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Walking in your digital footsteps

Karl Dembicki
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In a world increasingly connected through social media, we are all aware of leaving a ‘digital footprint’. We make the decisions on what information we share via these channels and who can access them. But who takes on this responsibility when we...

Selfie shots signal end to informal financial management

Karl Dembicki
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International payment processor, Visa, is launching a platform to allow banks to integrate biometric security that will use selfies, fingerprints or voice records to approve purchases in the drive against fraud. Police figures show that, in the first six...

Have you registered a Power of Attorney in the last four years?

Sara-Rose Welch
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If you have registered a Lasting or Enduring Power of Attorney in the last four years you could be entitled to a partial refund of the registration fee. The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has recently released its 2016/17 annual report and announced...

Pension flexibility - the legal implications

Matthew Porter
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Given that more than two years have passed since the introduction of “pension flexibility”, it is worthwhile having a reminder of the potential legal difficulties that may arise from choosing a drawdown scheme instead of an annuity. An annuity...

Final decision for daughter excluded from mum's Will

Alex Burch
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Final decision for daughter excluded from mum’s Will: Ilott v Mitson finally decided For background information see my previous post , dated 28 July 2015. This is the first time the provisions of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and...

Maintaining the status quo?

Alex Burch
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After a year of high profile, and often unexpected, celebrity deaths, Rick Parfitt of Status Quo died on Christmas Eve 2016. In the short time since his death, national media has reported that Rick’s wife apparently told newspapers that Rick changed...

The great Tax giveaway?

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When Chancellor George Osborne announced significant changes to Inheritance Tax (IHT) in last summer's Budget speech, the move had been much anticipated. But rather than simply raising the tax-free threshold for everyone, he announced a new allowance...

Challenge to a 12 million pound estate

Alex Burch
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An interesting Court case has hit the headlines this week continuing the trend for high profile contested Wills and probate cases causing a media stir. A widow (Mrs Vindis) of a very wealthy English businessman (Mr Vindis) is challenging his Will, from...

A Prince-ly inheritance?

Alex Burch
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So far, 2016 has taken its toll in terms of celebrity deaths, more recently the sudden death of music superstar Prince that has hit the headlines. Whilst Prince fans are devastated, what has animated lawyers is that (we believe) Prince did not leave a Will....

How does the area of Trusts and Trustees affect myself, and my business?

Deborah Lewsley
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In this fast changing business climate, more and more companies are coming into contact with Trusts and Trustees than ever before. This may be in the form of pensions and pension providers, investment companies or simply business models to enable assets to...

Inheritance, the Ostrich effect for many of us

Paul Belliere-Wilson
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Inheritance is something of a taboo subject for the majority of us, leaving us feeling uncomfortable when faced with talking about making a Will. A survey by Aviva revealed that 63 per cent of us have yet to discuss the subject with their families,...

The importance of being prepared

Stephen Duffy
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I recently had a situation arise with clients of mine which highlighted the benefits of having a Health & Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in place. Mrs Jones had been living with dementia for a number of years, and had reached the stage where...

Banks raise limits on how much can be released without probate

Rachael Bridges
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A recent decision made by a number of high street banks means that the amount that will be released from a deceased customer's account without a formal Grant of Representation has increased. However, this may not be the good news it seems at first sight....

Right to die

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There has recently been a landmark decision in the High Court regarding the withdrawal of life sustaining treatment for a terminally ill person. The patient's daughter made an application to cease artificial feeding and hydration, on the basis that her...

Solicitors for the Elderly report suggests most people risk leaving important decisions to strangers

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A recent report from Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) - a national organisation of lawyers who provide specialist advice for people planning for later life - suggests that the vast majority of people in the UK have made no provision for who...

Inheritance disputes fuelled by second marriages and excluding adult children from Wills

Stephen Duffy
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Inheritance disputes are no longer the preserve of the wealthy. The trend towards more inheritance disputes has been attributed to a number of factors, including the rise in divorce and second marriages, and a willingness on the part of adult children who...

How can I protect any gifted money I give to my son/daughter in helping them set up their first home if a cohabiting relationship fails?

Beverley Harrison
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It's not uncommon for parents to do everything they can for their children when it comes to setting up their first home, with those owning their own business often in a more comfortable position to help. However, what used to be a case of starting a...

Have you got a Will with HSBC?

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HSBC recently sold their Wills and Probate business to Simplify Channel Ltd, a company that is not regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The transfer was scheduled for the 30 October 2015. HSBC will cease in offering an executorship service...

Call for councils to regularly review care home residents' assets

Stephen Duffy
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The Care Act 2014 introduced a legal duty for each Local Authority to assess every self-funding resident of a care home in their locality, but this duty has since been delayed until April 2020. However, a recent decision by the Local Government Ombudsman...

Heiress repaid millions she gave husband after he cut children out of Will

Lyn Brisley
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Following on from our recent blog about an estranged daughter who won £163,000 in a landmark legal battle after challenging her mother's Will , a news story has hit the headlines today about an heiress who will not have to pay her husband such a...

Daughter Wins 163,000 pounds in Landmark Legal Battle

Alex Burch
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The recent news that an estranged daughter who had had no contact with her mother for 26 years is entitled to a third of her mother's estate, even though her mother had totally disinherited her from her Will, has raised the question of whether it's...

The care cost cap catastrophe

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The government has decided that its April 2016 flagship policy to cap care costs will now face a four year delay until 2020, stating that it cannot afford to make "expensive new commitments like this" at a time of austerity. In consideration of...

Where there's a Will...

Stephen Duffy
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It is estimated that around 70% of the adult population do not have a Will. Without a Will the law decides who will inherit your estate, who will look after any minor children, and who will administer your estate. Making a Will allows you to make all of...

Lasting Powers of Attorney - not just an optional extra

Sarah Westwood
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A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) for property and financial affairs is a document which allows you to appoint someone to make certain financial decisions on your behalf. This includes paying bills, managing bank accounts and selling your property, should...

Consider a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) for you and your business

Stephen Duffy
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When we plan for the future we must consider the possibility of becoming unable to look after our own affairs due to physical or mental incapacity. This can be even more significant if you own or run a business. A Property & Financial Affairs Lasting...

One day my lad this will all be yours

Alex Burch
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Proprietary Estoppel in the High Court In May 2015, the High Court decided that promises made by a father to his son can override the terms of the father's Will. This meant that the son got what he was promised by his father over a series of many...

The issue with Wills and step-children

Alex Burch
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With ever changing definitions of the traditional family unit, Will writers need to be on their guard as to how they prepare Wills for their clients. In a recent High Court decision, the Judge decided that the legal word "issue" in a Will (which...

Estate planning in a digital era

Duncan Jackson
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There have been numerous stories in the news in the news recently about the ownership of online and digital assets when someone dies. With more than 1 million mobile devices and more than 280 million social media accounts in the world, it's no surprise...

Becoming a Court appointed Deputy

Stephen Duffy
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In the absence of a Lasting Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Attorney, no one can make decisions relating to the assets or wellbeing of a mentally incapable person until a Deputy is appointed by the Court of Protection. A Property & Financial...

Quick compensation claims

Martin Herson
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Asbestos-related diseases can vary in severity from non-malignant disorders such as asbestosis to malignant Mesothelioma , an aggressive lung cancer which has a prognosis of just one to two years. These conditions are almost exclusively linked to asbestos...

The importance of Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs)

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It is probably true to say that we would all like to retain some level of control over our healthcare and finances should we ever become incapable, and not simply have those decisions taken out of our hands entirely. A recent case involving dementia...

Quickie divorce, fact or fiction?

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Recent high-profile celebrity separations have drawn a huge amount of attention to so-called “quickie divorces” which, according to the media, allow a couple to end their marriage just weeks after splitting up. But ask anyone with any personal...

Immediate Care Fees Plan

Stephen Duffy
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For those already in a care home, one funding option which could be considered is an Immediate Care Fees Plan. The plan is a contract between the resident of the care home and an insurance company that guarantees to pay a series of regular payments in return...

Pre and post nups look set to be binding in future

Lyn Brisley
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Pre and post nuptial agreements are likely to be given binding status, in a move that’s intended to give couples a more predictable outcome on divorce. The Law Commission’s report, Matrimonial Property Needs and Agreements, proposes that the...

Offshore company assets no longer safe in wealthy divorce

Roger Gurney
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Wealthy divorcing couples should keep an eye on this case, particularly where offshore companies are involved, after all seven of the Supreme Court judges ruled in favour of the English estranged wife of a Nigerian oil tycoon. Michael and Yasmin Prest, both...

Britons believe children should come first in divorce

Lyn Brisley
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An overwhelming majority of Britons believe that putting a child’s interest first or avoid conflict, are the most important factors to consider when going through a divorce, according to a survey from Resolution. According to the results, 78% say that...

Parents try to force Facebook to yield up sons digital estate

Stephen Duffy
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A couple from Wisconsin, USA, have obtained a Court order requiring Facebook to give them access to the accounts and online assets of their late son, but the social media company has so far refused to comply. Benjamin Stassen committed suicide in 2010,...