Wills And Probate Articles
The second attack against government’s plans to introduce a sliding scale for probate fees has been lobbied by a parliamentary committee, laying claim that the Lord Chancellor is acting beyond his powers with the new strategy.
The Government have posted a “Written Statement to Parliament”, announcing a change to the Probate Fee System from a simple fee of £155 (with solicitors), or £215 (without solicitors), to a banded system. This system was proposed last year, and a petition opposing it amassed 38,425 signatures, before being closed due to the upcoming general election. It seems this change has now been approved
You may have heard the terms “Will” and “Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)”, or “Executor” and “Attorney” be used interchangeably, but they are actually very different things. It is important to distinguish between them, as they are both significant documents that provide for your wishes at different stages of your life.
Have you ever thought about the different words used to describe death? I have heard lots of expressions used, from “passed away” and “lost” all the way to “kicked the bucket” and “popped their clogs”. People often use these phrases to avoid saying the word “death” in the hope it will make the idea more palatable, or easier to comprehend.
The recent case regarding an unmarried mother of four’s right to receive this allowance has highlighted the difference in the rights of cohabiting, unmarried couples compared to those of couples who are married or in a civil partnership.
A recent announcement means that judges will no longer have to be consulted to withdraw the treatment of a minimally conscious patient if both the patients’ family and the patient’s medical professionals are all in agreement. This decision has been a long time coming with people both for and against the decision.
An ‘Incapacity Crisis’ alert has recently been sounded by the organisation ‘Solicitors for the Elderly’ (SFE) after they published the findings of a study commissioned to research the gap between the volume of people suffering with mental incapacity and the number of people who have created a Lasting Power of Attorney.
Who to choose as an Executor in your Will is an important decision. You need to choose ideally 2 or more people who you trust to follow the instructions laid out in your Will (although in some cases you can have only one executor). These people need to be able to deal with disagreements that may arise and, if necessary, they need to be able to find fair solutions to any such problems.
Are you busy with young children and keep putting off making a Will?
If the answer to this question is yes, then you are not alone. Many parents of young children put off making a Will for years. It is of course expected that we will all live a long life, into retirement, enjoying the company of our children and grandchildren. However, unfortunately this is not always the case.
A LAW firm which has branches across Leicestershire has raised more than £6,000 for charity this year after taking part in a will-writing campaign which asks solicitors to write wills for local people and instead, ask only for a voluntary donation. Lawson-West Solicitors Ltd, which has branches in Leicester on Meridian Business Park, Market Harborough and Wigston have taken part in the annual Will Aid scheme and raised an impressive £6,120 in the month-long fundraiser.
It’s recently been announced that HRH Queen Elizabeth II will be gifting her property, York House, to HRH Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as their wedding present. Such an extravagant gift is usually subject to Inheritance Tax, but would this be the case for the Queen? This article explores the ways in which taxation impacts Her Royal Highness.
With regard to making Powers of Attorney, this is best done as soon as possible. If you have not appointed an Attorney and you become unable to look after your affairs through; illness, an accident or old age, then your loved ones will have no legal right to look after you in the way you would like, even if you have informally expressed your wishes without having to make a complex and costly application to the Court of Protection.
A Will is a legally binding document that outlines what you want to happen to your estate when you pass away, who should benefit and how.
These days, Wills and Estate Planning is about much more than simply ‘who do I wish to inherit once I’m no longer around’. There is a lot to think about, and it can often involve some tough decisions. At Lawson-West, we understand this, and have tailored our Wills and our procedures to what we feel is important to our clients.
So what does having a Will with Lawson-West mean?
If you own a business or shares in a business, then you might wish to consider planning now and writing your Will in a tax efficient manner to help minimise Inheritance Tax.
There are several ways you can beat Inheritance Tax by giving away assets, setting up a trust or changing your Will. Make sure you pay close attention to the legal details and tax consequences and if you are unsure of anything, one of Lawson West's Wills and Probate solicitors can help you out.