Wills are incredibly important documents, enabling an individual to direct how their assets are to be distributed following their death.
At their best, Wills offer a valuable means of ensuring that a deceased's last wishes are followed. At their worst, Wills can be a source of frustration, argument, and significant cost as families argue over the deceased's 'true' wishes. Katherine Willmott, associate in our Private Wealth team looks at a recent case which highlights the importance of considering legal advice when preparing your Will.
Danielle Spalding, associate and property litigation specialist looks at he increase in claims involving farming families over the last few years where the son or daughter brings a claim alleging that their parents have failed to honour promises made to them about passing down the farm. These claims are based on the legal principle of proprietary estoppel.
We have all seen the headlines in recent months about inheritance and family feuds. These disputes can be incredibly distressing, time consuming and expensive for those involved. By making a will and taking advice from a lawyer or professional will drafter you can seek to avoid your loved ones being embroiled in a fight over your estate on your death. This is particularly important where complicated family dynamics or long term financial dependency relationships are at play. However, making a will is not always the end of the story. Alex Rogers, senior associate, looks at how The Court can play its part.
January is a time when we all look ahead to what is likely to happen over the coming twelve months. In this article Edward Venmore, legal director in our agriculture and rural business team, highlights a couple of areas of potential legal developments. Unfortunately, as with most issues these days, it is impossible to do so without briefly mentioning the question of Brexit....
In this article Michelle Seddon, senior associate in our private wealth team looks at how gifting can assist with Inheritance Tax liabilities on estates.
At this festive time of year, it should be noted that there is generally no Inheritance Tax to pay on small gifts you make out of your normal income. This, of course, can include gifts you may wish to make for Christmas or birthday presents, and they are known as ‘exempted gifts’ for the purposes of Inheritance Tax.
In this article, Rachel Warren, senior associate and IP specialist, looks at the latest developments with intellectual property rights (IPR) and Brexit.
Protecting your brand and Intellectual Property (IP) is an important consideration for every type and size of business and is often overlooked and with impending Brexit, now is the time to consider your options.
As a family lawyer based in the South West of England a significant proportion of my client base comes from the farming and rural business sector. Working with colleagues from across the practice groups, we do all we can to help our clients preserve and grow their businesses (which is particularly important given the potentially seismic changes facing the industry in a post-Brexit environment).
Within the context of a relationship breakdown, the dynamic when a family all live and work together can bring unique challenges.
"I wish never to be parted from you from this day on" – Mr Darcy, Pride and Prejudice
Until 1935 a married woman did not have the freedom to leave her estate to beneficiaries of her choice in her will. Her husband had an interest in her property after her death, known as 'by the curtesy'. Thankfully for wives this is no longer the case; however there are significant differences in the treatment of estates for couples that are married or in a civil partnership, and couples that cohabit.
The great majority of property owners will have at least one tree in their ownership or, as many would see it, in their guardianship. Trees are a vital part of both our rural and urban landscapes but they bring with them certain responsibilities and potential liabilities, so it is important to have an awareness of the legal implications of having trees on your land.
For over 300 years, transfers of property in England and Wales are required to be in writing. Nevertheless, there are situations where the Courts will uphold claims for property interests on the basis of verbal or written assurances by one party to another. This type of claim is known as 'proprietary estoppel', because once all of the grounds for the claim are established, the property owner is 'estopped' from going back on the promises or assurances they have made.
In this article Emma Facey, senior associate and specialist in inheritance and trusts disputes, looks at a spate of such claims in the farming community over the last few years and they continue to rise.
If we are honest, none of us wants to contemplate our own mortality or to consider the possibility that a time may come when we are no longer capable of making decisions for ourselves.
Even if we give these matters some thought we very often do nothing about it. This can be because it falls into the "too hard box" or because we are too busy with our day to day lives. We may also take the view that we don't need to take action because, if anything happens, the family will sort it out. By doing nothing you could be storing up major problems for the future.
Emma Facey, associate and specialist in inheritance and trusts disputes looks at the recent decision by the Supreme Court in Ilott v The Blue Cross and others concerning an Inheritance Act claim by the deceased's estranged daughter.
Some countries have forced heirship rules which mean that individuals have to gift their estate in a particular way, for example to benefit their spouse and/or children. However in England and Wales, individuals have the freedom to leave their assets to whomever they wish, when they die.
Recently Patricia Wass, Consultant and Head of Foot Anstey's Mental Capacity team was elected as the next chair of STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) Worldwide. In this article Patricia highlights the work of STEP as it supports professionals (over 20,000 members in 100 countries) in ensuring clients have addressed the vitality important issue of succession planning and family inheritance.
In this article Emma Facey, associate and specialist in legacy and trust litigation, highlights the importance in getting the right advice when succession planning and how to avoid unnecessary claims.
Claims against professionals, including accountants, financial advisers and solicitors arising out of negligent advice are becoming more common. In times of economic downturn, losses suffered are more apparent.
Farming businesses are unusual. Often run by families who live and work together every day of the year. Like many families the topic of planning for the future can be a very difficult conversation to have. Sadly the failure to have those conversations is often what leads to very costly disputes and the breakup of families.
Edward Venmore, legal director, looks at some high profile disputes and provides practical advice on how to avoid these situations.
The rise of contentious legacy cases is a priority for charity legacy professionals and probate specialists in the UK, write Chris Millward and Lucy Gill.
Remember a Charity Week takes place in the UK in September. This annual awareness week is designed to encourage more people to consider leaving a gift to charity during the will-writing process.
Shortly before the summer recess, the justice minister announced an increase in the court fee to issue a divorce petition. From later this year, the current fee of £410 will increase to £550.
George Osborne has now delivered the first Conservative Budget since 1996 and it includes some surprises for non-domiciled individuals and their investment vehicles. We set out a summary of these measures below, most of which will be effective from April 2017. Although the measures are sweeping, there is certainly scope to undertake planning to mitigate the effects of the changes, so do contact us to discuss how we can assist you or your clients.
For over 300 years, following the enactment of the Statute of Frauds in 1677, transfers of property in England and Wales are required to be in writing. Nevertheless, the Courts will uphold claims for property interests on the basis of verbal or written assurances by one party to another. This type of claim is known as 'proprietary estoppel' because once all of the grounds for the claim are established, the property owner is 'estopped' from going back on the promises or assurances they have made.