Private Client

Online Probate Service

Many people are not aware that solicitors can handle any stage of the administration process on your behalf, or simply assist with the stages you find most challenging.

What is the difference between Attorneys and Executors?

Many people mistakenly believe that if they have appointed an Attorney under a Lasting Power of Attorney ( LPA ) then that person will also act as their Executor when they die, or vice versa. This is not the case and it is therefore important to make...

Are you thinking of gifting money to your loved ones this Christmas? We'll tell you what you need to know

Gifting money is becoming increasingly popular for parents and grandparents who are keen to help their loved ones by providing them with their “inheritance early”. If you are thinking of gifting money or assets there are some key factors you need...

Probate fees are set to increase for some in April 2019. Will you be affected?

The government has recently announced plans to increase the probate fees payable on a deceased person’s estate. This will mean that bereaved families may have to pay more in order to administer a loved one’s estate.  The proposed fee rise,...

Are you thinking about future life planning but aren't sure which solicitor is right for you?

There are various factors to consider when choosing a solicitor to help with your personal affairs. Whether it’s drafting a Will or Lasting Power of Attorney, advice on complex taxation or estate planning, or support after the loss of loved one, there...

Talking Wills - Getting married is likely to be a significant change in your circumstances.

What is a Will? A Will is a legal document that allows you to control how and to whom your estate will pass after your death. What will happen if I die without a Will? If you die intestate (without having made a valid Will), your estate will pass in...

Coronation Street Wills - Highlighting Testamentary Capacity

In the recent Coronation Street Storyline the family of Aidan Connor sought to challenge the validity of his Will based on his mental capacity due to depression – so can depression invalidate a Will and what exactly are the requirements for capacity...

We live together but are unmarried. How can we protect our future?

More and more of us are living in long-term relationships without getting married or entering into a civil partnership. We assume that if anything were to happen to us our unmarried partner would be looked after and catered for by our estate. Unfortunately,...

The advantages of benefiting siblings under your Will

Where a person has no spouse or children, the decision of who to benefit under their Will can be a difficult one. If this person does not make a Will, their estate will pass under the intestacy rules. These rules provide that where a person passes away with...

Providing for your pets in your Will

Our primary concern when making a Will is often to provide for our family and close friends, but does that include your pets too? It is common for pet owners to pass away leaving their pets without a home to go to. It is fairly straightforward to solve...

Power of Attorney Refund Scheme

The Ministry of Justice has launched a scheme to issue a partial refund to everybody who registered a Lasting or Enduring Power of Attorney with the Office of the Public Guardian between the 1 st of April 2013 and the 31 st March 2017. The refund is to...

Thinking of popping the question this Valentines Day?

Marriage and civil partnership ceremonies affect the validity of your Will so it is important that you take the necessary steps to ensure that your assets and your loved ones remain protected. A marriage or civil partnership ceremony works to revoke any...

Your Literary Estate and your Will

In England and Wales, the copyright granted for original literary works does not expire until 70 years after the author’s death. This means that the intellectual property rights for your published work can continue to support and provide an income for...

New Year, New... Will

Come the New Year, many of us adopt the usual approach of “new year, new me”. We take time to reflect on the previous year and may attempt to make changes to our lifestyle/circumstances for the better. But in all your new plans, have you...

More to give? Consider using your tax free gift allowance...

Christmas is a time for giving but maybe you would like to be more generous this year? Lifetime giving is a tax efficient way to provide help and support to friends and family; how much can you give now without suffering tax implications later ?...

When is the best time to start planning for later life?

Most of us can admit to effectively burying our heads in the sand when it comes to looking at what could befall us in later life. In a society where people are living longer, concerns surrounding dementia, strokes and loss of capacity are becoming more...

Could a hastily written text or email become your last Will and testament?

Under proposed new rules from the Law Commission, individuals may be able to use voicemail messages, emails and texts to make their wills. This comes after the Law Commission branded the current legacy system as ‘outdated’ and recommends that the...

Is it time to review your Enduring Power of Attorney?

As many people may already be aware, Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA) were replaced by Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) almost a decade ago in 2007. If you made your EPA before 1st October 2007 it is still valid, but you may wish to consider whether it...

Bankrupt Beneficiaries - how does it affect inheritance?

Unfortunately, bankrupt beneficiaries can be quite common, and for this reason executors need to be aware of how to deal with them as it is their responsibility to know if a beneficiary of an estate is bankrupt. It is therefore important for executors to be...

Q&A: The Residence Nil Rate Band

What is the Residence Nil Rate Band? The new Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB) came into effect in April 2017 and will act as another tool for individuals to use in relation to inheritance tax planning. The RNRB has been introduced as a direct result of...

Q&A: Considering making a will? Top tips for getting it right!

1. A Will is for everyone No matter what your estate consists of it is highly advisable that you prepare a will to ensure your wishes are met, and your estate can be dealt with in the swiftest and most cost-effective manner. 2. Consider using a...

Increased Probate fees from May 2017

When someone dies holding assets in their own name over a certain limit, a Grant of Representation (known to some as “Probate”) in their estate is required.  This is obtained by making an application to the Probate Registry. The current fee...

Digital Inheritance: What happens to your online assets when you pass away?

Online gambling appears to be more popular than ever and it is not the only thing we have all taken to doing online. If you took the time to think about all the places you visit where you have an account you could be surprised. Increasingly more and more of...

What is the new Residence Nil Rate Band and how will it affect me?

The new Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB) comes into effect this April (2017) and will act as another tool for individuals to use in relation to inheritance tax planning. The RNRB has been introduced as a direct result of the ongoing rise of property prices in...

Beware the wet weather...

As the nights draw in and the temperatures begin to drop you may start to worry about how you are going to carry out your usual day to day activities, such as going out to collect your pension, visiting the bank, or even doing your food shopping. It could be...

New Year, New Will...

Having a Will is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family. It’s not obligatory to make a will and it’s easy to put off, however if you die without one, many problems can arise affecting your friends and relatives,...

I have a Living Will, so do not need a Lasting Power of Attorney..

A Living Will is a document in which you can express how you wish to be treated under specific health and care circumstances. A Living Will can also be referred to as an Advance Direction or Advanced Decision, in that you are making decisions regarding your...

I have an Enduring Power of Attorney so do not need a Lasting Power of Attorney...

In October 2007 the Enduring Power of Attorney was replaced by the Lasting Power of Attorney. Enduring Powers of Attorney continue to be valid if they were prepared prior to this period. It is sometimes thought that having an Enduring Power of Attorney...

Are you estranged from family members and worried about claims against your estate?

You can insert a clause in your Will explaining why you have drawn up your Will in a certain way however, the Will becomes a public document for all to see once the Grant of Probate has been issued. Unless you wish for everyone to be able to see your...

It is best for my Attorneys to be appointed to act jointly and not independently of each other...

When you appoint more than one Attorney, you can choose to appoint them ‘jointly’ or ‘jointly and severally.’ Appointing your Attorneys to act jointly, may sound like the best way to execute  a Lasting Power of Attorney,...

I have a third party mandate on my bank account, so I don't need a Lasting Power of Attorney...

Here we explain the difference between a third party mandate and a Lasting Power of Attorney. A third party mandate is a formal instruction from you to your bank or building society telling them that you would like another party, i.e. someone else, to have...

I don't have any family to act as an Attorney for me...

An attorney can be anyone that you trust to look after you if you can no longer manage to deal with your financial affairs or make decisions about your health and welfare. Whilst it is true that the majority of people appoint family, children in particular,...

I can't choose one child over another to act as my Attorney...

You don’t need to! It is possible to have more than one attorney, more than two or three may make the power cumbersome to operate but it is still possible. If you have more than one attorney, you can choose the way in which they act together and...

If I make a Lasting Power of Attorney I wont be able to deal with my own money any more...

People often think that by making a Lasting Power of Attorney they will be giving up the right to deal with their financial affairs. This is quite simply not true! Whilst you still have capacity (mental understanding), your attorneys can only act with your...

Don't risk creating fireworks in your family, make a Will today!

Many of us will know that the absence of a valid Will can often lead to family disputes, unwanted arguments and family rifts. However this does not have to be the case, and if like over half the population of the UK you don’t have a Will – now...

Professional Executors: Trick or Treat?

Probate can be a daunting process. You may feel when drafting your Will that you wish to appoint a professional executor – for example, a solicitor or bank – rather than impose any unnecessary stress upon a loved one at an already difficult time....

Lasting Powers of Attorney are for old people and I'm not old...

Everyone has a different idea of what age is ‘old’ and no one likes to think of themselves as getting older and less able to manage then they once were. Some people see making a Lasting Power of Attorney as a sign that they are getting old or...

I can look after my own affairs for now, I'll think about a Lasting Power of Attorney later...

You may be absolutely fine now both physically and mentally but can you be sure that this will always be the case? More importantly can you predict the time in the future when this may no longer be the case? No one likes to think about themselves getting...

I have a Will so dont need a Lasting Power of Attorney. The executors of my Will can manage my affairs.

Many people think that if they have made a Will and appointed Executors to deal with their estate then these Executors will also be able to deal with their money whilst they are still alive. This is a common misconception. Whilst it is true that your...

Wills and estate planning - issues of importance for Armed Forces members and their families

Wills Everyone should make a will to ensure their affairs are correctly dealt with on their death – and it’s of particular importance for a member of the Armed Forces to make a will, in light of the nature of their work and the possibility of...

Do you want to give something back? Control your own legacy.

Inheritance Tax is payable on your assets when you die, but brings within its scope certain lifetime gifts. There are a number of ways it can be reduced or avoided entirely. This article provides you with some basic information in order to help you assess...

Mythbusting - Going through Probate means my family will have to wait years until they can benefit from my estate

Going through the process of Probate to many seems extremely daunting. Many are under the impression that the need to go through Probate is a negative thing and that Probate is usually only sought when an estate is either too complex or when things go wrong...

Mythbusting - When a person dies their debts die with them

Unfortunately this is a myth. Any debts that you leave when you die will need to be paid from estate funds. Your estate will be considered solvent if you have sufficient assets to settle testamentary expenses, your funeral, tax and debts. Once these have...

Mythbusting - I live with my partner so when I die everything will pass to them

There is a widespread belief that when a couple have lived together for several years a ‘common law marriage’ is created. Unfortunately for some, there is no such thing as a ‘common law spouse’ or ‘common law marriage’...

Mythbusting - If I have Lasting Powers of Attorney in place, my attorneys can deal with my estate after my death so I don't need a Will

An Attorney is someone who has been selected and appointed by you when creating a  Power of Attorney to make decisions about your finances and/or health and welfare when you are no longer able to yourself. It enables your Attorneys to manage your...

Mythbusting - I can give away an asset for inheritance purposes but still enjoy the use of it

It is simply not possible to make a gift of the family home, remain living there as normal and expect to have the value of the property removed from your estate when it comes to inheritance tax. HMRC are wise to such ideas, and as such there are...

Mythbusting - When I die, my partner will inherit everything free of tax

Many people assume that if they are married or in a civil partnership, then inheritance tax isn’t going to be a problem for them. But they are unfortunately mistaken, as even if you are married - if you fail to write a valid Will your estate will be...

Mythbusting - I can avoid inheritance tax by giving away all of my money before I die

Unfortunately, it is not possible to give all your assets away on your death bed and hope to escape inheritance tax (‘IHT’). You will need to survive any gift you make by at least 7 years in order for it to be excluded from your estate for IHT...

Mythbusting - My family can decide how to split my estate

People often believe that it should be up to their families to decide how their estate is distributed in the event of their death and for this reason choose not to write a Will.  If you do not have a Will your estate will be distributed in accordance...

Mythbusting - I won't need Probate as I only have one bank account

It is a common misconception that individuals who pass away leaving minimal assets will not require probate to be granted on their estates. Unfortunately this is not always the case, as even having just one bank account can mean a Grant of Probate...
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