Wills, Trusts and Probate

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Agricultural solicitor, John Pearn takes a look at current Inheritance Tax issues affecting farmers and their families The rules governing Inheritance Tax, or IHT as lawyers prefer to call it, can change with each financial new year. The subject therefore presents a moving target for short articles like this. However, the current inheritance tax regulations have remained largely unchanged for the last 3 years, due in no small measure to the recession. Unfortunately, we don’t have an inside track on Government...

When a relationship with a spouse, civil partner or cohabite breaks down should consideration be given to what will happen in the event of death? Yes. It is likely prior to the breakdown of a relationship that a spouse, civil partner or cohabitee will have made some provision for the other. Whenever a personal relationship changes or breaks down it is important to ensure that testamentary wishes and ownership of property is reconsidered in the light of the new circumstances. Does a...

We take a look into the murky world of unregulated will writers Walter Ventriglia was the owner of a will writing firm called Legacy & Law and a will storage business called UK Will Register. He has just been sent to prison for fraudulently charging clients for fixing non-existing problems with their wills. Is he typical? That is not an easy question to answer but you must be on your guard against unregulated Will writing firms who cold-call by telephone, particularly if people...

Wills and probate solicitor, Toni Sinclair looks at the risks people take when they choose to deal with an unregulated Will writer, rather than a reputable solicitor Despite being an important legal activity, the business of Will writing is completely unrestricted. Anyone can set up in business to provide a Will writing service - even if they have no formal legal qualifications or training. Yet given the social, familial and financial dynamics of our modern society it is probably more crucial...

Professional negligence solicitor, Lee Dawkins echoes the ombudsman's warnings about unregulated and uninsured will writers. The BBC is reporting that thousands of people in the UK are being 'ripped off' by 'cowboy' companies providing unregulated legal services such as will writing. Quoting the Chief Legal Ombudsman for England and Wales the report says: "One service which crops up a lot is will writing. It's a service carried out often by will-writing firms who aren't regulated." "Because of this, customers are left with little means...

What is a trustee appointed under a will? Trustees appointed under a will deal with trust property in the deceased's estate. A trustee has a range duties, including safeguarding trust assets, collecting money due to the trust (even if this means enforcing any loans due to the trust), investing the trust fund in accordance with the trust deed and distributing assets. What happens if the trustee makes an overpayment of income to a beneficiary? The trustee may correct this mistake by adjusting future...

We look at why it is advisable for most people to have a Will and reveal that it is not as expensive as many think. People often think they don't need to have a Will or are put off making one by the perceived costs of doing so. But trying to save a relatively small sum of money by not making a Will or using one of the DIY kits available from the newsagent can be a false economy. Avoid the Intestacy Rules If...

Solicitor, John Pearn, assesses the legal position If a person loses their mental capacity to make decisions then a Lasting Power of Attorney or a valid Enduring Power of Attorney would continue, though both documents need to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. However. if there is no suitable Power of Attorney then a near relation can apply for a Receivership Order. Who can apply for a Receivership Order? This would normally be a relation who has been assisting the...

We look at the benefits of making a Lasting Power of attorney Specialist Lasting Power of Attorney solicitors in Devon and Somerset. Call for free initial guidance on 0808 139 1606 If you are concerned about your future health, well-being 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. Your attorneys are the people who act for you once...

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...