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Wills, Trusts & Probate

 

Deputyship - Removing or Replacing your Deputy

Veronica Male
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A Deputy can be appointed by the Court of Protection to manage a person’s financial affairs when they are unable to manage them themselves.  The person whose financial affairs are being managed is called the protected party. The Deputy can be a...

How can I help my adult child manage their finances?

Veronica Male
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There are many parents across the country whose children suffer from a birth or acquired disability, such as a brain injury or learning difficulties. As they grow older, these children continue to require support to help them to be independent. When you...

Can I transfer my home to my children to avoid it being sold to pay my care fees?

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Can I transfer my home to my children to avoid it being sold to pay my care fees? For the majority of people, the family home is their most expensive asset and many people are concerned that should they ever require residential care, they may be forced to...

Mum wants to give me some money but I'm her Attorney - what should I do?

Veronica Male
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Close family relationships often mean that the donor - the person who grants the Power of Attorney  - choses a family member to be their Attorney. With Lasting Powers of Attorney for Property and Finance once they are registered at the Office of the...

I am a Financial Attorney - How Do I Start Acting?

Veronica Male
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When you are appointed as an Attorney for someone under an Enduring or Lasting Power of Attorney to deal with finances, it can be confusing to understand when and how you can start helping the donor (the person who made the Power of Attorney) with their...

Is my Covid-19 lockdown Will valid?

Sophie Forsyth
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In a previous blog (   click here to read ) I discussed some of the things to be wary about when drafting your own Will or instructing a company to draft your Will on an “execution-only” basis, ie. without getting any legal advice. ...

How do I support my elderly relative during Lockdown?

Veronica Male
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With lockdown still affecting a lot of people whose health could be at risk if they catch Covid-19, we are supporting our loved ones in lots of different ways. Keeping in touch Some families and friends have made sure that their relative feels supported...

Why do I need a Lasting Power of Attorney for my Health and Welfare?

Veronica Male
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Many people think that having a Lasting or Enduring Power of Attorney to deal with their finances is all that they need in case they are not able to deal with their finances - but what happens about decisions for your health and welfare if you are unable to...

How do I get a capacity assessment during COVID-19?

Sophie Forsyth
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In recent years, people have been thinking about how they can protect themselves in the event that they lose capacity in future. Unfortunately, sometimes those protective measures cannot be put in place in time. As solicitors, we often see people in a...

Can I keep using the joint bank account?

Veronica Male
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Powers of Attorney - They can’t manage their finances anymore – can I keep using the joint bank account? This is a question many people can face. Joint Bank accounts They may have always shared a joint bank account with their spouse or...

I Am Getting Divorced - Why Do I Need To Make A Will?

Sally Clark
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The short answer is that everyone should have an up to date Will to ensure that their wishes are put into effect after their death. However, it is particularly important to check whether you need to make, or amend a Will when you are going through any...

Making Your Own Will - The Pitfalls of DIY and Homemade Wills

Sophie Forsyth
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It feels like a long time ago since 23 rd March when Boris Johnson announced that the country was going into lockdown. Over that period, solicitors and will writers across the country were inundated with enquiries from people who wanted to update their Will...

Powers of Attorney- How do I replace my Attorney?

Veronica Male
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When you make a Lasting or Enduring Power of Attorney you appoint the people you feel you can trust to manage your financial affairs and act in your best interests. However times change and so do some relationships. Thinking about who you have appointed...

How do I keep in touch with my loved one if they are in a care home during COVID-19?

Veronica Male
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As the shops have started opening with pubs and restaurants soon to follow we all hope that we can start returning to normal but this might not be the case if your loved one is in a Care Home. During lockdown many Care Homes have taken the...

How to get a Lasting Power of Attorney during the COVID-19 pandemic

Sophie Forsyth
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The current pandemic, caused by a coronavirus called Covid-19, has caused widespread problems for those who struggle to manage their own finances. People who are often able to do things with assistance, such as go to the bank or buy food, may now have to...

How to get care in your home

Veronica Male
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If you decide that you, or your loved one, need support at home in order to maintain independence you may decide to have a carer coming into the home to provide that support. Getting your care needs assessed If you do not know what help you need you can...

Protecting Your Loved Ones

Sophie Forsyth
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We are celebrating the contribution that carers make to supporting our loved ones this week. When thinking of carers many people think of adult children looking after elderly parents, but the reality is that carers come in all shapes and sizes. In fact,...

Choosing your Care Home

Veronica Male
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  Making the decision that you or your loved one can no longer be safely supported at home and need to go into a Care Home can be a difficult one. However, if you take the time to research and get to know the Care Home and what support the carers can...

Are you a Carer for someone else?

Emma Stewart
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New figures show that 4.5 million additional people are caring for others because of the pandemic, and this is on top of the 9.1 million unpaid carers who were already caring before the pandemic according to recent figures released for Carers Week. This...

National Carers Week - Families caring for people with dementia

Veronica Male
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This is the week that we take time to thank the carers who are supporting our loved ones. During this very difficult time whilst the country is trying to deal with COVID -19 we can see their selfless dedication putting themselves at risk to provide care for...

Covid-19 - Can an Attorney pay a relative for care?

Veronica Male
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If you are appointed as a Deputy or Attorney dealing with a relative or friend’s property and finances the effects of the Coronavirus may have impacted on their care arrangements. Paying your family members or friends for care Often the people...

Registering a death during the COVID-19 restrictions

Emma Stewart
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During the current restrictions, it has become much more difficult to deal with some of the aspects of bereavement that were normally done in person. At the moment, the only way to register a death is by telephone. When one of your family has died, the...

How to arrange a funeral in lockdown

Holly Pearce
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There is no question that we are in unprecedented times and it has been tough for all of us to cope with the new normal, but those of us who have lost a loved one in such difficult times have been left with questions. One of the most important questions is...

Making a Will During COVID-19

Sarah Horton
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COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It is caused by a virus called coronavirus.  You will doubtless be aware that Government and NHS guidance in this area has been changing rapidly, and so you should always seek the most...

Bereavement during COVID-19

Liz Headley
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I have just read the Gov.uk latest advice for safe funerals and whilst I can completely concur with the safety aspects, my heart goes out to all those who can’t say goodbye to their loved one in the way that they would wish. Anyone who has been...

How Brethertons can help your family with bereavement

Emma Stewart
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Help with bereavement during the COVID-19 restrictions We understand how difficult it is at this time if you have lost a loved one and are trying to arrange the funeral. If you are Self-isolating or Shielding and need assistance with anything like...

Spotlight on..Careers in Wills, Trusts and Probate

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At Brethertons we are proud to have an award winning Wills, Trusts and Probate team operating out of all 3 offices; Banbury, Bicester and Rugby. Our lawyers specialise in giving clear, pragmatic advice on the personal affairs of customers. We are empathetic...

Spotlight on... An Executive Lawyer

Annabel Burchett
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Author: Annabel Burchett - Wills, Trusts & Probate 1. How long have you been at Brethertons? I have been working at Brethertons since October 2018.    2. What career path have you taken so far? I undertook my law degree at the...

New Partner Joins Brethertons Wills, Trusts and Probate Team

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This week, Brethertons welcomes new partner, Sarah Horton to its experienced Wills, Trusts and Probate team.  Sarah joins Brethertons from Johnson & Gaunt where she was a Head of the Wills, Trusts and Probate department. Sarah has over 10...

The Office of The Public Guardian announces a further Refund Scheme for Deputyship fees

Veronica Male
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  It was only in February 2018 that after a review the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) announced that having reviewed their fees, they had overcharged on the registration fee for Lasting and Enduring Powers of Attorney from 01/04/2013 to 31/03/2017...

When it's too late for a Power of Attorney

Sophie Forsyth
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“I’m still young.” “I’ll get around to it at some point.” “It won’t happen to me.” We regularly hear the above reasons not to make a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) . A number of things can cause...

Probate Stealth Tax

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When a loved one passes away, your Executors might need to apply for a “Grant of Probate”. This document gives your Executors the power to close your bank accounts, sell your house and carry out any wishes you have given in your Will. ...

Cost of a Death Certificate to rise by 275%

Sophie Forsyth
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Many people will know that when registering a death you can obtain copies of a death certificate for just £4.00 each. After the initial registration, it would cost you £7.00 to obtain each official copy. As of tomorrow (Saturday 16th February...

The importance of making a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)

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According to Alzheimer’s Research – the UK’s leading dementia research charity – the number of people with dementia is projected to increase rapidly over the next several decades, mainly due to increases in life expectancy and...

Top Service Provider Chambers High Net Worth Guide 2018

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Brethertons have been Ranked as One of the Top Legal Service Providers in the Chambers High Net Worth Guide 2018 Leading legal services provider Brethertons, is celebrating after being named as one of the top law firms in the Oxford and Coventry...

LPAs - Not an early inheritance or a licence to loot...

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In anticipation of tonight’s ITV Tonight programme, Caroline Bielanska, former SFE CEO, and author and trainer for STEP, reaffirms the importance of Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) and the safeguards people can put in place to ensure their LPAs are...

Why should I make a Will?

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Author: Richard Biddle Ever thought about making a Will but didn’t? Are you worried about making a Will and therefore don’t get around to it? You are not alone, as approximately 60% of people in England and Wales have not made a Will.  You...

New Inheritance Tax Relief - Coming Soon!

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The 6 th of April 2017 signals the first major Inheritance Tax relief change in a decade and it builds upon the idea of spouses transferring unused tax-free values of assets (Nil Rate Bands) to each other. At present, a person has up to £325,000...

Probate Court Fees Set to Increase

Emma Stewart
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On 24 February 2017, the Ministry of Justice published responses to its consultation on reforming the fees payable for Grants of Representation (“Probate”).  Currently an application for Probate is either £155 if done via a solicitor...

What is a Trustee?

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This week, 7 th – 13 th November, is Trustees week. In the UK there are just over 1 million charitable trustees.  I’ve been asked before what a trustee is. The word says it all!  You are trusted to help to lead and develop...

World Mental Health Day - October 2016

Laura Stuart
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According to the Alzheimer’s Society there are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK and 225,000 people will develop dementia this year. With 1 in 6 people over the age of 80 having dementia, a number of those individuals will need assistance from...

Gifting property to your children

Holly Pearce
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I recently had the pleasure of visiting the RSC in Stratford-upon-Avon to watch King Lear. This is the first time I had seen this play and was struck by the in-depth plots and schemes and wonderful performance. But with my lawyer’s head on I also saw...

Wills - a jargon-busting guide

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If I had a pound for every time a customer asked me to explain what a ‘Beneficiary’ or a ‘Trustee’ was or what ‘Executor’ meant…well….let’s just say I wouldn’t need to play the lottery on a weekly...

Why use a Solicitor to prepare your Will?

Laura Stuart
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I nstructing a solicitor to prepare your Will is usually seen as the expensive way to do it, but using a solicitor can save a lot of stress for you and your family, as well as giving you a bit more peace of mind and potentially saving you additional costs...

Carers Week is approaching...

Laura Stuart
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The invaluable contribution made by carers cannot be underestimated. With the number of unpaid carers on the rise, it is essential that they receive help and support. The sandwich generation can find themselves not only looking after their children but also...

What happens if I do not prepare a Lasting Power of Attorney?

Laura Stuart
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Whilst there is an increase in the awareness of Lasting Powers of Attorney and a better understanding of the importance of the documents, some people still do not understand the consequences of not preparing them.  A Lasting Power of Attorney is a...

Personal Injury Trusts - what you need to know

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Author: Alison Bristow Most people think that a personal injury claim ends when an individual receives a large sum of money. This is not the case at all; the money needs to be used carefully to help support and fund future care and rehabilitation, often...

Lasting Powers of Attorney and Deputyships (Court of Protection)

Holly Pearce
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Increasingly, myself and members of my team receive enquiries or instructions to prepare a Lasting Power of Attorney. This rise is due to raised awareness of the potential or imminent need for these documents and an understanding that preparing these...

Lasting Powers of Attorney for business owners

Emma Stewart
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If a person loses capacity to deal with their financial assets and they have made a Lasting Power of Attorney for Property & Financial Affairs before that point in time, their Attorneys can act on their behalf to deal with their financial affairs. ...

EU Succession Regulations - do you have a holiday home in Europe?

Emma Stewart
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In August 2015, most of the EU member states incorporated into law the EU Succession Regulations which change the way your property can be dealt with when you die. The UK has not incorporated the Regulations; however, if you own property in a EU member...

Avoiding snap decisions

Lindsay Gutteridge
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It was announced that NICE , the health watchdog, has advised that patients must be treated with respect and compassion and doctors should avoid making 'snap decisions' about whether someone was dying. This has been in response to...

What happens if you die without a Will?

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If a person dies without leaving a Will then they die intestate. This means their estate will be dealt with under the intestacy rules which dictates who inherits the deceased’s estate. In October 2014 changes to the rules that determine what...

Have you checked your luggage allowance?

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We spend an awful lot of time preparing for our holidays, in particular making sure we’ve packed everything we might need, yet all the time trying to ensure that we haven’t exceeded that dreaded luggage allowance. Why then, do we not spend enough...

Lasting Power of Attorney - Owen Kyffin's viewpoint

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Following Laura Stuart ’s blog on Monday Owen Kyffin , a director at Whitley Simpson and long-time friend of Brethertons sent in the following response: Laura’s blog really struck chord with me, and reminded me why I always react so...

World Mental Health Day - 10 October 2015

Laura Stuart
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According to research undertaken for Dementia UK there were 816,000 people with dementia in the UK in 2013. In 2015 that’s risen to an estimated 857,000. One in six people aged over 80 suffers with the disease. It makes sense, then, to plan for the...

Help make the tough decisions easier

Lindsay Gutteridge
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MPs are currently debating whether some terminally ill people in England and Wales should be allowed to end their lives with medical supervision. Whatever your opinion on the Dignity in Dying debate, and whatever the outcome of this proposed ...

"My mother needs a Lasting Power of Attorney, she has Dementia"

Holly Pearce
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It's the kind of comment I dread to hear, but I've heard it more than once. The reason it fills me with dread is because, more often than not, it is too late for me to provide them with what they want and need, a Lasting Power of Attorney....

Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common - how do you own your house?

Emma Stewart
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Many people do not know whether they own their house as joint tenants or tenants in common. It is really important to know the difference because it determines what happens when you die. Joint tenants means that you and the other owner own the whole of the...

"We're married - we don't need to do a Will"

Emma Stewart
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These are the words that solicitors hate to hear. It is a common misconception that being married means that if you don't have a Will, everything goes to your spouse.  It will only go to your spouse in certain circumstances:  if you do not...

Are HSBC the executors of your Will?

Lindsay Gutteridge
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Last month, customers of HSBC who have Wills which appoint HSBC as their executors, received a letter out of the blue advising them that HSBC will no longer be able to act for them in this role. This is because HSBC has sold off their Wills business to a...

Have you made a choice? Or are you leaving things to chance?

Laura Stuart
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The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has launched a public awareness campaign to encourage people to plan for their and their families' futures. With the strapline “Choice not Chance” and a suite of rather uninspiring black & white posters and...

Want to disinherit your children? Take care!

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In the case of Ilott v. Mitson , Melita Jackson passed away leaving an estate worth £486,000. She left her entire estate to charity and excluded her daughter, Heather Ilott. Mrs Jackson had not had a relationship with her daughter since she had left...

Government postpones Care Act funding reforms

Lindsay Gutteridge
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Last week  The Department of Health announced that the proposed date (April 2016) for changes to the way care funding will be charged, will be delayed until 2020.  It was initially proposed that from April 2016, if you were contributing to the...

Donatio Mortis Causa - no substitute for a Will

Holly Pearce
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On 9 June this year the Court of Appeal heard the case of King v The Chiltern Dog Rescue and others, which involved Redwings Horse Sanctuary a charity with a local centre. This evolved around the principle of “Donatio Mortis Causa”, in other...

Good news for property owners in this Summer's budget

Laura Stuart
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On 8 July, Chancellor George Osbourne announced the 2015 budget and among the headlines was a fairly hefty change to the Inheritance Tax (IHT) regulations which will affect increasing numbers of property owners as house prices continue to rise. And...