How to Sign a Will During Coronavirus Lockdown

April 6th 2020 | wills and probate

The current COVID 19 crisis has lead people to review their circumstances and, as such, Private Client practitioners have seen an increase in the demand for Wills. This has been from a combination of people who had no Wills in place finally deciding to put their affairs in order and read more...

The Checklist- Getting your Affairs in Order

March 23rd 2020 | wills and probate

In light of the recent coronavirus outbreak, I have received several concerned calls from clients in relation to steps that they should be taking. I am not the alarmist type, and so have stressed the need to remain calm, however the virus has caused many people to take a look read more...

You Can't Write your Will on Loo Roll

March 19th 2020 | wills and probate

As I am sat here, at home, pondering the meaning of the Universe and trying to remember what the world looked like pre-Coronavirus (ah, halcyon days), I am moved to comment on our fascination with loo rolls.  I understand that the reason we started panic buying loo rolls has something read more...

The Importance of a Staple

February 11th 2020 | wills and probate

Who knew a staple could cause so many problems? When a professional drafts a Will, we generally arrange for them to be sewn with ribbon or bound. This not only looks nice but also makes it harder for clients to unsuspectingly separate the document.  Where it is apparent that a read more...

Probate Delays - Update

January 2nd 2020 | wills and probate

As any keen reader of our blog will have noted by now, there has been an ongoing debacle at the Probate Registries (part of Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service), which has resulted in substantial delays in issuing Grants of Probate. Perhaps mindful of the season, in November HMCTS announced read more...

A Scottish Connection

December 20th 2019 | wills and probate

Fun Fact! Did you know that you can make a Will at the age of 12 in Scotland? There are quite a few variations in the law when you head north of the border, and it is important to remember that Scotland is a separate legal jurisdiction. As such, careful read more...

8 Signs That Your Estate is Likely to be Contested

December 12th 2019 | wills and probate

Estate administration is a curious beast. On the one hand it is a legal exercise which can often involve complex issues of taxation and succession (amongst others). On the other, it a deeply personal process that often carries huge significance for both the person carrying it out and the close read more...

The Horror of Homemade Wills

October 31st 2019 | wills and probate

I have been seeing more and more homemade Wills in recent years. I will freely admit that, as a Probate Solicitor, these fill me with dread. This is because homemade Wills usually lack useful administrative provisions, or worse, contain clauses which are unworkable or open to challenge. I would never read more...

Probate Fee U-Turn

October 14th 2019 | wills and probate

I am delighted to report that the Government has now announced the formal scrapping of its proposed probate fee hike, or, as they put it:  "We will withdraw these proposals, and keep the current system while we take a closer look at these court fees as part of our annual read more...

Swedish Death Cleaning - All You Need to Know

October 1st 2019 | wills and probate

I have apparently arrived late to the game of Swedish Death Cleaning, a phenomenon which first garnered attention early in 2018 following the release of the book ‘The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning’ by Margareta Magnusson. Everyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one, and especially anyone read more...

A Quick Guide to Trusts

September 25th 2019 | wills and probate

The concept of trusts can be a difficult one to explain to non-lawyers. Most people know that they exist but have very little knowledge about how they operate or why they might be established. In recent years they have received a particularly bad rap as they have become associated with read more...

Probate Delays

August 22nd 2019 | wills and probate

In an effort to increase efficiency, the probate Courts introduced an all singing, all dancing new system earlier this year.  From a desperately inefficient 2 - 3 week wait for a Grant of Probate, Grants are now being issued in around 3 months..  Sadly, that's not a typo but fear read more...

What Happens If I Do Not Have a Will?

August 21st 2019 | wills and probate

A Will is a document, created by someone during their lifetime, which sets out what they would like to happen to their assets when they die. If you die without a Will, your estate passes under the rules of intestacy. There are several common misconceptions about what happens when someone read more...

The £1 Million Inheritance Tax Threshold - Is it Real?

August 14th 2019 | wills and probate

The concept of inheritance tax is fairly strange to our American cousins. In the UK, when someone dies, any amount in their estate above their available tax-free allowance is charged to tax at 40%. There are some exceptions to this rule, for instance if estates are passing to spouses or read more...

What is the Trust Registration Service?

August 13th 2019 | wills and probate

If you are reading this blog, chances are you already have some idea what the Trust Registration Service (TRS) is. Perhaps you are a trustee wondering whether you need to register with this service. Maybe you are thinking of setting up a trust, or have already set up a trust, read more...

Lifetime Gifting: A Salutary Lesson

July 31st 2019 | wills and probate

A friend of mine recently forwarded this article to me, asking what the legal position is in relation to gifts to children, and if parents have an ability to ask for their money back. In this scenario, a lady’s parents gifted her £100,000 to help her to buy her home. read more...

Holiday Home Owners Take Note: Brexit and Brussels IV

July 25th 2019 | wills and probate

This article will have specific relevance if you are a British National (even if not living in Britain) who has property in mainland Europe. This doesn’t need to be a holiday home, it could be (more or less) any other type of capital investment (cash, shares, your main residence, a read more...

DIY Wills – Great News for Lawyers?!

May 17th 2019 | wills and probate

A good friend of mine recently told me that she was moving home. She saw no point in needlessly lining the coffers of those fat cat lawyers, so was planning on undertaking all of the conveyancing work herself. I wholeheartedly endorsed her savvy approach. Of course, the above is a read more...

Probate Court Fees

May 3rd 2019 | wills and probate

What is going on with Probate Court fees? Anyone with any skin in the game will take a step back at this point, 1,000-yard stare fixed in the distance, and slowly shake their head.  For anyone who has managed to avoid the news for the past 18 months (well done read more...

Another Reason Never to Use Will Writers

April 25th 2019 | wills and probate

I was having Sunday lunch the other day with a relative when they announced that they would like me to witness their Will. Having been in the family now for some seven years I have to say that I was not a little disappointed that we had not been consulted read more...

The Importance of Reviewing your Will (Nil Rate Gifts)

March 19th 2019 | wills and probate

To get the legal jargon out of the way, this article concerns the making of ‘nil rate band gifts’ in Wills and the effect of an available transferable nil rate band on such gifts. In plain English, a nil rate band gift in a Will is, in most cases, the read more...

Mortgage Deposits and the Bank of Mum & Dad

March 14th 2019 | wills and probate

The cost of buying homes in the UK has escalated significantly in the past few years. However, house prices themselves seem to have stagnated –Most likely as a result of a concerted effort by the conservatives to curtail the buy-to-let market (by way of increased stamp duty and loss of read more...

Dangers of Will Writing Companies

March 13th 2019 | wills and probate

Lawyers are one of those groups of professionals that many of us really want to avoid. Our fear, not always unjustified, is that the visit will be painful. Painful physically (dentists, we’re looking at you) and painful financially. In the world of Private Client, which often involves difficult discussions about read more...

The Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme

October 4th 2018 | wills and probate

Allan Janes has recently become an accredited member of The Law Society’s Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme (WIQS). WIQS accredited firms are recognised by the Law Society as providing the highest standards of Will preparation and Estate administration by adhering to the best practice standards laid down by the scheme read more...
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