October 2014 saw the biggest changes in probate law’s history come into effect. While the overhaul meant no real difference to those with minimal assets, for the partners of those who died without making a will and who have more assets, it meant significant change. The change gave a surviving spouse the right to a much bigger share of their deceased spouse’s estate than was previously the case.
The value of our online lives is worth billions of pounds but many of these assets may never be passed on, as people are failing to record their digital worth.
Last week the government introduced a new scheme which will enable nearly 2 million people to claim for a refund on their registration fee for their Power of Attorney arrangements.
Did you know that less than 60% of the population have written a Will? It seems an astonishing figure and means that you may be one of those who haven't got around to it yet.
There can be no denying that a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) can be an extremely useful document. A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document which allows you to appoint people that you trust to make important decisions on your behalf if you become mentally or physically incapable of doing so for yourself.
This is a question that we are now frequently asked. With the possible introduction of significantly higher probate fees in May, it is likely that this will become an even more popular question.
To deal with a person’s estate it is usually necessary to obtain a Grant of Probate where the estate exceeds £50,000 in value and it may be required for smaller estates in some circumstances. The current fee payable to obtain the Grant of Probate is £155 if the application is made through a solicitor, or £215 if made personally.
An increasing number of families are unknowingly facing an inheritance tax liability, as the older generations have accumulated wealth and property values have increased.
Two charities have this month, been fined large sums of money for what has become known as ‘Wealth Screening’. This involves passing the personal information of charity supporters on to third parties so that those third parties can then identify those considered to be wealthy enough to approach for more money.
It is sadly a common myth that when someone dies without making a Will, it does not matter as the next of kin will get it anyway.