of your choosing (your Attorney(s)) to manage your financial affairs and/or to make decisions regarding your welfare, should you become unable to make such decisions yourself in the future. An LPA is, therefore, an important document and there can be serious...
Monday 8th February 2021
If you have been appointed as a property and financial affairs deputy, or if you are acting as an attorney under a property and financial affairs Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) for a relative or friend (known as the donor), you will realise fairly soon that this can be a challenging and time-consuming role. There are many things to consider when looking after someone else’s money. You...
Tuesday 26th January 2021
Whether you are buying a property alone or with another person, purchasing your first or your fifteenth home, planning on living in it or letting it out: whenever you acquire property, you should consider whether you need to make or update your Will as a result.
Fundamentally, your Will determines who receives your estate when you die. This includes any property you own solely or as tenants in...
Thursday 10th December 2020
What is the new ‘Use an LPA’ digital service?
A new ‘Use an LPA’ feature has quietly been introduced to the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) service offered by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG).
Historically, you had two options in how to put an LPA into effective use. You could provide the original to the third party – a bank or building society for a...
Thursday 10th December 2020
Married couples are often advised, for Income Tax efficiency, that assets should be held jointly. Typically the division is 50:50 but sometimes it is heavily weighted to one party (say, 90:10) so that the lower rate tax payer receives most of the income from the asset, typically rental income, and overall this is taxed at the lowest rate possible.
There are potential tax efficiencies in doing...
Thursday 5th November 2020
Executors are those named in a Will who are responsible for administering the estate of someone who passes away. This is a hugely responsible role and it is well worth giving careful thought and consideration as to who you think will have the ability, time, and is willing to accept the responsibility of this role.
What surprises most people is that you do not need the consent...
Friday 9th October 2020
Will you actually save money?
One of the main reasons for preparing your own Will is to avoid incurring the costs of either a solicitor, a Will writer or an online service provider.
You might save money up front, compared with using a professional service, but if you get anything wrong, you could be storing up costly complications for your family and friends to resolve, when they come to put...
Monday 28th September 2020
Further to a blog we posted in July 2020 on the subject of witnessing Wills by video link, a Statutory Instrument (SI) has now been laid before Parliament, which will come into force on 28 September 2020. The effect of this will be to change the requirements for witnessing Wills to allow witnessing by video link. This will apply to all Wills made between 31 January 2020 and 31 January 2021.
Friday 25th September 2020
Many people are aware that a Will is important; but most people do not have one and don’t appreciate why it is as important as it is, both legally and emotionally for both you and those you leave behind.
You care about your loved ones
A Will makes it much easier for your family or friends to sort everything out when you die – without a Will the process can be more time-consuming...
Tuesday 25th August 2020
While the answer is anyone over the age of 18 should have a Will, for the reasons discussed in our previous article Why make a Will?, there is arguably a case for asking: do you need a Will; is it essential?
You own a property
If you own a property in your sole name, you need a Will to ensure this can be dealt with efficiently on your death.
Even if the equity is minimal; due to your...
Thursday 30th July 2020
The Government has announced a major change in the procedure for signing Wills, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the advice to avoid close contact with other people.
To be valid, a Will has to meet certain criteria, including that the person making it (the ‘testator’) has the necessary mental capacity and is not being bullied into signing it. The Will also has to be validly...
Thursday 9th July 2020
We are delighted to announce that we have received recognition in the newly published 2020 edition of Chambers High Net Worth (HNW) Guide. Our Private Wealth Law and Private Wealth Disputes teams, and three lawyers within the firm have received recommendations for expertise in their field:
Monday 1st June 2020
Coronavirus has changed every aspect of our lives recently, but we are finding many people are using the time during the lockdown as an opportunity to review their affairs, for example, considering their Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs). This article highlights some of the adaptations we have made to the process of advising clients at this time, and to give our clients peace of mind...
Wednesday 29th April 2020
We are enduring an unprecedented period of disruption as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. One matter which is of particular concern to our clients is whether or not they have a Will in place which best fits their circumstances and wishes. They may not have a Will at all, or they may have one which is out of date and needs revising. Making a Will is vital to ensure that your assets pass as...
Wednesday 8th April 2020
In early 2015, an elderly man who thought he was having a heart attack whilst in a McDonald’s restaurant in Canada scribbled down on a thin, brown napkin that his estate should be split evenly between his seven living children, who he then listed.
It turned out the elderly man was not having a heart attack, but he died seven months later in December 2015, having made no further Will....
Monday 6th April 2020
If you sell or give away assets like shares or property which is worth more than it was when you acquired it, Capital Gains Tax (CGT) may be due. At present, CGT must be paid anywhere between 22 months and 10 months after the disposal. From 6 April 2020, the payment time will be shortened quite considerably.
Where CGT is due on residential property disposals, a return will need to be filed and...
Monday 14th October 2019
As a contentious trust and probate practitioner I have come to understand how emotive the whole issue of inheritance is. Should your parents leave their worldly wealth to you? What provision should you make for your second time spouse in preference to the children of your first marriage? Should you treat your children equally? Should you prefer charities or close friends over family?
Friday 13th September 2019
Giving thought to how best to use your annual tax exemptions now means that later in the year, you can benefit from all the appropriate exemptions and reliefs that are available to you. You will avoid having to rush things when 5 April looms, or worse, finding then that you are not in a position to make the most of your tax free allowances.
You may have seen reports that the Office of Tax...
Wednesday 14th August 2019
Declarations of Trust (formal written agreements regulating the arrangements between two or more (typically unmarried) co-owners of property) are often overlooked when people buy a property together. If you co-own a property with someone, then you need to be clear about what you each own and are responsible for (although they can have a role as part of efficient tax and estate planning)....
Tuesday 5th March 2019
This blog is to discuss the proposed increase to the fee charged by the Probate Registry when making an application for a Grant of Probate (and similar grants).
At the moment, the fee is £155 if applying via a solicitor, or £215 for a Personal Application, where the value of the Estate is over £5,000. The fee is currently a flat one, no matter the value of the Estate.
Monday 18th February 2019
The fees for death certificates have now risen, as from 16 February 2019.
Previously, the three fees for death certificates were:
£4 if requested when registering the death;
£7 if requested after registering the death, but whilst the register is still open; and
£10 for certificates requested after the register has been closed.
The new fees are £11 for each...
Wednesday 6th February 2019
Attorneys acting under an Enduring or Lasting Power of Attorney, or deputies appointed by the Court of Protection, should be aware of their limited power to make gifts from the funds they manage on behalf of a mentally incapacitated person, as set out in the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
Typically gifts to family on birthdays or at Christmas, which are not unreasonable taking into account the size...
Wednesday 6th February 2019
In a static property market it often becomes harder to bring a chain together when selling your home. If you can afford to, you may be tempted to break the chain and purchase your new home prior to selling your current one. You may then consider renting out the property and selling it when the market improves.
The decision to buy a new home before you have sold your current one has always had...
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