Don’t you forget about me… leaving someone out of your Will

Families and modern relationships can be complex and it is a simple fact that sometimes, for one reason or another, you might want to leave a child or close relation out of your Will. However, under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, the following family members can challenge the Will, including: Your children – regardless of their age Your spouse, or civil partner Your former spouse or civil partner – unless they have entered into a new marriage of civil partnership. In the case of case of Rea v Rea & Or, Mrs Rea changed her  Will
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Frequently Asked Questions

This week’s blog covers several questions that I am frequently asked by clients.  I hope you find it useful. ‘How do I know my Will is valid?’ Section 9 of The Wills Act 1837 states: No will shall be valid unless— (a)it is in writing, and signed by the testator, or by some other person in his presence and by his direction; and (b)it appears that the testator intended by his signature to give effect to the will; and (c)the signature is made or acknowledged by the testator in the presence of two or more witnesses present at the same
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The Rules of Intestacy

As a Will Writer I am passionate about the reasons why having a Will is important and I do a lot of talks, write blogs and generally try my best to make people aware of this. It is still a very real fact that over half the UK population die without having made a Will and this can have very specific repercussions for your estate… not least of which is the trouble and time it can cost your loved ones. Although many people assume that you if you are married or with a long term partner they will automatically inherit
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“I want you to have this”: deathbed gifts and their validity

We have all seem films or programmes or read stories of people who, on their deathbed, bestow a gift upon a loved one – outside of their Will and often quite spontaneously. I am often asked whether these deathbed gifts actually exist and, if so, are they valid. The simple answer to this is yes, but only if a number of conditions are met: The gift must be made by the donor in contemplation of their own impending death. The gift must be contingent on the donor dying. The donor must part with the gift or deliver it in some
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Undue Influence & Abuse of Position in Estate Planning – the role of the Will Writer.

Undue influence is the act of applying pressure on a person to coerce them, essentially overpowering the individual’s own will Wills In relation to a Will this could mean someone putting pressure on a person to include them in their Will – either by emotional or physical threats/manipulation. When I take instruction for the writing of a Will I work hard to ensure that the testator is giving instructions freely and willingly, under no influence from anyone else in the room and is sure they have the capacity to fully understand what they are asking me to do. Undue influence
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Preparing for the cost of saying goodbye with a Funeral Plan

There are 2 main benefits of taking out a funeral plan, for yourself or someone else: You pay at today’s rates – no matter how long the person lives after taking out the plan. It takes away uncertainty and stress from family members at the time of the death.  They know exactly what their loved one would have wanted, and one phonecall to the funeral director is all that is needed. Did you know: The average cost of a funeral in 2018 was £4,271 Funeral Directors’ prices had risen 68% between 2008 and 2018 The cost of the essential elements
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Jargon Busting – Lasting Power of Attorney Certificate Provider

Wills in England and Wales are governed by the Wills Act of 1837 but Lasting Powers of Attorney are a much more recent addition, having started in 2007 in response to the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Therefore, LPAs have much less arcane language than Wills but there are still terms in them which can confuse people. One such term is that of ‘Certificate Provider’. To make a Lasting Power of Attorney a legal document you need the signatures and details of 3 people: The Donor The Attorney The Certificate Provider The Certificate Provider acts as an independent third party who
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I’m a Finalist!

I am so pleased and proud to announce that I am a finalist in the Woman Who Achieves Awards 2020, Soloprenuer category. I honestly cannot tell you how wonderful it is to be recognised for all the work I have put in to not only build alh legal into what it is today but also how much I have overcome in my personal life. I have been running alh legal for almost 10 years now and I have loved every moment of it, meeting clients and helping them to organise their estates and plan for the future. Although I do
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Will you do me the very great honour…

100 years ago it would have been very unusual, and a social taboo, to live together without being married.  But in the last 40 years or so it has become more common, and accepted by society, and there are increasing numbers of couples who choose to live together rather than getting married. However, there are some couples who choose to get married after decades together, when they’re middle aged or even later. So why are people making this decision? There’s a great article you can read HERE which shows some interviews with people who’ve been in this situation. However, to
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Where is your ‘safe place’

We’ve all had those moments where we can’t find something important, some paperwork we need to look at or a certificate we just can’t find, but we know that we’ve put them in a ‘safe place’; imagine if that missing document was your Will and your loved ones were unable to find where you’d stored it after your death. Writing your Will is such an important task but it’s just as important to ensure that your Will can be located in the event of your passing. This blog considers some of the ways you can do this. Make sure your
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Keeping your Business going when you cannot keep going

You may have read one of my blogs before about Lasting Powers of Attorney and how these can help you if you are unable to make decisions for yourself – either permanently or temporarily. A Lasting Power of Attorney can either be created to protect your Property & Financial Affairs or your Health & Welfare. Let us say that, in addition to your personal estate, you also own and run a business. If we consider the Property and Financial Lasting Power of Attorney, these are designed to cover all finances and decisions including your business but it might be that
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New online service to improve Lasting Power of Attorney

People managing their loved ones’ affairs will find it easier to safeguard their finances and wellbeing after a new online service was launched on 17 July 2020 for newly registered Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) and will eventuallyl be rolled out to all LPAs A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document which allows people to appoint someone else (an attorney) to make decisions about their welfare, money or property. They are often used by older people to choose someone they know and trust to make decisions for them were they to lose capacity in the future –
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Surprise… You’re an Executor!

When writing your Will, you must appoint at least one executor. An executor is a person named in your Will who will carry out your wishes and distribute your estate. when you die.  “Estate” is everything you own, including money, property and possessions at the date of your death. Throughout the process of making a Will I encourage clients to talk to their named executors so that they are aware that they have been named and what their responsibilities will be. It is also a good idea to let them know where your Will is in the event of your
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Why do I need a Lasting Power of Attorney?

Recently, I wrote a blog about the most common myths that people hold about Lasting Powers of Attorney which included statements such as ‘I’m married so my husband/wife will get to decide what happens’ and ‘I don’t need an LPA because I’m not old’. You can read that blog HERE to see why these beliefs aren’t true. I thought I’d add this blog to the site to explain the basic reasons why a Lasting Power of Attorney is an important document and what purpose it serves for you and your loved ones. Let’s start with a definition. A Lasting Power
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What happens to my Social Media accounts when I die?

Not only are we living in an increasingly digital age where social media and an online presence are becoming the norm, there are also a rising number of people who make an income from their social media accounts – from YouTube channels to Instagram Influencers and so it is now more important than ever that you know what happens to your social media accounts on your death. For many of us these are a source of photos and videos and original content that our loved ones will want to keep after our death so how can we protect these non-physical
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