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Wills, trusts & probate

Payback time: New OTS report could spark higher CGT liabilities for taxpayers

What can be said about 2020? Terms such as pandemic, lockdown, social distancing and furlough became commonplace. We’ve all had to drastically change the way we live and work this year, and all governments have had to think creatively to put in place steps to try and protect their economies. Those steps have come at […]

Where there’s a will, there’s a way…

Traditionally, the practice of making a will or lasting powers of attorney has been somewhat ‘hands-on’, involving face-to-face meetings, signatures in the presence of witnesses, and so on. The coronavirus lockdown has abruptly put paid to this way of working, and with demand for wills and powers of attorney surging, we’ve been busy finding different, […]

Who will make decisions about your health and welfare, if you became unable to?

Simon Cook discusses the importance of health & welfare lasting powers of attorney. Though no-one likes to think about losing the ability to manage our own affairs, it can happen. It is important to put arrangements in place so that others can make certain decisions for us in case we become unable to do this […]

Contesting a will: a complete guide to contesting a will

Lawyers often refer to disputes around inheritance and challenging the validity of wills as ‘contentious probate’. On this page, we’ll focus on contesting a will; that is, exploring the reasons why a will may not be valid and how it can be legally challenged on this basis. Overview Click on the links on the table […]

New statutory legacy sum introduced – what does this mean?

In the latest update to intestacy rules (meaning the rules that take effect when someone dies without a will), the government has increased the fixed sum that partners with children are entitled to from their late spouse or civil partner’s estate. This sum is called the statutory legacy and it is supposed to be updated […]

Proprietary estoppel: challenging a ‘broken promise’

If you have been promised a gift or other property from a person that has died but this promise hasn’t been reflected in their will, a solicitor or lawyer may still be able to help you make a claim for it, using a legal principle called ‘proprietary estoppel’. What do lawyers mean by ‘proprietary estoppel’? […]

Succession planning for business owners

It is important that every business has a crisis plan in place to make sure that the business can operate without key individuals if needs be. This should amount to a review of not only their constitutional structure, but also of the personal affairs of the individuals involved. In family businesses in particular, it is […]

New intestacy rules favouring surviving spouse/partner take effect today

Reforms simplifying what happens when someone dies without leaving a will came into force across England and Wales today, 1 October. Why have they changed? The Ministry of Justice said the reforms bring the law into line “with the expectations of modern society” and will make the process easier to manage for relatives and friends. […]

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