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Wills, Trusts & Probate Blog

LASTING POWERS OF ATTORNEY - THE TIME TO ACT IS NOW...

Claire Clarke
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To appoint a person or persons to make decisions for you if you should lose mental capacity, you need to do so using a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).  There are two types of LPA, one to appoint people to make decisions about your property and affairs,...

Estate Planning in the Digital Age - How are my digital assets dealt with on my death?

Alexandra Hamilton
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Today, we undoubtedly live in a world full of digital "online" influence – online banking, social media, online shopping and even virtual meetings using platforms such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom. Certainly the global pandemic has moved us...

Power Of Attorney: Making your wishes clear

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If you are considering giving Power of Attorney to a loved one, we understand that this may feel overwhelming. There are many considerations, including choosing someone you trust to carry out your wishes and conduct your affairs as you would want. Choosing...

Business owners - make it your business to consider your Will

Claire Clarke
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As a Private Client solicitor with quite a few years' experience under my belt, I find that generally younger people put off making wills unless a particular event prompts them to do so.  I always advise everyone to make a will since it provides...

Inheritance Tax

Claire Clarke
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When contemplating their overall Inheritance Tax position, many people believe the current Inheritance Tax threshold is now £1 million.  It might therefore surprise some of you to learn that the basic Inheritance Tax nil rate band allowance is...

Whom should I appoint as my attorney?

Sian Blackman
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An attorney is appointed within a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) to assist the donor (person making the LPA) with their property and financial affairs and/or health and welfare. The attorney will make decisions on behalf of the donor, either once mental...

Chattertons Private Client team - New Partner Hire

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Chattertons Solicitors & Wealth Management are delighted to announce that Claire Clarke has joined the Private Client Team as a Partner at their Stamford Office. Claire is a solicitor and full member of the Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners...

The Importance of Making a Will

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A Will is a legal document prepared to decide how you would like your estate, i.e. all of your assets including money, property and possessions, to be distributed after your death. If you do not have a valid Will at the date of your death your estate will...

Care fees and protecting your estate

Claire Clarke
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One of the most common misunderstandings that clients have about funding residential care... “If we sign our property over to our children, after seven years it cannot be used to fund residential care”. It is possible to make an outright gift...

How Does Marriage Affect your Will?

Claire Clarke
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With the lifting of Covid restrictions this year is likely to be a bumper one for weddings. Whilst couples enjoy planning their nuptials, they often overlook one of the most important considerations when entering a marriage – what will happen to their...

How has Covid-19 affected inheritance tax?

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There is still much uncertainty about the true impact of coronavirus on all aspects of our lives. Inheritance tax is no different, with the fallout of the pandemic affecting the value of estates, inheritance tax planning, and the valuation of business assets...

Vulnerable face timebomb by not appointing others to act

Amanda Voakes
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Professionals working with the elderly and vulnerable are raising concerns over future safeguarding following a dramatic fall in the number of lasting powers of attorneys registered during the coronavirus pandemic. Figures from the Office of the Public...

What is a Grant of representation and do I need one?

Sian Blackman
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To put it simply, a Grant of Representation is a legal document/order issued by the Probate Court, which proves an executor, or administrator has the legal authority to deal with the deceased's estate. Is there more than one type of Grant? Yes, there...

Talk Money Week: Talking to your family about your wishes for the future

Amanda Voakes
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Nobody likes to think about a time when they are no longer around and talking to loved ones about what you would like to happen after you pass away may seem morbid or unnecessary. However, talking about financial and practical matters can help put your mind...

Older people need better safeguards against predatory marriage

Amanda Voakes
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Legal issues involving predatory marriages have resurfaced in the news recently. Calls to change the law to better protect victims and their families are building momentum, spearheaded by Daphne Franks whose mother, Joan Blass, was a victim of a predatory...

A royal lesson in keeping things under your hat

Amanda Voakes
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A judicial decision has seen the late Duke of Edinburgh’s Will sealed for 90 years, and the value of the estate excluded from the grant of probate.  The ruling highlights an often-overlooked fact, which is that a Will, setting out how an...

Leaving gifts to charity in your will

Amanda Voakes
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The International Day of Charity is an annual event that took place on 5 September, but did you know that one of the best ways to support a charity is to leave them a gift in your Will? Many charities in the UK rely on donations left behind by their...

Gifting and inheritance tax: Explained

Amanda Voakes
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As part of inheritance tax planning, or simply as part of passing on wealth to the next generation, you may consider gifting money or property to family or friends. However, there are several things you need to know about gifting and inheritance tax. In this...

Can you make a Power of Attorney online?

Amanda Voakes
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It is possible to make a Power of Attorney online, but whether you should is an entirely different matter. The process of making a Power of Attorney seems straightforward, but for those who are unfamiliar with the process, there are many potential pitfalls...

COVID 19: Key changes to The Wills Act 1837 - will it help or hinder?

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COVID-19's introduction of The Wills Act 1837 (Electronic Communication) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Order 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all currently facing unprecedented times that have impacted all aspects of our lives. The COVID-19...

Five reasons you should use a solicitor to write your will

Amanda Voakes
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If you are thinking about writing a Will , you may have considered doing it yourself. There are many templates and tools available online, along with vast amounts of information about the law and how to go about writing your own Will. However, there are...

What happens to debt after someone dies?

Amanda Voakes
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When someone you love has passed away, the last thing you might be thinking about is debt. However, there are many misconceptions about debt and inheritance and it is essential to understand your position. Many people that when a person dies, the debt dies...

How unspent income from lockdown could cut future tax bills

Amanda Voakes
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Internet shopping may have boomed during lockdown, but many people have spent less than usual while forced to stay home, and those with spare money have an opportunity to make the most of inheritance tax reliefs on gifts to family and friends if they act...

Inheritance tax threshold frozen - but why is IHT planning still important?

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If you intend to leave savings, property or other assets to family or friends after you die, you need to consider inheritance tax (IHT). It could cost your heirs up to 40% of their inheritance. By planning ahead, you can minimise IHT and ensure as much of...

Kick the frivolity and take the higher road over inheritance

Amanda Voakes
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Inheritance disputes may have risen in response to soaring property prices, second marriages and blended families, with relatives more likely to feel they are missing out, but the courts are pushing back on frivolous claims and obstructive family...

Why cohabiting couples must consider estate planning

Amanda Voakes
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Millions of couples across the UK are choosing to forego marriage and live as cohabitees . However, without proper estate planning, they could be putting their finances at risk. Unlike their married counterparts, unmarried couples have no automatic right to...

Care Fees Myths

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Out of the 15 million people who are aged 65 or over in the UK, approximately 400,000 (2.6%) will move into a care home at some point in their lives. Knowing what you or a family member should be paying for living in a care home is not an easy question....

Court of Protection rules COVID-19 vaccine should be given in best interest decision

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In January the Court of Protection confirmed that it was lawful and in the best interest of a care home resident for her to receive the COVID-19 vaccination where she did not have mental capacity to consent. The resident in question (Mrs E) had been...

What are Letters of Wishes and Statements?

Sian Blackman
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Letters of wishes or Statements are used as a supplement to the Will to expand on certain clauses. They are in no way legally binding, they merely sit alongside the Will as a guide. The documents act as a summary or explanation of the Will itself, giving...

Protecting digital assets and memories is vital as the shift online continues

Amanda Voakes
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The value of our online lives is becoming immeasurable, yet few people are recording or protecting their digital assets.  Whether the financial value of investments or the emotional value of family photos, if there is no arrangement in place to hand on...

New year, new you? Why it might be a good time to write a will

Amanda Voakes
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There is no denying that 2020 is a year which will go down in history - for many reasons. The global pandemic, Brexit, and the fallout from these events has had a significant impact on many areas of our lives. These events may have far-reaching implications...

Should you do something to protect your estate against future care fees?

Dan Fellows
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When I am discussing Wills and Estate Planning with clients, it often becomes clear that my clients are worried they will lose everything if they go into care. In many cases, after looking at their finances and analysing the existing care fee scheme, I am...

Make a Will, not a homemade mistake

Dan Fellows
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With everything going on at the moment, much more than usual people are aware of their own mortality and, naturally, many people have decided they cannot put making a Will off any longer. However, I have no doubt that making a Will may seem easier said than...

Running a charity in times of COVID-19

Victoria Reeds
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If you are a trustee or member of a charity you will be used to attending meetings in person, especially if you are part of a small, local charity. With the arrival of Covid – 19 and the first lockdown, many charities put on hold their usual meetings,...

How do I protect my equity in a property?

Joe Pegler
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For many people, buying a property is an exciting event. When purchasing with somebody else, there is always a lot to consider and it is particularly important that you are clear about the extent of your respective shares in the property, from the outset. ...

Charitable donations could save you thousands in inheritance tax

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The UK population generously donates on average £10 billion per year to charities, so why should this end on death? Did you know a charitable donation could save your estate inheritance tax? In the article below, I deal with three key questions when...

Witnessing of Wills in the new age of social distancing - video-witnessing to become legalised in England and Wales

Alexandra Hamilton
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As all solicitors in England and Wales will be aware, arranging the witnessing of Wills during the Covid-19 pandemic has become something of a logistical nightmare. It therefore comes as welcome news that the Government intend to pass legislation in September 2020 allowing for the remote electronic witnessing of Wills, albeit only a temporary change.

Lights, camera, action... signing your will goes live

Amanda Voakes
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Experts are warning against self-directed videos following the announcement by the Government that legislation is to be introduced in September to allow Wills to be signed remotely using a live video link.   While the coronavirus pandemic...

Our offices are open!

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During the past few months, although our doors have had to remain closed, Chattertons have ensured that we are still able to offer a great service to our clients, even though we have not been able to offer a face to face service due to the Covid-19...

Managing your affairs during the Covid-19 Crisis - the right time is now

Florence Gardner
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The current Covid-19 pandemic has caused many of us to reflect upon our own mortality and the need to manage our own affairs. During these difficult times, many of us have also found ourselves with time that we have never had before. It is often the case...

Valid Will Signings at Home

Sian Blackman
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Chattertons understand that there is a great deal of uncertainty at this time, especially in regard to Will signings. There are strict rules laid down regarding how a Will should be signed to ensure it is effective and therefore, we usually recommend that...

COVID-19 Office Closure

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COVID-19 CLIENT NOTICE Chattertons are open and we are working hard to provide our usual high standard of service to our clients. We are now able to see clients for essential meetings, by appointment only.   Most of our advisors are working...

Wills Trusts and Probate during COVID-19

Amanda Voakes
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Chattertons Solicitors Private Client team continue to support individuals with putting in place or reviewing Wills, Powers of Attorney and the administration of estates during the coronavirus crisis.  We are following Government recommendations and...

Coronavirus COVID-19 Chattertons Update

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Chattertons Solicitors  are open for business.  However we are following government recommendations and would encourage you not to visit any of our offices except by prior arrangement. We are closely monitoring the developments of COVID-19 and are...

Do you pay inheritance tax on lifetime gifts?

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Most people will have heard of the '7 year rule' with regard to inheritance tax payable on gifts made during a person's lifetime.  Often the rules are confused and misinterpreted. Current HMRC guidelines outline that any gifts totalling...

CHANGE TO THE AMOUNT A SPOUSE OR CIVIL PARTNER RECEIVES UNDER THE INTESTACY RULES

Rebecca Taylor
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If you die without making a valid Will your estate will be administered under the intestacy rules. Under the intestacy rules, if you die leaving a surviving spouse or civil partner and children (or other descendants), the surviving spouse or civil partner is...

Proposed changes to the law on Wills

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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?

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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...

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

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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...

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