Wills, Trusts and Probate

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People often confuse the terms “Mutual Will” and “Mirror Will”. However, in law they are two very different things and it is important to be precise. So what is the difference between a mirror will and a mutual will? A mirror will This is a will that simply “mirrors” another will. They are generally made by couples whose wills are very similar.  A common scenario is a wife leaving everything to her husband and the husband leaving everything to his wife. On the death of the survivor the...

In the third of a series of articles about the circumstances when a new Will should be made, Solicitor Vanessa Swales looks at what effect the death of a witness or executor has on a Will. Who can witness a Will or be an executor? Any adult who has mental capacity and is not blind can witness your Will, as long as they are not a beneficiary, or married to a beneficiary. An executor, by contrast, can be a beneficiary, though they must be...

In the second of a series of articles about when a new Will needs to be made, Solicitor Vanessa Swales looks at what effect divorce has on a Will. Divorce doesn’t automatically revoke a Will Unlike marriage, divorce (or the dissolution of a civil partnership) does not automatically revoke your Will in its entirety. Following divorce your Will remains valid, but it takes effect as if your former spouse (or civil partner) had died on the date the decree absolute (or the dissolution...

In the first of a series of articles about when a new Will needs to be made, Solicitor Vanessa Swales looks at what effect marriage has on a Will. It is always good idea to review your Will from time to time. However, this is all the more important when your personal circumstances change as certain life events should always trigger a re-assessment of your estate planning. Getting married is one of those key events and with the royal wedding only...

The new Guardianship (Missing Persons) Act. With the Lord Lucan affair back in the headlines we turn our focus to a neglected area of the law; what happens when someone goes missing for an an extended period of time and is presumed to be dead? Missing, presumed dead When an individual is missing, presumed dead, but no body has been found, how should their affairs be dealt with? And in particular, what happens to that person’s assets? Standard Probate and Estate Administration procedures cannot be followed without...

What are the pitfalls of making a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) online? LPA Devon and Somerset solicitors. Call us on 0808 139 1606 or email [email protected] Are you thinking of making a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)? If so, this article explains why you should avoid the temptation to opt for a ‘DIY’ LPA online and why you should use a Solicitor to prepare your LPA. What is a LPA? A LPA is a legal document which allows you to appoint individuals to make decisions for...

The problem of power attorney fraud   Power of attorney fraud is in the news again. The latest report to hit the press involves an attorney who stole £194,000 from his mother who was suffering from dementia. If you require guidance on how to avoid the risk of power of attorney fraud or need help recovering money that has been lost or stolen then call our free legal helpline on 0808 139 1606 or send us an email.   “Cunning” attorney jailed for financial...

The risks and benefits of a Lasting Power of Attorney   We specialise in preparing Lasting Powers of Attorney in Devon and Somerset. Call us for details of our charges on 0808 139 1606 or email us at [email protected]   A retired senior judge at the Court of Protection has published a book on powers of attorney. The publication has hit the headlines due to the grave concerns the ex-judge has expressed about Lasting Powers of Attorney and the significant potential for financial abuse...

LPA fee reduction There has never been a better time to plan ahead and make a Lasting Power of Attorney. On 1 April 2017, the fee to register a Lasting Power of Attorney, or LPA, was reduced from £110 to £82. The Office of the Public Guardian says the fees have been reduced because an increase in the volume of LPA applications means the income it receives in registration fees now exceeds the cost of the service. Slee Blackwell’s Private Client team has...