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Legacies and Entitlement to Means-Tested Benefits - High Court Ruling

When making a will, most people would wish to provide for loved ones in need. As a High Court case showed , however, means testing of many state benefits creates a very real risk of such good intentions coming to nought and that is one very good reason why...

Trust and Estate Numbers Dip for Fifth Consecutive Year

HM Revenue and Customs have reported a decline in the number of trusts and estates in the UK for the fifth year in a row. Between 2018 and 2019, the total number of trusts and estates in the UK fell by 2 per cent to 151,000. The wealth management vehicles...

Inheritance - Lifetime Promises Can Be Legally As Well As Morally Binding

When it comes to inheritance, the obligation to keep your promises may well be legal as well as moral. In a case on point, a judge followed the demands of conscience in ruling that a hard-working man should inherit the farmland of a close friend who for...

Don't Leave It Too Late to Put Your Affairs in Order

People often talk about putting their affairs in order but then sit on their hands until it is too late. The serious consequences of delay in seeking legal advice were underlined by a case in which a woman waited until she was resident in a hospice,...

Independent Legal Advice Proves Decisive in Family Inheritance Dispute

Just because someone is old, frail and vulnerable does not mean that they are incapable of understanding the contents of their will. However, as a High Court ruling in the context of a bitter inheritance dispute showed, the benefits of professional advice...

Ambiguity in Widower's Poorly Drafted Will Results in Family Stalemate

The whole point of engaging a professional to draft your will is to make your wishes clear in precise and unambiguous terms. If your will falls below that high standard the result, as a High Court ruling showed , can be family stalemate after you are gone. ...

High Court Exercises Wisdom of Solomon in Ordering Sale of Family Home

Amidst ever-rising property prices, it can make good sense for friends or relatives to club together to buy a home where they can all live together. As a High Court ruling showed , however, the continuing harmony in human relationships upon which such...

Family Dispute Underlines Wisdom of Making a Professionally Drafted Will

Family disputes frequently focus on inheritance and can inflict immense anxiety and pain on all concerned. A case concerning a young man who died tragically when he stepped in front of a train, however, showed that the best way to avoid such conflict is to...

Home-Made Wills May Save a Few Pounds But Store Up Trouble for the Future

Home-made wills may save you a few pounds in the short term, but dispensing with legal advice greatly increases the risk of painful disputes arising after you are gone. That was certainly so in the case of a desperately ill man who left the whole of his...

Making a Will? Have You Considered Your Loved Ones' Real Needs?

For many parents, the objective of a will is to ensure even-handed treatment of loved ones, particularly children. However, as a High Court case strikingly showed, some may be more needy than others and that too should be taken into account. The case...
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