The Myths About Divorce and Your Will

Uncategorized Mar 06, 2018
There are a lot of myths out there about what would happen if you made a Will when you were married and then separated or divorced. So let's clear this up so we all know where we stand. If you are married and make a Will leaving everything to your spouse, then obviously when you die, they inherit what you have left them. If you are separated but not divorced, and have not changed your Will to exclude them, then again, if you die, they will inherit what you left them as you are still married. Now, here's the tricky bit. What if you made a Will leaving everything to your spouse, then got divorced, but neither of you re-married. What do you think would happen if you died without changing your Will? Would you think that because you are now divorced, they would not inherit anything from you? You would think that would be the case. Unfortunately it isn't. The current Law of Intestacy states that even if you are divorced, for the purposes of Intestacy your legal ties are not severed. This...
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Planning a Holiday?

Uncategorized Mar 06, 2018
It's that time of year, when our thoughts lean towards long summer days, cool cocktails and dipping our toes in the warm ocean. So, what do you need to check before you travel ? Of course, if you are heading overseas then checking your passport would probably be at the top of your list, quickly followed by sorting out travel money, suitcases and your wardrobe. You are most likely also going to check out that you have valid travel insurance to cover you in case you become ill. Have you also thought about checking your Will? Probably not. So what exactly would happen if tragedy struck whilst you were away on holiday. Hopefully you have already arranged comprehensive travel insurance to cover all medical costs and repatriation to fly your body home. Would you even want your body to be flown home? If not, who would know exactly what your wishes are ? If you have made a Will then all the necessary information would be outlined clearly for your loved ones to follow. If there is no Will,...
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Dementia, Brain Injuries and Illnesses- have you made provisions?

Uncategorized Mar 06, 2018
I am sure we all know of someone who has suffered dementia, or some form of brain injury or illness that has resulted in their loss of mental capacity. Although it's true, none of us knows what's around the corner, there are steps we can take just in case the worst happens and we find ourselves or our loved ones in this terrible situation. A Lasting Power of Attorney could be just what you need. Putting it simply, there are two types, one is for Property and Finance and the other is for Health and Welfare. The Property and Finance LPA is designed to allow you (the Donor), to nominate one or more Attorneys (people you trust), to act on your behalf in all your property and financial affairs should you either lose mental capacity, or find yourself in the position whereby you are no longer confident to deal with these matters on your own. This LPA would allow your Attorney's to deal with things like, your mortgage or rent, all benefits, pensions, savings, bank accounts, utilities,...
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Celebrity Will Mistakes

Uncategorized Mar 06, 2018
So you would think that celebrities have all made a Will of some sort or another right? Many high profile celebrities are surrounded by advisers so you would hope that with all their assets and sources of income they would have planned for the future. Not the case I'm afraid. Dying without a Will is all too common whether you are famous or not. Famous individuals who have died without a will, include Abraham Lincoln, Prince, Sonny Bono, Jimi Hendrix and Pablo Picasso, to name but a few. Even those who have made Wills have made some terrible mistakes, for example, Barry White died having never divorced his estranged wife, who inherited everything and his live in girlfriend of many years inherited nothing. Poor planning can also lead to desperate situations, especially regarding taxes. Many people don't realise the large amounts of tax payable, especially when the estate left is of significant worth. Good planning in advance can minimise the tax liabilities, and also ease the stress...
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Who Do You Trust?

Uncategorized Mar 02, 2018

Do you trust your family? Of course you do.

Would you be happy giving them the responsibility to manage your affairs after your death, when they are at their most vulnerable in their grief?

Many of us choose our closest family to be our Executors in our wills without really realising the level of responsibility that will befall them when the time comes.

At this sad time, our nearest and dearest may just not be able to cope with all that this entails, and this is why we should give careful consideration to who we name as our Executors.

You might decide that your spouse would have your best interests at heart and the ability to administer your estate, liaising with financial institutions, government bodies and completing the necessary paperwork when applying for Probate which is great.

By appointing a second / third Executor you could ease the burden, or by having a reserve Executor in case they feel they are unable to cope with the task is also a great idea.

So what would we...

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How to Avoid High Funeral Costs

Uncategorized Feb 05, 2018

If you have ever organised a funeral you will already know how expensive they are and how easy it is for costs to run out of control.

Even if you start with a budget and good intentions it's easy to get drawn in with all the extras. After all you are taking care of a loved one and why shouldn't they have the best.

In our experience people often go overboard with funerals, they order excessive numbers of cars, an expensive coffin for a cremation, several floral tributes and a very expensive wake afterwards.

Is this really what your loved one would have wanted? Wouldn't they rather have had a simple funeral with people who matter the most rather than creating a show which is going to cost much more than they had budgeted for?

So what can we do to avoid high funeral costs? Well, the first thing to consider is buying a prepaid funeral. No, this isn't at all morbid. In fact it's being very sensible and also having paid up front for your funeral you are automatically setting the the tone...

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What's in a Letter of Wishes?

Uncategorized Jan 24, 2018
So exactly what is a Letter of Wishes? A Letter of Wishes is made to include all the things you wouldn't necessary detail in your Will. For example, you can specify detailed funeral requirements, from whom should be invited, the specific format of the service, even down to the music and songs you would like performed. So if you want an eco funeral, in a wicker basket, tied with pink raffia and each guest to come forward and place a flower, during a service on top of a hillside followed by a vegan barbecue in a teepee, then that's fabulous, and you can really go to town in your Letter of Wishes. Similarly, you can also include some sealed pre-written letters to friends and family members to be stored with your Letter of Wishes. You can also include a pre-recorded DVD message to be played at the funeral or wake or perhaps a poem or funny story you would like read out. The possibilities are endless, but you should note that a Letter of Wishes can never take the place of your Will, it...
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Stop Putting it Off

Uncategorized Jan 09, 2018

There are things we all avoid in life.

Things like clearing out the cupboard under the sink, sorting out those bookshelves and oh yes, making a Will.

Clearing out the cupboard may make things a little tidier but won't really have a great impact on our lives, but making a Will, well that certainly makes a difference.

I hear comments all the time like, I really must get a Will made, but not just at the moment. Or no, it's being morbid.

Back in 2014, on a Friday afternoon in January, I sat in our doctors surgery with my husband Robert. I can still hear the words ringing around my head as we heard that Robert had been diagnosed with a brain tumour.

After the initial shock, we decided that we were going to fight this but at the same time would take steps to make provisions should the worst happen.

We weren't being morbid, we were being practical.

It's now 2018 and Robert is really no further forward despite having surgeries, treatment etc. The tumour remains and is still troublesome.


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Guardianship - Have you Protected Your Children?

Uncategorized Dec 03, 2017

We never know what's around the corner and really don't want to think about what would happen if we died suddenly.

If you have children, you might have already thought about who would care for them if you were not around.

It might be that your partner would care for them, which is great, but what if they are not your partner's natural children and their biological parent is no longer a part of your life?

It's entirely possible that in the event of your death they could return to the scene demanding custody of their children, thus taking them away from the family home and your partner who may have been caring for them with you for many years.

Nobody can sever the biological ties that exist between parent and child, but not all parents are the best carers for their own children. This could be due to alcohol and drug misuse, or perhaps illness or behavioural issues, or a number of other reasons.

The point is, that as the main parent you can express your wishes for guardianship as part...

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The Role an Executor Explained

Uncategorized Nov 05, 2017

If you have ever been named as an Executor in someone's Will then you already know that this is a very important role and carries with it great responsibilities.

An Executor is someone you choose when making your Will. It's someone you trust to carry out your wishes after your death.

As an Executor, it's your duty to obtain the Death Certificate and to forward copies to the institutions and organisations relating to the estate of the deceased. For example, you will need to compile a full and comprehensive list of every bank account, savings account, investments, pensions, benefits, as well as all debts, such as credit cards, loans, catalogue accounts, paypal accounts, plus all details of HM Revenue liabilities.

This so that once you have collected all the funds into a new Executor bank account, which you also have to arrange, you can examine the Will and make payments to the beneficiaries.

It should be noted that you can only start paying out the beneficiaries after all the monies...

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