Private Client

  • Administering Estates - Procedures and Pitfalls

    A recent survey has shown that more than one in ten people who are thought to have died intestate (i.e. without leaving a will) may actually have made a will and that a similar number of those who leave a will which is initially believed to be the last will...
  • Asset Valuation Problems - Chattels

    When dealing with an estate, an increasing problem for executors is the valuation of assets in the form of the chattels of the deceased. In probate terminology, chattels are the ‘everyday’ assets such as furniture and ordinary possessions, as...
  • CGT and Shares in Estates Valuation Trap

    In the UK, there are quite generous exemptions from Inheritance Tax (IHT) which apply to business assets. One problem with making use of such exemptions is the effect this may have on the subsequent value of the relevant assets for Capital Gains Tax (CGT)...
  • Changing Wills For Benefit

    A will expresses the final wishes of the deceased person and it is commonly thought that a will is irrevocable after death. However, provided everyone agrees, it is normally possible to vary a will provided that the application is made within two years of...
  • Cohabitees and Death - Who Can Claim?

    When one member of a cohabiting couple dies, it can come as an unpleasant surprise to the bereaved partner to discover that not all of their late partner’s estate will pass to them in the absence of a will. It is only when this happens that many people...
  • Dealing With an Insolvent Estate

    One of the rules that applies to the administration of estates is that whilst a person appointed as executor under a will can refuse to accept the appointment, once an executor ‘intermeddles’ in the estate, in principle he or she cannot then...
  • Death and Taxes - Issues to consider after losing a spouse or partner

    The loss of a spouse or partner can be an overwhelming experience. Alongside the acute sense of loss, there is the burden of practical issues: registering the death, arranging a funeral, notifying people. And sometimes, unfortunately, as everyone struggles...
  • Estates - What Happens if Values Fall?

    One of the biggest problems now facing executors is that assets can fall in value as well as increase, which can mean that the value of an estate for Inheritance Tax (IHT) purposes is greater than the market value later on. Where assets are disposed of at...
  • Freud, Psychoanalysis, and Dementia

    By William Tyler MBE First delivered at The Freud Museum, London, on 23rd October, 2014   Sigismund Freud’s name is instantly recognisable by large swathes of the population some three quarters of a century after his death. The phrase...
  • Heir Hunters - Take Advice!

    Until the recent publicity afforded by television shows on the subject, many people might not have realised that ‘heir tracing’ companies exist, let alone that they research ‘promising’ estates by looking at public records and then...
  • Helping Your Executors

    Being an executor is a demanding job at the best of times and a task that is made all the more difficult when the deceased has not given proper thought to the problems their executors will face. Here are some of the things you can do to make sure your...
  • How do I Leave Money to Charity in My Will?

    It's easy to include a charity in your will, but you should always consult your solicitor before you write or change your will  to be sure it reflects your exact intentions and that you understand its implications. Before you call your adviser,...
  • How do I apply to become a Court of Protection Deputy?

    If a family member or friend loses the ability through mental incapacity to make their own decisions you can apply to the Court of Protection for permission to make decisions for them.  To apply, you will need a doctor’s certificate to...
  • Legal Matters for Court of Protection Deputyships

    You’re clear on what your responsibilities are as a Deputy, but how do you make sure that the assets and well-being of the mentally incapacitated person you’re acting for are protected from the impact of any bad decisions made on their behalf?...
  • Making Your Will - Guidance

    It is easy to keep putting off making a will. However, having a valid will is the only way to guarantee that your estate goes to who you want it to when you die. If a person dies having made a will, the distribution of their estate is normally...
  • What Happens on Intestacy?

    The Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Act came into force in late 2014. It changes intestacy law in England and Wales to allow a deceased's estate to pass to their widow, widower or civil partner absolutely where there are no children. The...
  • What are Advanced Decisions?

    Anyone over eighteen-years-old is free to draw up an ‘advance decision to refuse treatment’. This is a document that records the person’s wishes as to the medical treatments they would refuse in the event that these treatments were offered...
  • What happens when I become a Court of Protection Deputy?

    You’ve gone through the application process and have been successfully appointed by the Court of Protection as a Deputy for your mentally incapacitated loved one. So you can now legally make decisions on their behalf. But what happens now? When you...
  • What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

    In October 2007 there was a fundamental change on the way in the way powers of attorney are created and the powers that they can give attorneys, when the Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) was replaced by the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). EPAs are no longer...
  • What is a Trust?

    A trust comes into effect when a ‘settlor’ places money, land or other assets in the hands of trustees. The trustees are the legal owners of the property but are obliged to hold and manage the property for the benefit of a person or a group of...
  • What is the Court of Protection?

    An office of the High Court, with power to make decisions in relation to the property and affairs, health care and personal welfare of adults (and children in a few cases) who lack mental capacity to make these decisions for themselves. The Court also has...
  • What kind of support and guidance will I receive as a Deputy?

    You’ve been appointed by the Court of Protection to act as a Deputy for a mentally incapacitated person and you understand what your duties and responsibilities are - but what happens if you feel overwhelmed by these responsibilities? How will the...
  • What to consider when buying a property subject to an Assured Shorthold Tenancy?

    So you’ve identified an investment property you want to buy, but it already has a tenant living there on an assured shorthold tenancy. How do you safeguard your rights over the property as a new owner and landlord? If the tenant was originally...
  • When not to make decisions as a Deputy

    You’ve been appointed as a Deputy under the Court of Protection and you’re clear on the decisions the Court order allows you to make on behalf of the person who lacks capacity. But how do you know when not to make a decision? And in what...
  • Who can be appointed as a Court of Protection Deputy?

    Deputies are usually friends or relatives of the person who needs help to make their decisions. Depending on your relationship with that person and what decisions you are requesting to make on their behalf, you might need the Court’s permission to...
  • Who is Under the Influence?

    The law recognises that some people (such as solicitors or accountants) have a high degree of influence over other people (their clients), since clients hire their professional advisers for the specific purpose of giving advice. However, it is not normally...

Latest News