Wills and Probate: Giving to charity

It seems that people in the UK are a charitable bunch. In fact, last year, just under £3 billion was donated to charity in Wills, which is expected to rise to £3.4 billion by 2022. This figure means that 3.5% of all of the money left in estates is now comprised of charitable giving. What sort of charities benefit? There is certainly no shortage of choice when it comes to picking a charity, but there are four industries that receive more than the rest. The lion’s share (38%) goes to…

A simple business hack when preparing for the unexpected

Business continuity planning may range across various disaster scenarios - from cyber-attack to fire or flood - but can overlook the obvious, which is how the business will cope if the owner isn’t available to manage financial matters and decision making. A simple solution is for the business owner to make a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) and appoint someone to look after their financial affairs and act on their behalf, and shareholders, partners and sole traders can all benefit from appointing an attorney in this way. An LPA can…

Where can you be buried or scattered after your death?

Our final journey is one we all make alone, but it’s up to every individual to make sure those left behind are fully aware of the last wishes of the deceased. That includes how to deal with the body, whether that means cremation or burial. For years, bodies have been interred in designated graveyards, or cremated at the local municipal crematorium. The details are usually handled by the funeral home. Funerals are very expensive, with recent estimates putting the average price at around £4,000. This amount does vary, though, depending…

Soaring fees set deadline for executors and estate planning

Controversial court fees which have been branded a stealth tax on bereaved families are expected to prompt a surge in probate applications before the hike hits. The new banded fee structure will see the cost of probate soar by thousands of pounds for higher value estates. The current flat fee is £215 for a personal application for probate, or £155 when handled through a solicitor, but this is to be replaced by a tiered set of fees. While the fees have been reined in from the original proposal last year,…

Disinheritance – a quick guide to cutting someone out of your Will

The message is slowly starting to get through to the public – making a will is an important life decision that could save your relatives a great deal of heartache once you’ve gone. You can express your wishes, designate who gets what, and that’s the end of it. Or is it? Legal research has reported that the number of disputed wills has shot up in the last couple of years, from 116 in 2015 to 158 in 2016. That may not seem like a high number, but it represents nearly…

Can I leave assets to a child in my Will?

Clients tend to leave money under their Will for children or grandchildren. However, especially where the children are very young or the sums are large, we are often asked how this works in practice. Wills can be structured to prevent children from accessing large amounts of money at too young an age, whilst still ensuring that living expenses and education costs can be met. When should a child inherit? The answer to this will depend greatly in each personal situation. The ages and personalities of the children, asset values, and…

Interview with Ali Ebrahim of our Private Client department

Interview with Ali Ebrahim of our Private Client department Q:   Ali, how long have you been at Bowling & Co Solicitors? A:    I have been here at Bowling & Co for 9 years Q:   Is it true that a lot of adults in the UK do not have a Will? A:   That's correct, statistics show that 7 out of 10 UK adults do not have a Will. Q:   Is it difficult to make a Will? A:   No. We make it easy at Bowling & Co by sending a Wills…

Challenging times: what happens when family is cut out of the will?

High profile inheritance disputes follow celebrities and the super-rich as surely as night follows day, but such challenges are becoming increasingly common, whatever the values involved. Some of the names to have made headlines include the artist Salvador Dali, whose body was exhumed last year for a DNA test after a woman claimed to be his daughter and entitled to a share of his $1bn estate. Former South African President Nelson Mandela left the bulk of his estate to his current wife, but his late ex-wife Winnie challenged the will,…

Inheritance tax – could the rising value of houses push more ordinary people into the inheritance tax bracket?

The last thing you want to think about when you’re mourning the passing of a loved one is divvying up the estate (including the taxman’s cut). However, because of the rise in value of property in the UK, more people are finding that they fall into the inheritance tax bracket, and are getting hit with an inheritance tax bill they were not expecting. What is inheritance tax? It’s exactly what it says – a tax on the estate (including property, possessions and any money) of a deceased person. Thresholds are…

What does intestate mean for you?

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. In the cases where a Will is involved, the deceased’s Executors have the legal power to distribute their estate according to the deceased’s instructions. However, in the case of intestacy, the landscape is vastly more complicated. Who can Inherit? Under the rules of Intestacy, only…

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