Wills

How to bequeath your personal possessions

The chances are that you will have personal possessions that you’d like to be handed on to your family and friends when you die. For example, you may want family jewellery to go to your daughter, a piece of furniture to a cousin, or a particular book or picture to be given to a close friend. If t....

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Will your digital legacy live on? Tips on dealing with your virtual assets

Writing a Will has traditionally been about who will inherit your tangible assets - your money, property and personal possessions. Today, the chances are you’ll also need to consider what should happen to your digital legacy. Many of us now rely heavily on technology to maintain our day-to-day af....

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Lasting Power of Attorney – making the right choices for your future

Last summer retired judge Denzil Lush caused consternation amongst many people and much publicity by saying that he had concerns about the creation of a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). His view was that LPAs could be open to abuse. He preferred the alternative of Deputyship, a process that requires....

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Making a Will – how you can prevent it being challenged on the grounds of mental capacity

It’s estimated that over 850,000 people are currently living with dementia in the UK, and this figure is expected to rise to over a million by 2025. As you’d expect, the Alzheimer’s Society* website contains a lot of useful information about the disease and other forms of dementia. It expla....

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How to protect vulnerable and disabled beneficiaries

Thinking about how you would like your estate to be distributed on your death and how best to provide for your loved ones can sometimes be hard. This can be especially true if you have disabled or vulnerable family members you wish to protect. For instance, you may want to provide for a family me....

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Learning from others to help prevent mistakes in wills

Most solicitors have seen a thing or two that’s gone wrong in a Will, and may also have heard horror stories from colleagues about the mistakes they’ve encountered too. Some of these errors arise from the continuing popular belief that simply filling out a Will form from the stationers will do t....

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Top 10 mistakes clients make about wills, and how we can put them right

Of course, one of the biggest mistakes anyone can make is dying without a Will, and it’s a sad fact of modern life that more than two-thirds of people in the UK don’t have one. However, even where there’s a Will in place, mistakes or oversights can be made, and it’s more important than ever ....

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Ashes to ashes… and where you can scatter them

While many of us grew up thinking of burial as the way in which we say farewell to the deceased, statistics from the Cremation Society of Great Britain show that around 75 per cent of people are now choosing cremation rather than burial.   Deciding what to do with the ashes In the 1970s, onl....

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Making mirror wills – will your wishes be fully reflected?

If you and your partner share the same plan for what happens to your estate after each of you has passed away, then mirror wills can work for you. Basically, mirror wills are two separate wills made at the same time, naming the same beneficiaries. Often, the only difference between them is the name ....

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The Skripal case – unravelling the unusual and challenging mental capacity issues

Over recent weeks, the twists and turns in this high-profile case have made daily media headlines. The events that unfolded on a bench in a park in Salisbury rapidly became first a national and then an international political issue, as Colonel Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were hospitalise....

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Six lesser-known ways to reduce Inheritance Tax you may not have considered, but really should

Inheritance Tax (IHT) is one of the most controversial taxes in the UK, so it’s little wonder that families are looking for ways to reduce the likely bill. So, if you’ve used up your annual exemptions, made gifts to individuals, given money to the bride or groom, plan to outlive your lifetime....

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Will my funeral wishes be respected?

If you’d like to be cremated or have an eco-burial, or want your favourite piece of music or a special poem to be used at your funeral, it’s important to leave instructions for your Executor, and ensure you make your wishes known to friends and family members. As the law currently stands, it....

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Wills – new proposals could see the advent of the email Will

An estimated 40 per cent of adults die each year in the UK without a Will. Sadly, this means that under the laws of intestacy which apply where no Will exists, a deceased’s estate could go to blood relations that they may not have been close to, rather than loved ones they would have chosen to be ....

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My aunt died and left everything to me in her Will, so why are the bank asking for probate?

It's good news that your aunt took the important step of making a Will, as this makes the administration of the estate much more straightforward. In making her Will, your aunt will have appointed someone to act as her Executor. There may be more than one Executor, and they will be named in the Will.....

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If I lost mental capacity, could my husband just deal with everything on my behalf?

This is a question that we often get asked. Many people automatically assume that if there came a time when they lacked mental capacity, then their husband, family member or friend could simply step in and act on their behalf. However, this isn’t the case. By 2021, the Alzheimer’s Society pre....

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Common Law Spouses

  We're not married, but we've been together for 25 years. When I die will my partner inherit? Many people believe that there is a 'common-law spouse' status in UK law, but in fact this is a myth and doesn't exist. So, when one partner in a cohabiting couple dies without leaving a valid Will,....

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