Wills, Trusts and Probate

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Solicitor Adam Bradford, a specialist in Wills and Probate, looks at the perils of a homemade will A Will is possibly the most important document you will ever have to sign. Some homemade things in life are the best – take for example homemade jam and scones – but this isn't always the case, especially not where homemade Wills are concerned. Homemade Wills are a much more risky and less pleasant proposition than wholesome homemade food. Saving a hundred or a couple of...

The Government's new fee structure The Government has announced that from 1 May 2017, probate court fees will increase dramatically, despite overwhelming objections to the proposals from probate experts including ourselves. The extent of the increase has shocked the profession and is set to cause thousands of families serious financial distress. According to the Government, the rationale behind the new fee structure is to ensure there is adequate funding for the Court system. Cynics might argue that it is just another Government stealth...

The new Inheritance Tax Residence Nil Rate Band could save you as much as £140,000 when the family home passes to children on death The new Inheritance Tax Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB) will be introduced in April 2017. The RNRB is in addition to an individual’s own Nil Rate Band (NRB) of £325,000, or £650,000 for married couples and civil partners, and is conditional on the main residence being passed to direct descendants (e.g. children, grandchildren). How much is the RNRB? The...

Solicitor and Dementia Friend, Vanessa Swales, looks at the legal issues affecting people diagnosed with dementia. There are an estimated 850,000 people with dementia in the UK. Numbers are set to rise to over 1 million by 2025 and a staggering 2 million by 2051. Slee Blackwell is dedicated to supporting people affected by dementia. All solicitors in our private client department have trained as Dementia Friends, a volunteering initiative designed to raise awareness and understanding of dementia. Following a diagnosis of dementia,...

A survey has confirmed that solicitors are still the publics’ number one choice when it comes to making a will. The research, carried out by wills charity, Will Aid, found that 62% of people would prefer to use the services of a solicitor to deal with their will. Although just 12% of respondents would choose a will-writer to make their will this figure is surprisingly high. It no doubt reflects the fact that the general public are broadly unaware that will-writers are...

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have imposed a penalty of £87,000 on a beneficiary for failing to tell the executors of his father's estate about a cash gift he received the year before his father passed away. The deceased was a businessman who at his death had an estate worth in the region of £3 million. He disinherited two of his children, left legacies of £150,000 to two more and the residue went to a fifth child, Clayton Hutchings. The...

Slee Blackwell Solicitors have supported Will Aid for several years. The Will Aid campaign benefits nine separate charities: ActionAid, Age UK, British Red Cross, Christian Aid, NSPCC, Save the Children, Sightsavers, SCIAF and Trocaire. Slee Blackwell is one of the top donating firms, raising over £5,800 for the Will Aid causes. The firm’s offices in Braunton, Bideford, South Molton and Barnstaple all participated. The campaign involves lawyers at Slee Blackwell drafting Wills and then overseeing the process of signing and execution. No...

The South West Legacy Manager for Cancer Research UK has praised Slee Blackwell’s “amazing contribution” to beating cancer through the Charity’s free Will scheme. Since joining the Charity’s initiative we have undertaken 88 wills, with 66 of our generous clients including a gift to Cancer Research UK. The average pledge of £11,147 is significantly higher than the national average of £7,000. This has resulted in a total of £735,722 promised to the Charity, with 80p in every £1 being invested into research. At...

Hard working and generous staff at Slee Blackwell Solicitors in Braunton and Barnstaple recently took part in Will Aid 2013 and are delighted to announce a fabulous fundraising total of £8,500 (including Gift Aid) to contribute to the nationwide 25th anniversary total. This is approaching twice the amount raise in the 2012 campaign and is a fantastic achievement. Will Aid is the UK's leading charity will-writing scheme. It offers everyone the opportunity to make or update their Will in return for...

Slee Blackwell has supported Will Aid for the last five years. November 2013, saw Will Aid celebrate its 25th anniversary. Slee Blackwell’s Braunton, Bideford, South Molton and Barnstaple offices raised over £6,000 to support last year’s Will Aid campaign. The Will Aid campaign funds nine charities in total, ActionAid, Age UK, British Red Cross, Christian Aid, NSPCC, Save the Children, Sightsavers, SCIAF and Trocaire. The Will Aid campaign is very straightforward. We draft the Will, as directed by the client, as normal,...