To understand what intestacy is, it is useful firstly to understand when it occurs. The situations in which an intestacy can occur are when the deceased: (a) did not make a will, (b) revoked a will, without making a new one or (c) made a will which was invalid. The most common result of (a)…

In our December 2019 article we discussed the possibilities of beneficiaries bringing a claim against an invalid Will. Although this is possible, it can be incredibly difficult for a person to prove that a Will is invalid. Therefore, to save time and costs, a potential beneficiary can choose to accept the final Will of the…

The new decade has ushered in a plethora of proposed new law that could have huge implications for couples and families. A total of 84 private members’ bills are currently making their way through parliament. This article highlights those that are likely to have the largest impact in relation to Private Client matters. Increase in…

The old saying goes that there are only two guarantees in life: death and taxes. Therefore, with this in mind, it makes sense why so many of us want to ensure that after we die, our hard-earned assets are passed to the people who mean the most to us. Wills are one of the most…

Many people hold a joint bank or building society account either with their spouse or partner or sometimes with another family member. This article will suggest some of the difficulties encountered with joint accounts and the common misconceptions regarding ownership of the funds. There are a variety of reasons for holding an account in joint…

The growth in claims after death Over the next few months, Barrett & Co will be publishing a series of articles highlighting the extensive work that we do in what is known as Contentious Probate. This specific type of civil litigation is primarily linked to issues and disputes caused when family members pass away, perhaps…

Many people, when approaching retirement or shortly after having retired, take the opportunity to review their financial and personal affairs. This is often a time when they realise that their priorities for the future have changed now that they are older, and their children have grown up. For example, whereas previously Inheritance Tax may have…

In November 2018 the UK Government proposed a substantial increase in Probate Court fees which were to be charged on a sliding scale in accordance with the value of the Estate. My colleague, Jane Whitfield, wrote an article at the time explaining the increases which can be found here. These increases would have seen our…

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that the number of cohabiting couple families is growing faster than married couples and has increased by 25% over the past decade; making them the second largest family type (the largest being married couple families). It has also been established that one in five cohabiting couples…

How much time would you say that you spend planning a holiday, researching what car to buy, or even searching for a place to have a romantic dinner for two? How does that time compare with the amount of time you spend on estate planning – deciding who will inherit your assets after you have…

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