Protecting your digital assets

Protecting digital assets and memories is vital as the shift online continues  The value of our online lives is becoming immeasurable, yet few people are recording or protecting their digital assets.  Whether the financial value of investments or the emotional value of family photos, if there is no arrangement in place to hand on passwords, list accounts, or give authority for access, there is the chance of losing assets forever when someone dies.   And problems can arise even while people are alive and still in a position to access online…

A quick guide to Self-Assessment tax returns and coronavirus schemes

The coronavirus outbreak has had an unprecedented impact on businesses and individuals. If you are self-employed, you may be concerned about paying your Self-Assessment tax bill due on 31 January 2021. In this post, we look at some of your options and government schemes set up to help businesses during the pandemic. What if I have tax payments due? If you currently owe tax from previous years, but your business is having difficulties with cash flow, you can contact the HMRC coronavirus helpline (0800 024 1222). They may be able…

What investors, savers and homeowners should consider to protect their finances

At the beginning of the year, we could not fathom the impact the COVID-19 pandemic would have on the way we work and live - not to mention our savings, investments, and day-to-day finances. The UK is now in recession - the biggest on record. There have been monumental swings in the stock market and in the price of almost every other asset including property, bonds, oil, and gold. Companies have been forced to cut and cancel dividends, with many concerned that they may even go out of business altogether.…

How will my loved ones access my estate in England when I live overseas and non-UK domiciled?

With the changes of Brexit and an increasing number of people choosing to retire and live abroad, it is becoming very common that they keep their assets in England for a “rainy day”!  But how would their loved ones access the English estate when they are domiciled abroad? Much will depend on where the deceased was permanently living at the date of their death.  In order to administer an estate of a person, the Executors or Administrators would need to extract a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration from…

Lights, camera, action… signing your will goes live

Experts are warning against self-directed videos following the announcement by the Government that legislation is to be introduced in September to allow wills to be signed remotely using a live video link. While the coronavirus pandemic continues to pose a challenge for those wishing to have their wills drafted and signed, the announcement does not loosen any of the strict requirements, but instead adds extra complications. “Many people don’t realise the conditions that must be met if a will is to be valid,” explained Manal Fouad, wills and trusts lawyer…

How to deal with an estate as an executor during the coronavirus pandemic

Adjusting to the challenges caused by coronavirus has been difficult for all of us. However, for those dealing with the death of a loved one, the onerous obligations placed on executors may seem overwhelming. In recent years there has been an increase in the number of claims brought against executors by beneficiaries. Coupled with increased financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, it is vital that executors understand their duties and obligations to avoid claims. In this article we set out what is required of executors, and how…

Lasting Powers of Attorney – Is now a good time?

Mr G, a man in his mid-forties was married with three children.  He had his own business which was extremely profitable, and enjoyed his pastime of playing golf and swimming.  He would take flamboyant holidays about four times a year with the family, with at least two involving skiing in the French and Swiss Alps. When he came to see me to draw up his Will,  we discussed preparing  Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA’s).  “What are they”, he asked? I explained that a lasting power of attorney is a legal…

Wills and Lasting Powers of attorney – Is now a good time?

Coronavirus has caused a lot of chaos and it has been a very turbulent time for us all. What is evidently clear is that everyone is in the same situation and it is entirely natural to feel concerned about the impact on your family and your finances during this time. You can take control of the situation and your future in your own hands by drawing up a Will and making Lasting Powers of Attorney, to ensure that you have peace of mind and have secured the future of your…

Can I still create or amend a Will during lockdown?

Creating a new Will, or amending an existing Will is one of the hot topics during the Covid-19 lockdown, and it is very important that everyone makes the decision to ensure that their Will is up to date. But how do you create a new Will, or amend an existing Will during lockdown? The requirements for creating and amending Wills are contained in legislation that dates back nearly 200 years, to the Wills Act 1837. This Act requires that in order for a Will to be valid it must be…

Law society report 30% increase in demand for Wills

NHS workers fighting Covid-19 on the front line, together with the elderly and vulnerable, lie behind a huge spike in demand for will writing over recent weeks, according to the professional body for solicitors.  The Law Society says many firms have reported a 30% increase, as a result of worries about the coronavirus pandemic, but the lockdown and self-isolation are creating new challenges in getting the wills drafted and signed while still complying with legal requirements.  There has been a surge in people looking to set up powers of attorney…

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