Digital Assets

When planning their estate most people only consider their physical, tangible assets but in this increasingly digital age it is now advisable to also make allowance for your digital assets once you have passed. What are digital assets? There are 3 types of digital asset: 1. Financial: including online banking, Paypal accounts and online shopping accounts 2. Social: including social media accounts such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn profiles plus any email accounts 3. Accounts of personal significance: including photographs, downloaded films, YouTube accounts, computer games and avatars and even Itunes which may have a vast library of music on
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A Lasting Power of Attorney in Action

This week’s blog is a little different.  Instead of focussing on aspects of the law, I am going to share a personal experience I had last week My dad was taken into hospital last week.  Nothing life threatening but still an anxious time for all of us.  He is in his late 70’s and can be a little forgetful at times, but can’t we all. However, the impact of the illness as well as the stress of being in hospital led him to being confused and disorientated which, after speaking to the staff at the hospital, I found is quite
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Eastenders and Succession Planning

Usually at ALH Legal I write my own blogs about topics I think will interest my readers and clients but sometimes I read a blog that perfectly sums up what I’d like to say and this is just one such blog courtesy of the Society of Will Writers. So thank you to the Society of Will Writers – whom you can follow HERE and I hope you enjoy reading! What does Eastenders have to do with Succession Planning? Since the cast of Albert Square’s award winning soap EastEnders hit our screens in 1985 viewers have been hooked on its plots and
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Yabba-Dabba-Doo! Why make a Lasting Power of Attorney

Did you ever wonder what would have happened to Wilma and Pebbles if Fred had got hit on the head by a wayward dinosaur or a falling rock and lost capacity? A lot of people believe that as his spouse Wilma would automatically have control of finances or decisions- especially if a joint bank account for all their clams existed; or that Pebbles could take control if she were old enough. However, unfortunately, that is simple not true. Under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 it is stated very clearly that a spouse, child or other person can look after the
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There’s no such thing as average…

As a co-habiting couple, you inherit nothing from each other without a WilI… In the UK there is no such thing as an average family. The 2.4 nuclear idea is no longer the norm and statistically there are more than 6 million co-habiting couples, with 42% of marriages ending in divorce and 2nd and 3rd marriage becoming common place it means we have an exciting and embracing new definition of the word ‘family’. What is a co-habiting couple? For the sake of this blog a co-habiting couple is two people who opt to live together outside of marriage or a civil partnership
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In consideration of looking after your Will

Congratulations! You have planned your estate and written your Will, so where should you keep it? Most people will just file the documents away and hope that a) someone will find them on the occasion of their death and that b) they are not lost in a fire/flood. To ensure the safety of your documents, why not use secure Will storage? When considering Will storage there are two main factors that you need to consider: 1. How secure your documents are; and 2. How easy they are to access in an emergency Of course, there are a number of options
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A FLIT based Fairy Story

If you are on your second marriage with children from a previous relationship then I have a story for you… Once Upon a Time in a Land Far Far Away Cinderella and Snow White waited with trepidation as they watched their father marry the wicked step mother (I mean deep down she was a lovely woman and ultimately, they had a strong and happy relationship but that kind of ruins my story). As time went by the King started to think about the future- his future, his mortality and the future of his wife and daughters. As princesses both Cinders
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Funeral costs are on the up…

Talking to our families about death and funerals is always emotional.  But as money expert Martyn Lewis says – this is just because they love us. There are 2 reasons why we should all plan our funerals in advance: With funeral costs rising far in excess of the annual rate of inflation and almost 10 times faster than the cost of living (according to the Sun Life cost of dying report 2016) it is an unfortunate fact that, for many families, budgeting for a funeral by traditional means may not be sufficient to cover the cost. Planning a funeral in
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Can You Disinherit Your Children?

You might have heard about the case of Heather Ilot, who was awarded £164,000 from her mother’s estate after a decade of court battles even though the mother had written her out of her Will. There was much debate about this case in the news in July 2015 when the final decision was made that this could be the end of testamentary freedom, i.e. the freedom to choose who your money goes to after your death. This is not the case. In this specific case, there were particular circumstances that led to the money being awarded to the daughter by
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Getting Married? What Happens to Your Will? – The “In Contemplation of Marriage” Clause

You have made your Will and have decided how much each of your children will receive in the event of your death and have also favourably considered a few friends and some charitable causes. And then you decide to get remarried. What happens to your Will? The general rule is, that when you get married your Will becomes invalid. This means that should you die you are intestate, i.e. without a Will and only the rules set out by the government will apply to your estate. These rules are very strict and will only pass your assets on to blood
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Planning on Setting Up Lasting Powers of Attorney? There are New Forms

In a previous article we have discussed why someone would want to set up Lasting Powers of Attorney as well as a few basic types of LPAs. (What is a Lasting Power of Attorney and why do I need one). We have also discussed the importance of LPAs for Business in the article Business Lasting Powers of Attorney – could your business run without you? In July 2015, the Office of the Public Guardian, who deal with Lasting Powers of Attorney, introduced new forms to replace the existing forms, which were seen as difficult to use. The old forms could
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Flexible Life Interest Trust – An Ideal Solution for Blended Families

A Flexible Life Interest Trust is very useful for blended families, where the testator is concerned about their partner leaving assets to future children or step-children after their death. It can also be used to potentially reduce inheritance tax. As it is New Year and we all need cheering up – here is a fairy story to illustrate my point: Snow White’s father (Mr White?) realises he made a mistake by marrying his second wife. He wants her to be comfortable after his death, but does not want her to inherit his £5million estate. In his Will, he places all
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Charles Dickens’ Will and Funeral Plan – His Final Plot

Death is said to be the great leveller – even when it comes to the paperwork. The private life of Charles Dickens would have made the perfect plot for one of his own stories. His novels made him famous around the world, and he created some of the greatest characters of all time – including one of the most familiar fictional Christmas characters – Ebenezer Scrooge. Dickens died aged 58 in 1869, a very wealthy man – his estate worth the equivalent of £50 million pounds today. He left money to all 9 of his surviving children. He then writes
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What if a Beneficiary Doesn’t Want His Share? – Consider a Post Death Variation of a Will

If you have ever wondered whether you have to accept something that has been left to you in a Will, the answer is no, you don’t. You can use a tool call a Deed of Variation. A variation can be used to pass on property, cash, stocks/shares or a beneficial interest in a trust. A Deed of Variation is a document that is set up by a beneficiary if they want to pass on their share of the inheritance to someone else. This can either be another named party in the Will, or someone completely different. There are different reasons
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What happens to your business when you’re gone? – Business Succession Planning

At the beginning of 2015 there were an estimated 5.3 million small or medium sized businesses in the UK. It is therefore very important that business owners create an effective Business Succession Plan to protect their business and decide what happens to their business in the event of their death or should they no longer be able to manage their own affairs. Business Wills For business owners a simple Will is probably not sufficient. In that case, a more comprehensive Business Will is more appropriate in dealing with their specific business assets. A business owner may wish to appoint separate
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