What is estate planning?

Estate planning is simply the process of putting in place measures to make sure that your assets go to the people you want them to after your death and to ensure that the people and organisations you care about are provided for and your assets are given to the people you want to benefit.You can also include methods of reducing inheritance taxes payable on death too with sensible use of one or two techniques.And for parents, practical estate planning...

Are children entitled to inherit from their parent’s estate?

Are children entitled to inherit from their parent’s estate? Modern families are often complicated things and one recent case to come before the court illustrates this perfectly and indeed shows why it is important to make a Will and keep it up to date.In the case of Ubbi V Ubbi, a claim was brought on behalf of two children against a gentleman’s estate where he had made a Will but not updated it in recent years and it is fair...

How long after probate does it take to receive an inheritance?

How long after probate does it take to receive an inheritance? For beneficiaries of small, simple estate probate can take as little as 3 months and then it is simply a matter of the executor or administrator handing over the inheritance.Unfortunately for many estates, things aren’t quite so simple.There are lots of duties for the executor to perform and some of these can take a considerable amount of time and often be out of their hands. Need to write a Will?...

What is a caveat?

Wills – What is a caveat? A caveat is a legal device used to give notice that there is a concern about the validity of a Will.The effect is simple – it stops any executor from obtaining a grant of probate and thus stops distribution of the estate.Placing a caveat is simple and theoretically is very cheap with only a £20 fee but the consequences can be far-reaching and very expensive as we will see in this article. How do you...

Can you contest a Will?

Can you contest a Will? There are five main reasons for contesting a Will and these are;#1 Not complying with the Wills Act 1837#2 Undue influence or coercion#3 Lack of testamentary capacity#4 Lack of knowledge and approval#5 Forgery or fraud.#6 Reasonable financial provisionIn this post, we’ll go through each of these in turn and also let you know what happens when you contest a Will. #1 Not complying with the Wills Act 1837 The Wills Act 1837 is the legal underpinning of...

Who should be a legal guardian for your children?

Should you choose a legal guardian for your children? Guardianship is a really important aspect of making a Will and something that you shouldn’t enter into lightly.It is your way of ensuring that your children will be looked after by the people you nominate and who are happy to take on the responsibility.So, what exactly is a guardian and how do they differ from Godparents?  How do Guardians and Godparents differ? Godparents as part of the Christian faith have a specific responsibility...

What is a lasting power of attorney?

Lasting Power of Attorney – what is it and do you need one?Power of Attorney is one of those things that most people have heard of but unless they have had to deal with them are a bit of a mystery.In this post, we’ll run through what a lasting power of attorney actually is and some situations where they may be useful.It’s important to note that the law is different between Scotland and England and Wales. This post relates...

Inherited a car? What you should do next.

Inherited a car? What you should do next.One of the things that surprises people when someone passes on is the sheer amount of practicalities that have to be dealt with.One of the most common is what to do if you inherit a car.Hold on a moment…The executor will have to do a couple of things before you can take possession of a car.The first thing to confirm is that the vehicle is actually owned by the estate.The majority of...

What are the benefits of putting life insurance policy into a trust?

What are the benefits of putting life insurance policy into a trust?There are some significant benefits to putting a life insurance policy into a trust (called “written in trust”) and it’s important to consider whether this is an option for you.When you take out a life insurance policy you are naturally thinking of your loved ones and it is a fair bet that you would be hoping that the money would be quickly distributed and in full.However, a life...

What happens if a gift in my Will fails?

What happens if a gift in my Will fails?When we make a Will, we often think that our wishes will be carried out exactly as we expect but life is rarely straightforward and there can be circumstances where gift in a Will can fail.So, before you make your Will it is a good idea to think about the potential circumstances where your gifts could not work out the way you intended.No longer owning the giftThis is a pretty common...