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…

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…

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…

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…

When the end of summer spells the end of marriage

September is traditionally a time of new beginnings, with children off to school or university and parents back to work, but for many couples, the end of summer can spell the end of marriage. Lawyers often talk about ‘divorce day’ in January and report a similar surge when summer holidays are over, and research1 looking at the timing of divorce petitions bears this out, with peaks after the summer and winter holidays.  The researchers suggest that while troubled couples may view holidays as a time to stand together for children…

Unmarried couples need to protect themselves

A landmark victory in the Supreme Court has seen a Northern Ireland woman win a share of her former partner’s pension, with commentators saying it’s likely to add impetus to the drive for greater rights for unmarried couples.  But, in the meantime, cohabitees should face up and formalise arrangements, rather than keeping their fingers crossed.   The victory of Denise Brewster involved her claim for a survivor’s pension after her long-term, live-in partner Lenny McMullan died suddenly, shortly after they had become engaged.  He had paid into Northern Ireland’s local…

Top FAQs from clients when making a will

Making a will is often overlooked and its importance underestimated. Regardless of the size of your estate you leave behind, a will can operate to dispose of it in accordance with your wishes. Below are a few of the most frequently asked questions from clients, answered by us, to hopefully shed some light on this often unspoken subject. I'm married with children - what happens to my estate if I don't make a will? If you have assets of less than £250,000, and die intestate (without making a will), then…

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