Some people will find it surprising that you can make a claim when you have not inherited what you expected from someone who has died. The courts are empowered under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 to order further payments from the deceased’s estate to those who have not inherited as much…

Last year, HM Courts and Tribunals Service proposed a massive increase to the fees charged to obtain probate. This would have seen the charges for the most valuable estates increase to £20,000. Currently, the fees are fixed at £155 for Solicitor applications and £215 for personal applicants. The plans were dropped ahead of the 2017…

Many of our clients after having their Wills drawn up by our team return to our offices in Reading to get them signed and witnessed. Some may wonder if it is worth the trek through the increasingly busy city centre, just to sign a document! But, the benefit of doing so ensures that your newly…

A Power of Attorney is a document whereby an individual, the “Donor”, appoints individuals or professionals to act on their behalf when they are unable to act for themselves, known as the “Attorneys”. Such inability might arise as a result of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia; but equally if you suffered brain damage as a result…

In most estates, it will usually be necessary to obtain a grant of representation to realise and administer the assets of the deceased. But sometimes, there can be a dispute who has the right to take on this role, and in what capacity. These situations usually (but not always) arise where there is no valid…

When thinking about your Will, it can be very difficult to decide who you would like to act as your Executors. An Executor completes all the administrative tasks associated with your death, including applying for probate and distributing your assets to the beneficiaries of your Will. There are certain situations where it might be beneficial…

A Death in Service payment is a lump sum of money that can be paid to a nominated beneficiary out of your pension scheme if a person dies before they retire. It is down to the individual employer to decide whether to offer a Death in Service payment; and the size of such payment. The…

An article appeared on the front page of the Daily Telegraph on 13th July 2017, claiming that a “radical overhaul of inheritance laws” was being proposed by the Law Commission, which would allow people to “use voicemail and text messages” to make their wills. This is not an accurate statement of the Law Commission’s proposals…

The planned changes to Probate fees, which would have seen charges of up to £20,000 for the largest estates, have been dropped due to the forthcoming General Election. The changes, which would have replaced the existing fixed fees structure, were due to come into force in May once the relevant legislation had been approved by Parliament….

Under the current Inheritance Tax regime, on death the first £325,000 of each individual’s net estate is taxed at 0%. This is known as the “nil-rate band” (“NRB”). Unless any tax reliefs apply, the rest of their net estate is then taxed at 40%. Tax-free allowance of up to £650,000 New additional allowance starts at…

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