Why it is important to get proper legal advice?

Why it is important to get proper legal advice and why you should exercise caution when using the internet for legal advice. In a world where so much information is available freely online, do you still need the advice of a lawyer? A simple Google search of your legal problems can provide thousands of relevant articles, and perhaps a friend has shared information on social media that seems like the answer you are looking for. However, we would always recommend seeking proper legal advice - it could even save you thousands…

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…

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 long does it take to buy a property? Everything you need to know.

Buying a new home is exciting, but you may be anxious about how long the process could take from start to finish. Understanding how long you can expect to wait before you get the keys to your new home can help you to plan both practically and financially. In this post, we set out an estimated duration for each stage of the conveyancing process. Finding your new home (8-12 weeks) Finding your ideal property is possibly the most difficult stage to allocate a time limit as this really depends on…

Coronavirus and residential tenancies – update on eviction procedure

The Government has published an update as to how residential possession matters will proceed following the lifting of the ban on eviction which is set to come to an end on 23 August 2020. Claims have now been split into 3 categories. Stayed claims brought before 3 August 2020 Stayed Claim brought before 22 August 2020 New claims brought after 22 August 2020. No stayed claim will be restarted until a reactivation notice is filed with the Court and served on the Tenant. This will enable the matter to be…

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…

The life stages that go into legacy making

Record property values and family structures make inheritance planning a growing issue yet research1 shows that more than half of adult in the UK do not have a Will in place, with the figure rising to almost 60% among parents. The researchers also found that of those who had made a will, many who had experienced a significant life event, such as marriage or having a baby, had not done anything to update it. But having a will setting out what you wish to happen for your children is the…

What is the Residential Nil Rate Band? (RNRB)

From 6 April 2017, the Residential Nil Rate Band (RNRB) will be available for residences inherited by direct descendants (see below) in addition to the existing Nil-Rate Band (NRB) which is currently £325,000. From 2017/18 the RNRB will be phased in, at this point the sum which will be able to be claimed is £100,000, increasing by £25,000 each year until 2020/21 when it reaches £175,000. The current rate of NRB will be frozen at £325,000.00 during this period. As with the NRB, any unused RNRB can be transferred to…

Lasting power of Attorney

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a way of giving someone that you trust the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf if you lack mental capacity or if you no longer wish to make decisions for yourself. There are two types of LPA, for financial decisions and for health and welfare decisions. The criteria for someone wishing to make an LPA for both types of LPAs are quite straightforward, they must be any person aged 18 or over and the person wishing to make an LPA must…

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