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Private Client Category

27th September 2019
Anyone who has applied for a grant of probate will know the original will must be sent to the probate registry – but what happens if the original will cannot be found? If a copy of the original will exists, providing certain criteria are met it may be possible to obtain a grant of probate using that copy.  It will be necessary to obtain a…
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20th September 2019
Prospective clients looking for a law firm may find the Legal Services Consumer Panel’s Tracker Survey of 2019 interesting reading. The report is based on findings from a YouGov survey of more than 3,500 users of legal services over the last two years and so is a significant sample. The findings, in this time of comparison websites, that ‘shopping around’ is often a bad thing for…
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15th March 2019
In the course of my professional work, especially when advising clients about making or updating a will, I am often asked for advice on the best way of giving to charity. Charities carry out excellent work of great public benefit, nevertheless from time-to-time press reports highlight criticism of some charities, reflecting various concerns about day-to-day administrative matters or costs for example. So for anyone seriously…
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01st March 2019
In the Eighteenth Century, Benjamin Franklin reputedly said that in this world nothing is certain except death and taxes. His famous quote still rings true today – but are you one of the many people who do not have an up-to-date will? According to research, the number of people in the UK without a current will is at an all-time high, with more than half of…
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25th February 2019
Anecdotal evidence continues to point to a steady growth in the number of wills being challenged, although no clear evidence is emerging to explain this increase. Influential factors could include the increasingly complex nature of modern family structures, the economic climate, and perhaps an increasing reliance by some on the internet for legal advice. Unsurprisingly, any solicitor would suggest that a matter as important as…
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20th December 2018
During this season of goodwill, it is not unusual for our thoughts to turn towards the giving of gifts and, even in the current climate of austerity, it is possible to make significant gifts that will reduce your future Inheritance Tax (IHT) liability. The gifting rules are clear: everyone is allowed to make IHT-exempt gifts totalling £3,000 per year. One year’s allowance or part thereof…
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07th December 2018
Despite overwhelming opposition, the government looks set to introduce a substantial increase in probate fees that will take effect from April 2019. Aimed at the wealthiest members of society, this new stealth tax is expected to raise £145 million in its first year, with the proceeds being used to subsidise court reforms. Under the new rules, no probate fee will be payable on estates worth…
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28th September 2018
Attorneys and deputies currently have limited authority when it comes to making gifts from a protected party’s estate. By law, they can only make decisions for a person who is no longer able to do so and unlikely to be able to do so in the future. In general, gifts can only be made to a charity or to a family member, friend or acquaintance…
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06th July 2018
The death of a loved one is often distressing and matters are rarely improved if those tasked with administering the deceased’s estate do not perform the duties they are required, by law, to undertake. When you make a will it is important to appoint executors who you think are up to the task and will act fairly and honestly. Whether you choose solicitors as professional…
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21st June 2018
Research undertaken by the Macmillan Cancer Support charity revealed that nearly two thirds of adults in the UK have not prepared a will and, perhaps surprisingly, more than 40 per cent of those without a will are older than 55. Perhaps these worrying statistics are fuelled by a number of common misconceptions, for example the idea that wills are only for the elderly or wealthy…
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