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Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

Local solicitor warns changes to powers of attorney may leave older and vulnerable at risk

Written by: Lesley Austen

Warning following FCA’s call to turn lasting powers of attorney (LPAs) fully digital

Local solicitor, Lesley Austen from Veitch Penny issues warning following FCA’s call to turn lasting powers of attorney (LPAs) fully digital.

Proposals would remove the need for a physical ‘wet signature’.

Solicitors say this could lead to a drastic increase in cases of financial abuse.

Will Disputes Are a Family Tragedy – Don’t Let It Happen to You!

Published on: 11 December 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

Family inheritance disputes can be witheringly sad and it is absolutely essential to seek independent legal advice to ensure that peace prevails after you are gone. In one case, a man’s death, leaving a £16 million fortune, raised the curtain on years of venomous dispute between his two children.

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Farmer Victorious in Dispute with His Son over £2.5 Million Cottage

Published on: 09 November 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

Farmer Victorious in Dispute with His Son over £2.5 Million Cottage

The right of individuals to do as they wish with their own assets is jealously guarded by the law. In one telling case that proved the point, the High Court rejected claims that a wealthy farmer had given a £2.5 million cottage to his eldest son and daughter-in-law or that he had promised to leave it to them in his will.

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Stepmother Comes Out on Top in £1 Million Will Dispute

Published on: 03 October 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

Children and other dependants have a right to be reasonably provided for in the wills of those on whom they rely for financial support. However, in one case, a judge ruled that that principle could not benefit an adult daughter who chose not to work and whose father had been generous to her when he was alive.

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Father’s Binding Promises Entitle His Son to £10 Million Farm

Published on: 18 September 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

Father’s Binding Promises Entitle His Son to £10 Million Farm

Promises that are freely made and relied upon have the force of contract and can be enforced in court. Exactly that happened in one case in which a son was repeatedly assured by his father that he would inherit the £10 million family farm and worked long hours, for low pay, in the belief that the promises would be honoured.

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Appoint a Professional as Executor of Your Will – Here’s Why!

Published on: 18 August 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

Every parent hopes that their children will get on with one another – but, sadly, that cannot be guaranteed and one High Court case showed exactly why it is wiser to employ a neutral solicitor to administer your estate once you are gone.

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Judgment of Solomon in Family Dispute over £8 Million Porcelain Collection

Published on: 27 July 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

In the context of a highly unusual dispute between four siblings over their deceased father’s unique collection of Chinese porcelain – valued at £8 million – the High Court has ruled that the only solution is to divide 500 pieces between them, with each taking it in turns to pick items that they desire.

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Deathbed Wills Are a Very Bad Idea! See a Solicitor Today!

Published on: 17 July 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

It is exceedingly unwise to wait until the end is near before making an appointment with a solicitor to make your will. That point could not have been more clearly made than by a Court of Appeal case involving a businessman who cut his daughters out of his £4 million estate just a few hours before his death in hospital.

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Delegation of Trustees’ Investment Duties – High Court Rules

Published on: 10 July 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

Professional trustees owe heavy obligations to beneficiaries which generally cannot be delegated to others. However, an important High Court ruling has sanctioned the widespread practice of employing independent financial advisers (IFAs) to assist in the complex business of generating investment returns in the 21st century.

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Making a Will Without Legal Advice? – Your Heirs May Pay the Price!

Published on: 23 June 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

Making a Will Without Legal Advice? – Your Heirs May Pay the Price!

Dispensing with a lawyer’s assistance when drafting your will can seem a good way of saving a little money. However, one High Court case clearly showed how such a step can cost your heirs dear, both financially and emotionally, after you are gone.

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Business Tycoon’s Home-Made Will Triggers Family Strife

Published on: 28 February 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

Business Tycoon’s Home-Made Will Triggers Family Strife

One might have thought that a successful businessman worth millions would think it wise to spend a little money on getting his will professionally drafted. However, his decision to do the job himself had catastrophic consequences for his family, who ended up battling it out over his estate in the High Court.

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Make Sure You Put Your Affairs in Order Before It Is Too Late!

Published on: 14 January 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

Individual finances can become extremely complex over a lifetime and it really is essential to put your affairs in order whilst you are still fit enough to do so. In one case which proved the point, a judge had to intervene in a bitter family row to ensure that a dementia sufferer’s assets were used in his best interests.

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Geographical Blunder Triggers £1 Million Will Dispute

Published on: 15 December 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

Drafting wills is a task for experts and even the slightest mistake can become a focus of dispute. That point was made loud and clear by a case in which the true wishes of an eminent scientist were put in doubt by a basic geographical error.

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Love Can Lead You Into Life-Changing Decisions – Get Legal Advice First!

Published on: 25 November 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

Love is a wonderful thing, but it can lead to unwise and life-changing decisions made without legal advice. In one case, a woman contributed thousands of pounds to the construction of her lover’s home in the mistaken hope that he would marry her and leave her the property in his will.

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86% in South West leave life-changing decisions in the hands of strangers

Written by: Lesley Austen

New report reveals people in the South West are leaving major decisions about housing, assets and care to chance.  Lesley Austen urges people to take action to safeguard thier wishes in the event of accidents or illness like dementia. 

Local solicitor defends lasting powers of attorney

Written by: Lesley Austen

Following comments from a former senior judge Lesley Austen defends lasting powers of attorney

Following comments from a former senior judge Lesley Austen of Veitch Penny and a member of Solicitors for the Elderly defends lasting powers of attorney and provides some top tips when drafting a Lasting Power of Attorney. 

Widow’s Intransigence Puts Her £2 Million Farm in Jeopardy

Published on: 21 November 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

Widow’s Intransigence Puts Her £2 Million Farm in Jeopardy

In almost any dispute, legal advice is vital so that you know when to dig your heels in and when to give ground. In one example of unwise intransigence, a 91-year-old widow’s refusal to pay a £68,000 debt that she owed to her son left her at risk of eviction from her £2 million home.

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Ex-Civil Partner Makes Unique Bid for a Slice of Entrepreneur’s Estate

Published on: 24 October 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

In a unique case, a woman who claims that her ex-civil partner duped her into accepting a derisory financial settlement following the end of their relationship has won the right to a full hearing of her bid for a substantial slice of her former partner’s estate.

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Inheritance Disputes - A Good Lawyer Can Help to Defuse Emotions

Published on: 22 September 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

Inheritance Disputes - A Good Lawyer Can Help to Defuse Emotions

Inheritance disputes are often about more than money and can sadly be intractable due to the heightened emotions involved. One case, involving a pub that was left in trust to three children, showed exactly why professional legal advice is needed to defuse feelings and provide clarity.

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IHT Forms – What to do When Someone Dies

Published on: 01 September 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

When someone dies there are various forms that need to be completed for inheritance tax purposes, even if there is no inheritance due on the estate. However, the forms are different depending on whether or not IHT is due.

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Mental Capacity – Simplified System for Deprivation of Liberty Planned

Published on: 09 August 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

The complexity of the law relating to people of diminished mental capacity has long been a bone of contention and, with an ageing population, the courts are being increasingly tied up with mental capacity issues.

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You Don’t Have to Be Poor to Be Financially Dependent

Published on: 25 July 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

You Don’t Have to Be Poor to Be Financially Dependent

In an important decision which helped to define the legal concept of dependency, the High Court ruled – in the context of a claim for reasonable provision under a will – that a person may be reliant on another’s financial support without being in any way short of money.

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No Binding Promise in £12 Million Scrapyard Dispute

Published on: 12 July 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

Promises made and assurances given must be clear and unambiguous to be legally binding. In a case that illustrated the point, the son of a wealthy businessman failed to convince the High Court that he was entitled to a stake in his deceased father’s £12 million scrapyard.

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Put Your Affairs In Order Today – Or Your Loved Ones May Suffer!

Published on: 04 July 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

In a case which proved the wisdom of putting your affairs in order before it is too late, a High Court judge’s intervention was required to ensure that the £500,000 proceeds of a deceased father’s life insurance policy went to his three children.

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Domicile of Choice and Inheritance – High Court Ruling

Published on: 08 March 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

The issue of where you are domiciled at the time of your death can have critical implications for your heirs. In one case which made that point, the High Court ruled that it had no power to award a businessman’s second wife a share of his estate because he had made a permanent home abroad before he died.

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Putting Off Making Your Will? Read On!

Published on: 23 February 2016 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

Putting Off Making Your Will? Read On!

In a ringing warning to all of how very foolish it is not to make a will, a woman who lived with her partner for nearly two decades had to go to court in order to stop his half of their home being inherited by his estranged wife on his unexpected death.

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Son Who Killed His Mother Excluded From £150,000 Inheritance

Published on: 16 December 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

It is one of the most fundamental principles of law that those who unlawfully take the lives of others cannot benefit from their victims’ deaths. In one case which illustrated the point, a mentally ill man who fatally beat his 87-year-old mother was prevented from inheriting her £150,000 estate.

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Managing an Elderly Relative’s Affairs? Legal Knowledge is Essential!

Published on: 29 November 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

Managing the affairs of elderly relatives who cannot make their own decisions needs skill and some understanding of the law. In one case, a daughter who lacked both those characteristics was placed under professional supervision by the Court of Protection.

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One Character Typing Error Triggers Home-Made Will Dispute

Published on: 17 November 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

If ever there was a cautionary tale which should discourage people from making home-made wills, it must be that of a one-character typing error which triggered a costly High Court dispute between a multi-millionaire’s loved ones over the destination of his Spanish villa.

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Home-Made Wills Save Money – Oh No They Don’t!

Published on: 09 November 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Trusts Wills and Probate Updates

Home-made wills, executed without legal advice, are an exceedingly bad idea and if there was ever a case which proved the point it must be that of a woman who intended to leave her £1.8 million fortune to her best friend – but whose wishes were thwarted because her will was not properly witnessed.

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