Duty of Care – Taking Will instructions

By | Taking instructions | No Comments

What considerations are there when taking will instructions? As part of our process, we will usually issue drafts to you via e-mail and ask that you respond to us within 10 working days. As soon as you have accepted the instructions from your clients you then have a duty of care to keep time delays to a minimum to produce the final document to them. The case White v Jones [1995] highlights this problem in relation to Wills. As a brief overview; the client, Mr White contacted his solicitor, Mr Jones, in relation to changing his Will.  His current Will had excluded his daughters. Mr White later reconciled his differences with his daughters hence wishing to change his Will to now make provision for them. Mr Jones, took Mr White’s instructions and more than 40 days later still without the Will being produced, Mr White died. The daughters took legal…

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Statutory Wills – What are they?

By | Wills | No Comments

Statutory Wills are made by the Court of Protection on behalf of an individual who no longer has the capacity to make a Will as defined by the Mental Capacity Act 2005. The capacity of the testator must be addressed when considering the need for the Court of Protection to make a Will on the testator’s behalf. There are several reasons why a Statutory Will should be considered alongside the fact that the testator lacks capacity. Some of these include: The testator does not have a Will A beneficiary in the current Will has died A beneficiary of the current Will has already received a substantial gift Tax planning The Court of Protection will request a great deal of information, including medical evidence to support the testator’s lack of capacity, to support their decision of making the Will in the testator’s best interests. The Court will be unwilling to accept an…

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Will Storage and Remote Attestation Forms

By | Will Storage | No Comments

A case of a lost Will can be very stressful whilst the testators’ family are already going through a difficult time following their loss, meaning a Will storage option should be offered to the client so the Will is kept in a safe place. WillPack are often asked if we offer Will storage. Unfortunately, we do not however, Will storage is available to you through the National Will Archive. As part of their standard service, the Wills are scanned into their system for easy access at a later date and they check that the Wills have been signed and witnessed correctly. Via you, the consultant, the testator(s) are then sent custody cards which provides a reference and contact details to retrieve the Will when required. Executor cards are also provided for the executors so they know where to find the Will. When WillPack issue engrossed Wills, we provide Remote Attestation…

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Disabled/Vulnerable Person’s Discretionary Trusts

By | Guardianship, Inheritance, Legal, Trustees, Trusts, Wills | 2 Comments

The Disabled/Vulnerable Person’s Discretionary Trusts These are useful trusts to use when your client has a child or another relative with a disability and who needs constant support. If this person inherits from a Will directly, this may affect what disability benefits they may receive. We can put the assets into a Discretionary Trust with the disabled beneficiary as the Principal Beneficiary. As with any other Discretionary Trust, there must be more than 1 appointed beneficiary. The main reason for this is because whenever a person in receipt of disability benefits receives an inheritance, the Local Authority will want to assess them. This means if they hold over a certain threshold (this can vary) the Local Authority can cut the benefits that person receives. If the estate of the testator is due to pay any IHT. This will need paying before the assets are passed into the Trust, at 40%…

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Introduction to Guardianship

By | Guardianship, Inheritance, Intestacy, Legal, Uncategorized, Wills | No Comments

Appointment of Testamentary Guardians The appointment of testamentary guardians is rarely considered by parent, but it is highly desirable that they should consider who should look after their children if both were to lose their lives while their children are under eighteen. The appointment of a testamentary guardian can only be made by a person with parental responsibility. What is Parental Responsibility? The legal definition of Parental Responsibility is the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent has in relation to their child and their property. This includes: Providing them with a home maintaining them Choices about their medical treatment How and where they are educated Deciding their name It does not include a duty to maintain the child financially, all parents have this duty regardless of whether they have parental responsibility. More than one person can have parental responsibility for the same child at the…

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Could Changes to the Taxation of Pilot Trusts Affect You?

By | Food for thought, Legal | One Comment

Following the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement at the end of 2014, legislation is now going through parliament which aims to limit the use of ‘pilot’ trusts. Pilot trusts are an accepted form of Inheritance Tax (IHT) planning, commonly used to reduce the impact of the special IHT regime which applies to trusts, known as the ‘relevant property regime’. If a trust falls within the relevant property regime, the assets do not form part of the estates of any of the beneficiaries of the trust. Instead, there are potential charges to IHT when capital leaves the trust by way of outright distribution (an ‘exit’ charge) and on each tenth anniversary of the creation of the trust (a ‘periodic charge’). The calculation of these charges is complex but, broadly, they only apply to the extent that the trust fund exceeds the available nil rate band (currently a maximum of £325,000) at the time…

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