Is a Will a private document?

When you write your Will, you may be wondering whether it will remain a private document or whether it is ever likely to become public knowledge. We take a look at the issues surrounding publication of Wills. After the death of Prince Philip, the High Court gave permission for his Will to be sealed, so that the public would not…

Read more

Personal risks in being an executor

The executor to an estate has the job of winding up someone’s affairs after their death. It is a job that involves both responsibility and personal financial risk. After someone has died, their executor, named in their Will, has the role of administering their estate and ensuring that the beneficiaries receive everything to which they are entitled. It is important…

Read more

Making a Statutory Will for someone else

If someone has lost the capacity to deal with their own affairs, in certain circumstances it is possible to apply to the Court of Protection so that a statutory Will can be made on their behalf. When an individual has not made a Will or their Will needs updating, a statutory Will enables their estate to be dealt with in…

Read more

Dementia and Lasting Powers of Attorney

A Lasting Power of Attorney authorises a trusted friend or relative to make decisions on someone’s behalf, should they lose the capacity to do this themselves. If an individual is diagnosed with dementia, it is highly recommended that they sign a Lasting Power of Attorney if they are able to do so. A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) means that…

Read more

Inheritances to double but only one in three will benefit

A study carried out by the think tank Resolution Foundation has found that only 32% of those looked at have benefited or expect to benefit from an inheritance or gift in their lifetime. The report, commissioned by the Family Building Society, notes that the value of inheritances is likely to double over the coming twenty years, due in part to…

Read more

Risk of pensions poverty following divorce likely to increase

With the new, simpler ‘no-fault’ divorce law now in effect, experts are warning of an increased risk of financial difficulties in retirement Insurer and pension provider Aviva has carried out research which suggests that as couples take advantage of an easier route to divorce, they may not take the time to properly value pensions and deal fairly with pension sharing.…

Read more

Paying Inheritance Tax

For those dealing with someone’s estate after their death, the Inheritance Tax bill can come as a nasty shock. It needs to be paid before a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration are applied for, which can sometimes create difficulties. The current Inheritance Tax threshold is £325,000, meaning that where more than this sum is left in an estate,…

Read more

Half of Wills in the UK are out of date

Research done on behalf of Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) has found that almost half of UK adults who have a Will have not updated it for more than five years.SFE is a national association of independent lawyers who specialise in legal matters for the elderly and vulnerable. They understand the difficulties that can arise when people do not leave…

Read more

What happens if a beneficiary is bankrupt?

If you are dealing with the estate of someone who has died, you need to check whether any of the beneficiaries have been declared bankrupt. If you mistakenly distribute part of the estate to a bankrupt beneficiary, the trustee in bankruptcy could bring a claim against you to recover any money that they were not able to retrieve from the…

Read more