Vanessa joined Barrett & Co as a Solicitor in February 2019 working in particular on the preparation of Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney, and the administration of estates. She has previously worked as a private client paralegal and during her training contract completed a double seat in private client work.   After a career as a…

Digital assets have a very broad definition but essentially it means an electronic record in which an individual has a right or an interest. The digital asset should be treated separately from the device on which it sits, so for example you may leave your computer to your son, but the family photos stored on…

A few years ago, a young man called Sam moved into a block of flats near Maidenhead. He started to notice an 85-year-old woman called Dorothy who lived in the flat across the hall. Curious to hear Dorothy’s life stories, Sam began stopping by to see her regularly. Sam quickly discovered that Dorothy had no…

Traditionally some of the main things to consider when someone has died are whether there is a valid Will, what assets the deceased owned and who is going to inherit after the administration of the estate had been completed.  However, as technology continues to advance and social media becomes a way of life there are…

Nicholas Buckle (Nick) joined Barrett & Co as a Trainee Solicitor in January 2018 before qualifying into the contentious probate team in January 2020. Nick works on a broad range of contentious probate matters including claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, probate claims and disputes involving personal representatives.  Nick previously…

Hilary Buckle from Barrett & Co Solicitors in Reading joined BBC Radio Berkshire presenter Phil Kennedy on 27th July 2020 to explain new legislation regarding the witnessing of Wills in light of the current coronavirus pandemic. She discusses the concerns of legal practitioners about the potential for coercion and the government’s decision to backdate video…

When Jane Whitfield, our Head of Trusts & Charities, saw Linda Magistris, the CEO of The Good Grief Trust, on BBC Breakfast earlier in June talking about The Good Grief Trust charity, and in particular their new COVID-19 National Bereavement Support Helpline, she was so impressed that she contacted the charity the minute the programme…

Most challenges to wills which become headline news follow the theme of children who have been left less than they expected by their parent(s), or sometimes nothing at all. What is much less commonly reported is when a charity is the entity challenging or defending a contested probate. But it happens, its frequency is on…

There is a little-known exemption from Inheritance Tax (IHT) for emergency services personnel, known as the blue light exemption. The legislation initially applied when a member or former member of the armed forces died as a result of injuries or disease sustained while on active service. Their whole estate would be exempt from the payment…

The liability of a personal representative (“PR”) is something which is often not discussed or considered in any great detail by those acting as executors or administrators of an estate.  Generally, people are thrown into the role of PR without prior experience and subsequently have no idea of the challenges involved. Concerningly, PRs often do…

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