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Wills, Trusts & Probate Blog

Proposed changes to the law on Wills

Andrea Bingham
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In July 2017, a four month public consultation was issued by the Law Commission on reforming the current law of wills which dates back to 1837.  They also proposed reforms to the test of a person’s capacity  to make a will, which was set out...

Digital Assets - What are they and what do they mean to me?

Hayden Burton
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Due to the substantial expansion in the use of information communication technologies in the last two decades, digitals assets are now more prevalent than ever before. However, they are often not considered when discussing estate planning. With the...

PROBATE COURT FEE INCREASE SCRAPPED ... AGAIN

Rebecca Taylor
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The government's controversial proposal to increase probate fees from the current fixed fee of £215 (or £155 if applying through a solicitor) to fees of £250 to £6,000 has been scrapped. Justice Secretary Robert Buckland, who has...

I'm Too Young to Make a Will...

Claire  Fuller
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From the age of 18 you are legally an adult and can make a Will setting out what you want to happen to your children, pets, property and assets when you die.    You may think you're too young to make a Will, but the chances are that...

The importance of estate planning - deciding "who died first"

Fiona McLeish
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The importance of estate planning – deciding “who died first”. In the first case of its kind since 1950 Judge Kramer in Scarle –v- Scarle was asked to answer the question that many clients have “what happens if we die...

The probate fiasco

Gemma  Baumber
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The Probate Fiasco Earlier this year Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) changed the way they issue probate applications by introducing a new digital system. Shortly after the change had been implemented there was a technical error...

Do I really need an LPA and can I do it myself

Lauren Walker
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Do I really need an LPA and can I do it myself? The Office of the Public Guardian have reported that less than 1% of the adult UK population have a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). However, we are all at risk of losing our mental capacity in some way or...

Prize Possessions - What Do You Do With Your Children?

Sophie  Sullivan
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A guide to appointing guardians in your will. There is a general conception that Wills are for the elderly and those in ill-health but life is uncertain and everyone needs a Will, to ensure your hard-earnt assets go to the...

Lasting Powers of Attorney - Avoid a lifetime legacy of worry

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Around 31 million British adults have no will according to a recent survey by Which? There is a regional split of those without a will – 42% of adults in England say they have a will, 35% in Wales and 31% in Scotland.  The reasons quoted for not...

Nutt -v- Nutt [2018] EWHC 851 (CH)

Nicola Parr
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On 19 April 2018 Master Clark handed down Judgment in the case of Nutt –v- Nutt [2018] EWHC 851 (CH). The case involved the Estate of Lily Rose Nutt (“Lily”) who was born on the 4 th November 1924 and who died on 25 February 2013 aged...

Joint Ownership - Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common?

Claire  Fuller
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When I am taking instructions for wills, I ask my clients if they own any property and if so, whether it is owned in their sole name or jointly.  Many married and cohabiting couples own their home jointly and I am often met with blank or confused...

Do I need a Lasting Power of Attorney?

Claire  Fuller
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None of us want to imagine a time when we are no longer capable of making our own decisions.  Yet as medical advances enable us to live longer, the chances of needing help later in life increase. Do you know who would manage your finances or make...

Appointing Executors of your will - who to choose?

Florence Gardner
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When an individual decides to make a Will , they may assume that the most important consideration is who will benefit from their estate, and how much they will receive. However, choosing the right Executors to appoint should also be a significant...

Claim a Lasting Power of Attorney refund

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If you applied to register a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017 you can apply to the Office of the Public Guardian to get part of your application fee back. A claim can be made by either the donor who made the LPA or an...

The danger of homemade Wills. Penny wise, pound foolish?

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Creating a Will is the essential way to make sure your assets are distributed according to your final wishes.  However many fail to prepare one for fear of the cost.  This results in some people using the cheap DIY Will drafting kits, which are...

Family asset protection trusts - take care!

Anna Howat
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As they get older, most people are understandably keen to ensure that their home is not sold to pay care fees. They also want to protect their estate from inheritance tax, probate fees and claims from creditors or ex-spouses. Essentially, they wish to...

Online Wills- Could this be the future?

Victoria Reeds
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In this modern age the process of signing, witnessing and dating a hard copy Will can seem outdated. A Will is a written document that has been signed by the testator and witnessed by two people over the age of 18, who do not benefit from the Will. The rules...

I've been appointed as an Executor, what do I need to do?

Emma Todd
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A significant number of my clients who have been appointed as an Executor of an estate have never taken on the role previously and the prospect of acting as an Executor can appear quite daunting. The first task for an Executor is to ascertain the assets and...

The Importance of Keeping your Will safe

Kate Twigg
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You have made a Will; that is usually the hardest and most stressful part of the transaction completed and you can be safe in the knowledge that your assets are going to pass to your intended beneficiaries on your death. However, you now need to make sure...

The importance of Cohabiting Couples making Wills

Emma Todd
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Couples who live together are often under the impression that they have the same legal rights upon death as couples who are married, unfortunately for them this is a myth! Unmarried couples who live together, whether it is for 30 days or 30 years, have no...

INCREASE IN PROBATE REGISTRY FEES SCRAPPED!

Victoria Reeds
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It has been announced today that the increase in probate registry fees has been scrapped. The controversial increase was set to come into force in May and meant that the fee for obtaining a grant of probate (where there is a Will) or a grant of letters of...

WHERE THERE'S A WILL THERE'S A WAR

Andrew Morley
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Your last will may not be the last word if someone decides to challenge this. Nothing is certain but death and taxes, so the proverb goes. And in death is the final chance to determine how your hard earned money is distributed. This is done by a will and in...

DIY Probate: do you know the risks?

Jacqueline Marshall
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Many people question why, when someone has made a will in their lifetime, there is any need for further formalities once that person dies.  This is due to the fact that a will is a legal document by which a person expresses their wishes as to how their...

Do you understand the consequences your will could have?

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Are you free to use your Will to reward or punish your family?  The recent Supreme Court case of Ilott –v- Blue Cross provides welcome guidance in relation to claims made by disinherited adult children.  Your freedom is limited by the...

Probate Registry Fees are Increasing in May

Paula Hurst
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Have you recently had a bereavement?  Are you responsible for dealing with the deceased’s affairs?  If so, you need to be aware that the Probate Registry is increasing its fees! If you need to apply for a grant of probate (where there is a...

Did you know that anyone can write a will?

Alistair Thomson
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Although there may be various reasons that trigger people to make a will, ultimately it is about ensuring your estate passes to those who you wish to benefit. It is not only important to consider those you wish to benefit but also who you wish to entrust...

Why you should instruct a Solicitor in the administration of estates

Victoria Reeds
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When someone close to you dies, it is always an emotional and stressful time. Some people feel that administering the estate is a simple process that can be completed without the involvement of a Solicitor. This is sometimes the case, but before taking on...

I don't need a Will, I have nothing to leave...

Kate Twigg
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Time and time again, Private Client lawyers hear this same sentence, “I don’t need a Will I have nothing to leave”. The reality is that everybody has something to leave, even if they do not consider it to be financially valuable. If you...

Inheritance Tax and Main Residence Relief

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Nothing is more certain than death and taxes. Well, from April 2017 those two worlds will come together to deliver some uncharacteristically welcome news. This is an increase in the threshold, above which an individual’s estate on death is liable to...

The pitfalls of do it yourself Probate

Jacqueline Marshall
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Many people question why, when someone has made a will in their lifetime, there is any need for further formalities once that person dies.  This is due to the fact that a will is a legal document by which a person expresses their wishes as to how their...

The One Million Pound Inheritance Tax Allowance

Jacqueline Marshall
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As many people are aware the first £325,000 of their estate is free from Inheritance Tax (IHT) on death, this is known as the nil rate band (NRB).  This NRB applies on death and also on Lifetime transfer where the deceased does not survive 7 years...

The importance of having a Health & Welfare LPA

Kate Twigg
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"As long as someone can look after my finances it doesn't matter about my health".   This is a statement that we as solicitors, hear frequently. Whenever a client comes to see us about    Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA)...

Trading Standards warns against will writing companies

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Lincolnshire Trading Standards are warning county residents against using unregulated will writing companies to prepare wills, especially for property protection trust wills. Some companies claim if a trust is set up to protect the value of your home,...

Anna is a STEP ahead

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Chattertons associate solicitor, Anna Howat is celebrating after qualifying as a full member with the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP). STEP members spend their professional lives working with families and tackling real problems. Common...

Keep calm and carry on

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The Brexit furore still doesn’t look like abating any time soon.  However, HM Revenue & Customs have taken steps to alleviate any fears their “customers” may have that tax changes will be following close on the heels of the...

Agricultural Estate Planning

Kate Twigg
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The starting point when looking at estate planning where agricultural land is concerned is to look at the current set up of the farming partnership and various pieces of land. More often than not with agricultural land it is not certain who owns the land, or...

Dementia - How to Protect Yourself Legally in the Event of a Diagnosis

Kate Twigg
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Dementia is caused by a number of diseases that affect the brain. There are several different types of dementia, the most common of which is Alzheimers.  Different types of dementia affect the brain in different ways and at different rates and an...

Chattertons Private Client Department welcomes new team member

Jacqueline Marshall
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Local legal firm, Chattertons Solicitors, is pleased to welcome Jacqueline Marshall to their Wills, Trusts and Probate Department. Jacqueline is based at the Firm’s Grantham office. Jacqueline has 4 years’ experience dealing with Private Client...