Services
People
News and Events
Other
Blogs

Wills, Trusts & Probate

Talk Money Week

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

Talk Money Week takes place between 8 November to 12 November.  The awareness week is an opportunity for people to have more open conversations about their finances with their loved ones. It is important for people to be open and have frank...

TV drama highlights the importance of LPAs

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

I recently watched Channel 4’s “Help” starring Stephen Graham who played a resident at a fictional care home, Bright Sky Homes and Jodie Comer who played a carer working at the care home. The drama showed how COVID-19 was spread in care...

Can I leave gifts to charities in my will?

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

Did you know that one of the best ways to support charities is to leave a legacy to them in your will?  Charities often rely on donations made under a deceased’s will to keep the charity going financially, as most charities do not receive lottery...

Prince Philip's will to be kept a secret for 90 years

Lisa Cox
  • Posted
  • Author

When someone leaves a will, it becomes a public document available for anyone to access when a grant of probate is issued.  Grant of probate A grant of probate is a document which gives the personal representatives the authority to deal with the...

Licence to gift! Daniel Craig will not be gifting his estate

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

Daniel Craig has recently made the news, as he has commented again that his children will not inherit his £117 million estate when he passes away. His philosophy is “get rid of it, or give it away before you go”. Daniel, along with many...

Government's plan to modernise lasting powers of attorney

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

The government has recently announced that they are looking to make changes to the ways lasting powers of attorney are created.  What are lasting powers of attorney? Lasting powers of attorney, or LPAs, are legal documents that allow you, as the...

Britney files for father to be replaced as conservator

Lisa Cox
  • Posted
  • Author

As an update to my previous blog about Britney Spears’ conservatorship which can be found here (Britney Spears conservatorship and how this works in England (birkettlong.co.uk) , Britney’s lawyer has officially filed for her father to be...

Loss of inheritance due to parents not being married

Amanda Smallcombe
  • Posted
  • Author

Actress Elizabeth Hurley’s 19-year-old son, Damian Hurley, will not receive any inheritance from a trust fund established by his grandfather, Peter Bing, as she was not married to his late father, Steve Bing, who died in June 2020. Background of the...

An Ageing Population - Lasting Powers of Attorney

Emma Greenland
  • Posted
  • Author

Due to the covid-19 pandemic there have been a greater number of deaths than in more recent years and combined with a falling birth rate since 2015, we have a decreasing population for the first time in 45 years! If this pattern were to continue, we would...

Lasting Powers of Attorney - registration delays

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) announced that severe delays in processing Lasting Powers of Attorney applications are due to social distancing rules limiting the number of people in the office. The OPG has stated that once the court fee is received,...

Don't wait until your divorce is final to update your will

Claire Read
  • Posted
  • Author

Bill and Melinda Gates have announced that they are filing for divorce after 27 years of marriage. I very much hope that Melinda and Bill have an amicable divorce but for a large proportion of couples, divorcing can be a stressful and acrimonious...

Leaving specific items to loved ones in your will

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

You may have watched a recent episode of the BBC One show, the Repair Shop, where a lady was stunned after finding out a painting that had been passed down to her by her grandparents, was one of the earliest paintings of King Charles II. Often family...

Reviewing your will: time for a Spring clean?

Jess Birch
  • Posted
  • Author

After what feels like a very long winter, especially this year due to the pandemic, it is great to see that Spring is finally here! Longer days, brighter colours and new flowers. For many, this also means that it is time to have a Spring clean. If you are...

Providing your loved ones with financial security

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

It has recently been reported that when the Queen Mother passed away, she left a substantially larger amount to Prince Harry than Prince William in her will. The Queen Mother based her decision on Prince Harry’s financial future. She thought that he...

Why Kate Garraway is unable to make decisions for Derek

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

Kate Garraway’s situation regarding her husband, Derek Draper, and his battle with COVID-19 has hit the headlines several times over the past year.  Derek has been in hospital struggling with the long-term effects of COVID-19 for over a year....

Modern Inheritance Tax: protect your family

Tim Ogle
  • Posted
  • Author

Modern Inheritance Tax (“IHT”) dates back to 1894 when the government introduced Estate Duty, a tax on the capital value of land. It was designed for the rich, a way of preventing rich parents from passing on wealth to rich children. It is now...

Could you be entitled to an unclaimed estate?

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

If you pass away without leaving a valid will and no known family to inherit your estate, then your estate by law passes to the Crown as ownerless property. Ownerless property is often referred to as “Bona Vacantia”. If you have ever watched...

Border collie inherits $5 million!

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

Bill Dorris, a wealthy American businessman passed away, leaving a valid will, which placed $5 million in trust for his beloved dog, Lulu! Bill was unmarried with no children and his love for the 8 year old border collie shone through when he executed his...

Why the younger generation need a will

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

Anyone over the age of 18 can make a will, as long as they have sufficient mental capacity to do so. So why is there a stigma attached to making a will so young? People do not like thinking about death and especially about their own passing, but it is...

Options for paying for care fees

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

Many people find it tough to hear that in most cases there is no getting away from the fact that you will have to pay for your own care needs. You work hard your whole life and then when the time comes and you need care assistance, your assets can easily be...

Do I need to make a new will if I remarry?

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

Many people do not know that if you get married, this automatically revokes your last will prior to the marriage.    To ensure that your assets pass in accordance with your wishes, you will need to update your will once you remarry. ...

Lifetime cap on care costs

Claire Read
  • Posted
  • Author

At last some good news. Drum roll please …   The Government has confirmed that it will incorporate a lifetime cap on care costs as was recommended in a report by Andrew Dilnot in 2011.   What does a lifetime cap on care costs...

Online portal for lasting powers of attorneys

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

If you have registered lasting powers of attorneys (LPAs) in England and Wales after 17 July 2020, the Office of the Public Guardian has released a new online portal whereby the donor and attorneys can access online information regarding the LPAs. Click...

As an executor, how am I meant to pay inheritance tax?

Katie Hayden
  • Posted
  • Author

As Benjamin Franklin once said, ‘in this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.’ Generally speaking, inheritance tax (IHT) is payable on the estate of someone who has died, and this is often a big concern for Personal...

Appointed as Property and Financial Affairs Attorney

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

Appointed as Property and Financial Affairs Attorney – what now? Often many attorneys appointed under a lasting power of attorney (“LPA”) do not take up an active role straightaway and so may not know what to do when the time comes to take...

Wills - It's not too late to make that new year resolution

Chloe Hammond
  • Posted
  • Author

During the first national lockdown in 2020 there was a 30% increase in the demand for wills. However, nearly two thirds of the UK population still do not have a valid will in place. A will is an important document as they allow you to choose who benefits...

Giving your inheritance to charity

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

Caroline Flack’s mother has recently announced that she will be varying the terms of Caroline’s estate. This will mean several charities will inherit her fortune. Caroline tragically took her own life earlier this year and passed away without...

The gift of money at Christmas

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

Christmas! Yes, that is right, I am thinking about Christmas already! This has been an unusual and unforgettable year and no doubt Christmas 2020 will also be one people will not forget.  At a time where families come together (hopefully, if the...

Nurse arrested for trying to care for her mother

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

A retired nurse, Ylenia Angeli, has recently been arrested after she removed her mother, aged 97, from a care home on the evening before England went into another lockdown.  Ylenia commented stating that she took “drastic action” due to not...

Living with dementia through Covid-19

Ben Parmenter
  • Posted
  • Author

There are currently around 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, and about 120,000 of those live alone. Life has been difficult for all of us recently. However, living alone with dementia must be even more lonely, particularly if that person has hardly...

Virtual wills temporary law change

Rianna Billington
  • Posted
  • Author

A statutory instrument (SI) is due to come into effect at the end of this month. This allows wills to be witnessed virtually in England and Wales. Originally announced in July, the new measure temporarily amends the Wills Act 1837 to allow the witnessing of...

Covid-19 - virtual will signings are now valid

Caroline Dowding
  • Posted
  • Author

The global COVID-19 pandemic has meant we have had to adapt to new ways of doing things in many areas of our lives, and making a will is no different. The existing rules of making a will The formal requirements for making and executing wills are contained...

Woman forged mother's will

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

The Nottingham Crown Court has announced recently that a deceased’s daughter, Susan Johnson, has pleaded guilty for fraud. After Susan’s mother passed away in 2016, Susan forged her mother’s will by imitating her mother’s signature...

Attorneys - are you allowed to accept a gift?

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

If you have been appointed as a Financial Affairs Attorney under a lasting power of attorney , then you have the responsibility to the donor to act in their best interests. In many instances, the donor appoints a family member or close friend to look after...

Can I leave anything in my will for my pets?

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

When considering making a will , people automatically think about what people or charities they would like to leave their assets to. But what happens to your pets? Pets are often thought of as one of the family and your pet deserves to be looked after in a...

15 events that should make you update your will

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

Anyone over the age of 18, who has mental capacity, can make a will . This outlines what will happen to their estate once they pass away. So long as a person has mental capacity, they can update their will as many times as they wish in their lifetime....

Latest figures show an increase in contentious probate cases

Amanda Smallcombe
  • Posted
  • Author

The latest figures released by the court show the number of contentious probate cases continue to rise. These include cases where the validity of a will is being challenged, and claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. It...

Pride 2020 - Planning for later life

David Feakins
  • Posted
  • Author

I am extremely proud to be working at a firm that supports Pride and the LGBTQ+ community as a whole. With everything that is going on in the world at the moment, I am sure that Digital Pride will be a welcome celebration in these uncertain...

Essex Digital Pride - LGBTQ+ friendly laws

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

As many of you will know, Essex Pride this year is being hosted online, due to the COVID-19 outbreak. During this unusual time, I think it is important to reflect on the laws that have come into force to provide equality to LGBTQ+ families. The Gender...

Claims under the Inheritance Act

Lisa Cox
  • Posted
  • Author

Hope for success fees in claims against estates under Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 Claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (“the Inheritance Act”) are usually made by disappointed...

Who helps you if you lose mental capacity?

Lisa Cox
  • Posted
  • Author

The Coronavirus outbreak has prompted many of us to think about the future. Specifically, who would help us if we lost mental capacity.  When someone has the capacity, they can make a Lasting Power of Attorney. This appoints attorneys to make important...

A warning to executors to comply with court orders

Lisa Cox
  • Posted
  • Author

The High Court has issued a warrant for an executor to be arrested. The executor failed to obey previous court orders requiring him to account for his dealings of his mother’s estate.  This case should be a stark warning to executors to comply...

Trustees: beware the personal risks you are taking

Claire Read
  • Posted
  • Author

Being an executor and trustee of a will or a trust is a very personal appointment. However, a recent case highlighted the importance of knowing what you are letting yourself in for and the personal risks that you are taking.  That may sound dramatic,...

Making a will - reforms on the way?

Tim Ogle
  • Posted
  • Author

We all know that it is important to put a will in place to make sure on our death, the executors we appoint are the ones entrusted to administer our estate as we wish it to be done, and the beneficiaries we wish to inherit our estate do so.  In short,...

Making a will during the Coronavirus

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

My clients tell me that the current situation has made them think about whether they need to make a will, or whether their current will no longer reflects their wishes. As a firm, we are following government guidance and are now working from home, but we are...

Making an emergency statutory will

Lisa Cox
  • Posted
  • Author

During the coronavirus pandemic, the Court of Protection are prioritising their workload. One type of work they are prioritising is statutory wills for people who have a very short life expectancy.  What is a statutory will?  These are wills...

Attorneys behaving badly - when you should seek advice

Lisa Cox
  • Posted
  • Author

My colleague Leah recently wrote a helpful blog about managing someone else’s financial affairs during isolation .  This is one of many helpful articles online providing guidance for attorneys and deputies about how to correctly fulfil their...

Arranging a funeral during COVID-19

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

The government has recently published guidance online for individuals who are arranging funerals. There are restrictions on how many people can attend funerals and the types of services that can now take place, in order to help prevent the spread of...

Deputies and attorneys must maintain their duties

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

The Office of the Public Guardian (“OPG”) has recently published guidance regarding deputies and attorneys’ duties in England and Wales whilst they are in isolation. The OPG have stated that deputies and attorneys must continue in their...

How to check if a COVID-19 patient has an attorney or deputy

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

The Office of the Public Guardian (“OPG”) has recently published guidance notes detailing how NHS staff or local authorities in England and Wales can check to see whether a COVID-19 patient has a Deputyship Order, lasting power of attorney or...

COVID-19: Government considers changes to the ways wills are executed

Amanda Smallcombe
  • Posted
  • Author

Currently, wills must be witnessed by two people. However, self-isolation can make this difficult, so the Government has announced that they are urgently look to change the requirements around witnessing wills. However, in the meantime, find out how you...

Increase of Capital Gains Tax allowance

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, presented the 2020 Budget on 11 March 2020 and announced that the government will be increasing the Capital Gains Tax allowance for the 2020/2021 tax year. What is Capital Gains Tax?  Capital Gains Tax is...

Are you an attorney for someone that is self-isolating?

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

The COVID-19 outbreak is causing an influx of attorneys having to take up their appointment under a Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney due to the donor self-isolating. A Property and Financial Affairs LPA is a legal document which...

Are you self-isolating and need your will updating?

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

We know the importance of having your affairs in order can provide you with peace of mind, especially at a particularly unnerving time. The government has issued guidance on social distancing measures and the country should be taking steps to reduce the...

McDonald's or KFC anyone?

Claire Read
  • Posted
  • Author

A Canadian court has recently upheld that instructions written on a McDonald’s napkin was a man’s last will and testament.  So, could you do the same? In theory, yes you can, provided that the will is properly signed by you and two...

3 things you didn't know about planning for elderly care

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

Despite the avalanche of information that’s readily available about later life planning, it can be a bit like searching for a needle in a haystack when it comes to finding the right solution for your family.   In a one-hour, one-off fee...

The importance of having a lasting power of attorney

Phoebe Trott
  • Posted
  • Author

Recent statistics confirm that 82% of people have not yet made lasting powers of attorney (LPA).  An LPA is a legal document that enables you to appoint one or more people as your attorneys. Attorneys are able to assist you in making decisions or can...

Why you need a will in your twenties

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

At 25 years old, this week I decided it was time to get my life admin in order and write my own will. Having previously worked in a Contested Probate team, and now working in the Wills, Trust and Probate team for over a year, really, I should have had a...

What will happen to your cryptocurrency when you die?

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

I recently read an intriguing BBC News article outlining the difficulties families have when accessing a deceased’s cryptocurrency. What is cryptocurrency? Cryptocurrency is a type of digital currency and does not have a physical form.  It is...

Have you considered leaving a legacy in your will?

Phoebe Trott
  • Posted
  • Author

Last week, after a devoted Norwich City FC fan sadly passed away, it became clear that he had left a legacy in his will to buy all the players a drink. Did you know there are different types of legacies which could be included in a will, depending on how...

First change in intestacy rules since 2014

Phoebe Trott
  • Posted
  • Author

The House of Commons ruled this week (15 January 2020) that the statutory legacy for partners under the intestacy rules will increase to £270,000 as of 6 February 2020. The update, which was due in October 2019, has been welcomed by the Law Society....

What are the impacts of living longer on estate planning?

Tim Ogle
  • Posted
  • Author

The International Longevity Centre (ILC) studies the impact in society of people living longer. According to the ILC, ageism is deterring older people from spending, to the detriment of local economies and, therefore, to the detriment of the economic...

Traditional funerals are a thing of the past

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

I recently read a report by the Co-op called “ The changing face of UK funerals ”. It was interesting to note that the UK is saying goodbye to traditional funeral services. 36% of the people surveyed stated that they would prefer for their loved...

An ageing population

Tim Ogle
  • Posted
  • Author

I have been saying for about 10 months that 53 is barely young middle-aged these days. I am now fortified in that view by the Office for National Statistics. They are asking whether 70 is the new age 65 given that, on average, a man aged 65 can expect to...

Election update - private client tax implications

Tim Ogle
  • Posted
  • Author

So, the first Winter election since 1974 and the first to take place in December since 1923, has returned a Conservative Government. But few would have expected a majority of 80, thanks to the Tories winning so many seats in the traditional Labour heartlands...

Using your gift allowance at Christmas!

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

With the countdown to Christmas getting closer, many people will have started their Christmas shopping. However, have you thought about giving specific Christmas gifts to your loved ones, to reduce the size of your estate for Inheritance Tax purposes? When...

Common misconceptions about solicitors and how they work

David Feakins
  • Posted
  • Author

A lot of people may feel concerned about the prospect of having to speak to a solicitor. It may be that you want to discuss a family issue, a dispute you are having with a neighbour or wanting to prepare a will. Solicitors are here to provide the support...

How green is your end of life option?

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

I recently read an article by the National Geographic which outlined the environmental toll on the different types of funeral options – burial, cremation and burial at sea etc. Cremations are on the rise due to baby boomers and the ever-adapting end...

The care system in crisis

Ben Parmenter
  • Posted
  • Author

I read an article in the Sunday Telegraph on 13 October 2019 about the real crisis in the care system. It informed readers that vulnerable people who have been paying for their care home but are no longer able to pay, and no longer responsible for their own...

Wills discovered at Lloyds Bank - too late for some

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

It has been reported by the Financial Times that Lloyds Bank has discovered approximately 9,000 wills in its database that they did not know they had. As a result, many deceaseds’ estates may have been distributed to incorrect beneficiaries! Lloyds...

Proposed increase in probate fees dropped

Phoebe Trott
  • Posted
  • Author

This week, the Secretary of State, Justice Robert Buckland, announced the controversial proposed increase in probate fees has been dropped. As a result, the statutory instrument which has been awaiting Parliamentary approval will be withdrawn. Theresa May...

What happens if you pass away without a will?

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

The Office of National Statistics has recently released statistics regarding the UK’s population. Did you know that the UK’s population has reached an estimated 66.4 million?! Interestingly, the statistics show that in 2018, there were 12.8...

Power of attorney abuses reach new high

Claire Read
  • Posted
  • Author

Power of attorney abuses have reached a new high, according to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) figures. This is quite disturbing, but in our view is not that uncommon and is a salutary lesson to ensure that you choose the right people to help you...

Potential Inheritance Tax axe by Chancellor Javid

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

Chancellor Sajid Javid certainly hit the news last week after he speculated that getting rid of Inheritance Tax was on his mind. What is Inheritance Tax?  Inheritance Tax is a tax incurred on a deceased’s estate. An estate is made up of all of...

Legalising electronic or digital wills

Bethany Wrightson
  • Posted
  • Author

Did you know it is estimated that around 40% of adults die each year without making a will?  Did you also know that even for those who do have a will in place, some dying wishes cannot be acted upon if formal rules have not been followed? This is even...

Amy Winehouse: Back to wills

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

The recent news of Amy Winehouse’s ex-husband trying to make a financial claim against her estate, eight years after her passing, provides a stern reminder about the importance of making a will. In 2011, Amy Winehouse died without making a will....

Inheritance tax: don't make quick decisions

Chloe Hammond
  • Posted
  • Author

Recently published newspaper articles have contained details of political parties’ proposals, in respect of overhauling Inheritance Tax . Inheritance Tax is a widely debated subject and one which is not often agreed upon. Inheritance tax is a subject...

Investing money as an attorney under an LPA

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has released updated guidance for attorneys who are appointed under a property and financial affairs lasting power of attorney (LPA). This is for the attorneys who are making investment decisions on behalf of someone...

Making a will: take advice before a river becomes an ocean!

Lisa Cox
  • Posted
  • Author

I was saddened to read last month that there is doubt as to whether George Michael had sufficient capacity to make his last will. He made the will in 2013, and it has been called into question on the basis of his possible consumption of drugs and alcohol....

Wetherspoons will dispute

Amanda Smallcombe
  • Posted
  • Author

A will made in a Wetherspoons pub, by a man leaving his estate to his taxi driver, has been declared invalid. Gary Mendez, 57, agreed to leave everything to his taxi driver, Dean Hughes. He made the will in his local Wetherspoons pub, over a pint, months...

Intestacy battle!

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

Step-sisters, Anna Winter and Deborah Cutler have gone to the High Court to fight over their potential inheritance after elderly parents, John Scarle and Ann Scarle died from hypothermia at their home in Leigh-on-Sea. John and Ann died without leaving a...

What happens to your online accounts after you die?

Lisa Cox
  • Posted
  • Author

In May, Rachel Thompson was victorious in her legal battle with Apple. The process was costly and lasted three years. Mrs Thompson requested access to her late husband’s Apple account that contained 4,500 photos and 900 videos. Apple refused Mrs...

Stan Lee's former manager charged with elder abuse

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

It has been alleged that comic book writer, Stan Lee, was a victim of elder abuse by his former manager, Keya Morgan. Morgan has been charged with five counts of elder abuse, including false imprisonment, forgery and fraud. Unfortunately, financial abuse...

Man murdered by his brother due to inheritance dispute

Amanda Smallcombe
  • Posted
  • Author

When you are disputing a loved one’s inheritance, emotions will often run high. However, it is rare that someone will take such drastic steps as to murder a sibling. Last week, Richard Martin was convicted of his brother’s murder and was...

R-E-S-P-E-C-T your estate planning!

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

My previous blog, “Aretha Franklin dies without making a will ”, concluded that Aretha’s family were left with the uncertainty of not knowing how her estate would be divided, as they believed that the soul singer had not left a will. ...

Mental capacity: OPG's safeguarding strategy

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has recently released its safeguarding strategy for 2019 to 2025. The OPG’s overall aim is to protect people in England and Wales who may not have the mental capacity to make certain decisions for themselves....

Pets in wills: A dog is for life - and after!

Lisa Cox
  • Posted
  • Author

We’ve all heard the famous slogan “a dog is for life, not just for Christmas” but what happens if your dog’s life is longer than yours? Pets are undeniably considered a member of their owner’s family, with recent reports...

Grant of Probate redesign!

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

The Ministry of Justice announced that from 4 March 2019 all Grants of Probate issued will be subject to a change in appearance, but what is a Grant of Probate? What is a Grant of Probate? A Grant of Probate is a legal document which is sealed by a Probate...

Probate fee increases delayed by Brexit

Katie Hayden
  • Posted
  • Author

New probate fees to obtain a Grant of Probate, which were expected to come into effect on 1 April, have now been delayed indefinitely. The delay has been attributed to ‘pressure on Parliamentary time’ resulting from the Brexit debate. The...

Probate fee hike and the impact on charities

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

In February, I blogged about the new probate application fee structure, which was set to be introduced on 1 April 2019. At that time, there was an increasing amount of speculation as to whether the increase would come into effect on time, due to the ongoing...

Women in law: Partner and Head of Department

Claire Read
  • Posted
  • Author

One hundred years ago, the Sex Disqualification Act was passed and this allowed women to become solicitors and barristers. The women that fought for this change were pioneers and, because of their determination, I have been able to undertake a job that...

Why it is important to have a will - even in your twenties

Lisa Cox
  • Posted
  • Author

I have to admit that until recently I haven’t considered making a will for another 10 to 15 years, which is why I wasn’t surprised to read that according to Prosperitas Financial Solutions, 87% of under 35s do not have a will in place. When...

Text message declared as deceased's will

Chloe Hammond
  • Posted
  • Author

Informal and digital ‘do-it-yourself’ wills, which do not satisfy the requirements of a valid will, are allowed to be admitted to probate in Australia and other jurisdictions. In the Australian case of Nichol v Nichol (2017), the deceased left a...

What are the duties of an executor of a will?

Leah Woodnott
  • Posted
  • Author

When a person dies, many people assume that their next of kin will deal with administering the deceased’s estate, but often this is not the case. When a person makes a will, they will appoint executors who will be responsible for carrying out the...

Legal aspects of assisted dying

Claire Read
  • Posted
  • Author

Assisted dying is a contentious issue ethically. However, it can also provide problems from a legal point of view.  Most will be aware of the possible criminal implications that can arise, but there are also issues regarding who inherits the...

Women in law: Inspired by Brockovich

Lisa Cox
  • Posted
  • Author

My career in law formally started when I joined Birkett Long in 2016 in the Court of Protection and Inheritance Disputes team. However, if you ask my mum, she would tell you that it started the day I watched the film about Erin Brockovich. Like many young...

Women in law: Paralegal to trainee solicitor

Cara O'Donoghue
  • Posted
  • Author

Cara O’Donoghue, a trainee solicitor in our Wills, Trusts and Probate team is currently in her second seat in her training contract. Throughout her years of studying, working as a paralegal, and now close to qualifying, she tells us about her journey. ...

The forgotten demographic - Those with no children

Claire Read
  • Posted
  • Author

A group called AWWOC (Ageing Well without Children) has been formed, with the aim to raise awareness of issues that can arise where vulnerable or elderly people do not have children, or children nearby, to help them with care or financial matters. ...

Would you challenge a loved one's will?

Amanda Smallcombe
  • Posted
  • Author

Research from Direct Line suggests that 1 in 4 people would challenge a will if they did not get what they think is fair. These figures are not surprising given there has been an increasing number of claims in the High Court over a deceased’s estate....