Wills, Trusts and Probate

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Terese Kingman of our South Molton office takes a look If you are concerned about your future health, wellbeing and financial affairs a Lasting Power of Attorney will allow you to plan now and choose who will make essential decisions for you in the event that you become physically or mentally incapacitated. At this stage you can choose your attorneys. They are the people who act for you once you become incapable of looking after your own affairs. The Lasting Power of Attorney...

When making a will most people are very aware of the assets they own; their house, their investments, their possessions. However, in the age of the internet assets are increasingly held in an electronic forma. This presents a risk that some of these digital assets could be overlooked. There is also the danger that the information required to access those assets might be lost. These assets fall into two main categories:- Those with a financial value This includes online bank accounts, ISA’s and share...

North Devon solicitor, Emily Hockin examines why it is important for newly divorced people to review their wills People often say that if you ignore something long enough it will go away. Sadly however this is not the case with writing a will. And failure to make a will could have terrible consequences for your family. The reality is that death comes to us all. We might not like to think about it but its one of the only certainties we...

What are the duties of a personal representative (PR)? The Personal Representative, or PR, is a person with responsibility for winding up a deceased’s estate. The PR calls in the assets, pays all debts and distributes the net estate to the beneficiaries named in the will or in accordance with the intestacy rules. Can a PR be held liable to creditors and beneficiaries of the deceased’s estate? Yes. If a PR breaches their duties of office then they may be held liable to...

Making a will can ensure your final wishes are carried out, including where your possessions and money go after your death. It can also save your loved ones from a large inheritance tax bill. If you die without a will then your estate will be dealt with under the Government’s strict intestacy rules; you then have no say where your money and property go when you die. This article explores what a will does that the intestacy rules don’t. Executors A will...

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney? A Lasting Power of Attorney (or LPA ) allows the “Donor” to nominate someone they trust, “the Attorney, to take care of their affairs once they are no longer in a position to do so themselves. When that stage is reached the Attorney must apply to register the LPA with the Office of the Public Guardian before any powers can be exercised. There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney available: (i) A Personal...

What does ‘Intestacy’ mean? Intestacy is the legal term used when a person dies without having made a will. The Rules of Intestacy designate who is entitled to the estate. My late husband did not make a will. He has children with his ex-girlfriend and we have children of our own. He had some investments and a collection of antiques. Who will inherit his estate? As his wife you will be entitled to your husband’s personal effects, including the antiques. Under the Intestacy...

The Intestacy Rules that regulate the distribution of the estate of a deceased person who dies without a Will have recently changed. This is how the new Intestacy Rules will have effect. If a person dies intestate after 1 February 2009 with a surviving spouse or civil partner and children the new Intestacy Rules provide that the spouse/civil partner will be entitled to a £250,000 statutory legacy (previously £125,000), the deceased’s personal possessions and a life interest in half of the...

In his October Pre-Budget Release the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, proposed a significant change in Inheritance Tax (“IHT”) relief, applicable only to married couples and civil partners (“spouses”). As matters stand, each individual spouse has the benefit of a “Nil Rate Band”. In other words, a part of their net estate, currently £300,000, is not chargeable to IHT. Any property above that threshold is subject to IHT unless exemptions or reliefs apply. Transfers of property between spouses are generally exempt from the...

Have you ever given any thought to who would look after your financial affairs if you lost mental capacity whether through old age, illness (such as Alzheimer's Disease) or even an accident? No? Have you ever given any thought to who would look after your financial affairs if you lost mental capacity whether through old age, illness (such as Alzheimer's Disease) or even an accident? No? Well read on! The truth is that if you did lose mental capacity no-one, including...