During Covid-19 – an update

I think it’s safe to say that these are unprecedented times, we are seeing something we have never seen  across the whole world with the Covid-19 virus and in response we see businesses, schools and our countries infrastructure have to change as well. I have already received a lot of calls from people concerned about their Wills or concerned that they do not have the appropriate measures in place for their estate. As such I thought I would write to keep you updated on what I am doing during this situation and how I am changing the way I work
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What happened last year…

This month I thought I’d share with you a round up of all the pieces of legislation, news and developments related to estate planning from last year. Small changes happen all the time which is why it’s important to employ a Will Writer who understands legal implications and is committed to continuous professional development. As a member of the Society of Will Writers I work closely with them to keep up to date on any changes or potential changes and attend CPD courses once a month to make sure that the advice I give is the most up to date
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The alh legal journey

#shecan365 is an amazing website that showcases female entrepreneurs and everything they can achieve. Beginning on International Women’s Day 2019, SheCan365 will bring you a daily interview with an inspirational woman in business. Told in exactly 365 words, each story will celebrate a female entrepreneur whose superpower is showing up every day – making the world a better place for it. I was lucky enough to be featured on this wonderful site as day 295 and if you want to read the full article you can do by clicking over to their fabulous website HERE
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What if my executor has lost mental capacity?

When you name executors in your Will, you hope that they will be fit to carry out their duties when the time comes.  But what if your executor is unable to carry out their duties due to illness?  Recently, the court has considered whether an executor’s attorney (appointed under a Lasting Power of Attorney) can step in and act as executor. Legal precedent has been set* where, if the incapacitated executor has a Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney, the appointed attorney can apply to be the executor’s representative to carry out the execution of the Will. For
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DIY VERSUS CALLING IN THE EXPERTS

One thing I have learned in my 8 years as a Will Writer is that everybody’s circumstances are different. Any Will is valid as long as it is written and signed in accordance with the criteria in section 9 of the Wills Act 1837, but this does not necessarily mean that the Will meets the needs of you and your family. So, should you save money and do it yourself, or use a cheap form or online service? You could buy a DIY kit from a high street retailer or online. Whilst that might seem like a simple and cost-effective
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How do you own your property?

When you are writing your Will and deciding what happens to your property it is important that you understand how it is actually owned as this can affect what you can and cannot do in your Will. It could also mean that extra trusts have to be put in to protect loved ones from losing their home in the event of your death. There are two main ways that property can be held: solely or jointly. If you don’t know how your property is currently owned or what that means for you, don’t worry. It’s a relatively simple process for
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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
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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
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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.
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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,
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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
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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
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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
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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
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