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Wills, Trusts & Probate

 

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...

Daniel Boyle
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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...