The point of good note taking at any Will instruction

When I attend a Will instruction I always bring with me a standard alh legal document which covers all of the important questions I need to ask in order to make your Will. Sometimes this may seem like a lot of information but it’s key for understanding what you need and how I can best […]

CREATING A VALID WILL – THE ART OF WITNESSING

In order for a Will to be valid it must be signed by the testator and witnessed by 2 independent people as per section 9 of the Wills Act 1837. There are 3 specific criteria that need to be met (well 4 really but point 3 and 4 are wrapped up together for the purposes […]

Why you need a letter of wishes

Although not legally binding a letter of wishes can be included with your Will to help your executors and those left behind understand exactly how you want things to be left. This removes any chance of misinterpretation and means that assets such as jewellery or things with sentimental value are left to the people you […]

“I want you to have this”: deathbed gifts and their validity

We have all seem films or programmes or read stories of people who, on their deathbed, bestow a gift upon a loved one – outside of their Will and often quite spontaneously. I am often asked whether these deathbed gifts actually exist and, if so, are they valid. The simple answer to this is yes, […]

How do you own your property?

When you are writing your Will and deciding what happens to your property it is important that you understand how it is actually owned as this can affect what you can and cannot do in your Will. It could also mean that extra trusts have to be put in to protect loved ones from losing […]

The Virtual You

What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?  I am willing to bet that you reach for your phone or tablet and check emails and social media even before you make your morning coffee – am I right? These days so much of our lives are lived online- not […]

Why is document storage important?

When you create your Will or any other important document it is crucial that you then store it somewhere safe. There are several options for doing this: At home in a safety deposit box, filing cabinet or home safe Online storage (for copies) Storage with your bank or your solicitor Secure offsite storage When looking […]

Keeping your Will up to date

With 7 billion people in the world and 66 million in the UK you imagine that estate planners would be run off their feet writing Wills but the truth is that it is estimated over half the population of the UK don’t have a valid Will (the researched figure from a recent Royal London study […]

Pets in Estate Planning

From pussycats fluffy, to horses in fields From family pooches to bright parakeets We all have our wonderful, long living pets Who’ll need help if you’re gone, with food, shelter and vets So, make sure you are thoughtful of what will happen to them Should anything happen to you in the end Consider a gift, […]

Can You Disinherit Your Children?

Can You Disinherit Your Children

You might have heard about the case of Heather Ilot, who was awarded £164,000 from her mother’s estate after a decade of court battles even though the mother had written her out of her Will. There was much debate about this case in the news in July 2015 when the final decision was made that […]

Charles Dickens’ Will and Funeral Plan – His Final Plot

Charles Dickens’ Will and Funeral Plan - His Final Plot

Death is said to be the great leveller – even when it comes to the paperwork. The private life of Charles Dickens would have made the perfect plot for one of his own stories. His novels made him famous around the world, and he created some of the greatest characters of all time – including […]

What happens to your business when you’re gone? – Business Succession Planning

Business Succession Planning

At the beginning of 2015 there were an estimated 5.3 million small or medium sized businesses in the UK. It is therefore very important that business owners create an effective Business Succession Plan to protect their business and decide what happens to their business in the event of their death or should they no longer […]

What Happens When You Die Without a Will

What Happens When You Die Without a Will

Dying without a Will, also known as intestacy, can be a difficult and costly process. Your Will is a legally binding document and making a Will ensures that you control where your assets go when you die. Without a Will, the courts have to be involved and this is lengthy as well as costly. The […]