The Virtual You

What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?  I am willing to bet that you reach for your phone or tablet and check emails and social media even before you make your morning coffee – am I right? These days so much of our lives are lived online- not just our social lives but our financial ones as well. We keep so much information in digital locations – enough that it would be possible for anyone to steal our identity if they so wished. But have you thought about what happens to all of
Read More

Why is document storage important?

When you create your Will or any other important document it is crucial that you then store it somewhere safe. There are several options for doing this: At home in a safety deposit box, filing cabinet or home safe Online storage (for copies) Storage with your bank or your solicitor Secure offsite storage When looking at your options you should consider the ABC of storage… If you are considering storing with me there are some great benefits that the Society of Will Writers (SWW) secure storage can offer: If a private storage organisation (including solicitors) stop trading they hand all
Read More

Keeping your Will up to date

With 7 billion people in the world and 66 million in the UK you imagine that estate planners would be run off their feet writing Wills but the truth is that it is estimated over half the population of the UK don’t have a valid Will (the researched figure from a recent Royal London study is around 54%). So if you do have a Will, first of all well done – because writing a Will is one of the most important things you can do to control the distribution of your estate and protect your family should the worst happen.
Read More

Pets in Estate Planning

From pussycats fluffy, to horses in fields From family pooches to bright parakeets We all have our wonderful, long living pets Who’ll need help if you’re gone, with food, shelter and vets So, make sure you are thoughtful of what will happen to them Should anything happen to you in the end Consider a gift, a consideration of care For those loveable animals when you cannot be there. The poem was designed to make you smile but it’s subject is more serious, and something that you should consider if you have any family pets that could outlive you. These days,
Read More

Common Lasting Power of Attorney Errors

Lasting Powers of Attorney are complex legal documents and care must be taken when drafting them to ensure that are completed correctly. The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) will reject any forms that are incorrect and don’t meet their standards. These are the most common mistakes that people make when completing the forms: To register a Lasting Power of Attorney a fee is due of up to £82 for each document, it can also take up to 8 weeks for the OPG to receive, process and register and return the completed documents to you so it’s important to get
Read More

Invest in Trust

Fraud is a word we hear a lot these days and it’s a frightening reality that with the digital age fraud, including identity theft, is becoming more common. In the UK the unauthorised financial fraud losses totalled over £700 million in 2017. When it comes to estate management there are numerous scams for cheap Wills or other estate planning that can leave you and your family unprotected in the future. What is Fraud in Wills? The Society of Will Writers recently looked into this and they had this to say: “Fraudsters are now more clever than ever and are going
Read More

Dealing with Personal Chattels

There are many legal terms that can make it difficult to understand your Will.  These words and phrases are often there to ensure that the Will goes through probate smoothly. One common term used in Will writing is ‘Personal Chattels’. There is a legal definition of these, but the common usage definition works just as well:  chattel  NOUN  chattels (plural noun)  (in general use) a personal possession.  So basically, that’s all the ‘stuff’ that you collect over a lifetime! Some of it is valuable in monetary terms, and some valuable from a sentimental perspective and when it comes to dealing
Read More

Appointing Trustees or Executors

For your Will to be valid, it must name executors.  These are the people or organisations who carry out your wishes when you die.  It is important that you choose the right executors for you. If there is a possibility of a trust being created in the Will, then you will also need to appoint trustees – these can be the same people as your executors.  Here are a few issues you may want to consider when choosing executors and trustees… Personalities Where more than one person is being appointed,you should consider the personalities of your chosen executors and the
Read More

Resolve to make this Resolution in 2019…

I don’t know if you’re the type of person who makes New Year’s Resolutions (or if you’ve already broken them by now!) but even if you’re not there is one you should consider making for 2019 – getting your estate in order. If you don’t have a Will or if yours is out of date you should get organised and speak to someone about this today.  I know I’ve mentioned this before but there are still so many people in the UK who do not have a valid Will in place.  If you die without a valid will, this is
Read More

Lasting Powers of Attorney – What you need to know

I have been advising clients on Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA’s) for 8 years and many clients have the same questions and concerns. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions: What is an LPA? An LPA provides powers while you are living, it is a document which gives powers to your attorney(s) to make decisions for you if you are unable to make them yourself.  There are two types of LPA: One that governs your property and financial affairs And another which deals with your health and welfare.  There is no obligation to create both. Why make an
Read More

Peace of Mind

Many clients ask me about the advantages of making their Wills with me. As a member of the Society of Will Writers, I can offer my clients security about the advice they are given, and about how I handle their personal information. I am proud to be able to use the Society of Will Writers’ “Safe to do Business With” logo. Here are just some of the benefits of choosing me to prepare your Will, Lasting Power of Attorney or Funeral Plan: The Code of Practice – I am bound by the Society of Will Writers Code of Practice which
Read More

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
Read More

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
Read More

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
Read More