Case study: LPAs voided due to incorrect signature
The Court of Protection recently ruled that two Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) made by an elderly lady had to be cancelled because an attorney had witnessed the donor’s signature. The lady who made the LPAs had appointed her husband and two solicitors... [read more...
Who gets responsibility of my child if I die?
The thought of preparing for your own death, be it writing a Will or putting money aside for funeral arrangements, is difficult enough as it is, let alone thinking about what happens to your family once you’ve gone. Whether you’re part of a close-knit... [read more...
What’s the difference between a Lasting Power of Attorney and Deputyship?
In light of Parkinson’s Awareness Month 2019, our Court of Protection solicitors look at how deputyship can help alleviate some of the stress and anxiety around making decisions on behalf of someone who is no longer physically or mentally able to make them... [read more...
Can you stop the clock on Inheritance Act claims?
Standstill Agreements are widely used in cases where parties are attempting to resolve matters themselves but they are up against time restrictions, specifically the date on which you have to issue a claim to keep it alive, known as the ‘limitation date’... [read more...
Increased probate fees: what does this mean for you and your loved ones?
The Government recently announced a resurrection of their 2017 plans to introduce a fee structure for probate applications, with the value of the deceased’s estate dictating the cost of the application. When an individual passes away, with or without a... [read more...
Who should prepare my Will?
Most people would decline car insurance from a provider with a notoriously low percentage of claims pay-outs and awful customer service ratings, even if the package on offer is the cheapest and could save the customer hundreds of pounds each year. The... [read more...
Do I need a Will?
It’s estimated that over 60% of British adults do not have a Will. Like home insurance, Wills are optional; you don’t have to have one but the consequences of not having one are less than favourable. Will Writer, Stefan de Beer, highlights the... [read more...
Protect your loved ones this ‘Write a Will’ fortnight
No one wants to think about what would happen to our loved ones if we weren’t around, so it’s no surprise that the idea of making a Will is not top of most people’s ‘to do’ list. If you’re in your 20s, 30s or 40s, you might own or be in the... [read more...
What are the benefits of trusts?
What are trusts? The broad purpose of a trust is simple: to help families control how assets such as cash, investments or property are handed over to the next generation. Trusts have been around for hundreds of years and can play an important role in... [read more...
Do I need a grant of probate?
When a person passes away, it often falls to a family member or spouse to act as the executor of their Will, making sure that their final wishes for their property and money are respected. However, being named as the deceased’s executor in their Will... [read more...
Making your Wills together
Need to know the differences between Joint Wills, Mutual Wills and Mirror Wills? In this article our Wills, Trusts + Probate team explain the different effects of each testamentary document. There are three different types of wills that two or more... [read more...
Firm donates another £2,000 to local dementia charities
We’re pleased to report on World Alzheimer’s Day that, thanks to the fantastic fundraising efforts of our staff, we’ve been able to donate £2,000 this month to local charities Bristol Dementia Action Alliance and BRACE Alzheimer’s Research.... [read more...
Power of Attorney or Deputyship – which is better?
Powers of Attorney have hit the news today after a retired Court of Protection judge said he would never make one.... [read more...
Using trusts to plan your legacy
Do I need a trust? It’s a question many people ask when they come to write their Will and plan their estate.... [read more...
Does dementia stop you signing a Will?
“Does dementia stop me from making a Will?” It’s a question we often get asked, along with dozens of similar queries on behalf of parents, grandparents and other relatives. Estate disputes specialist and solicitor Mark Scanlon explains the steps... [read more...
Elderly parents + care: how to have that difficult conversation
Contrary to popular belief, difficult conversations aren’t restricted to our teenage years. Adulthood brings its fair share of uncomfortable topics – not least those related to our ageing parents and their finances and plans for later life care. If... [read more...
Lasting Powers of Attorney aren’t just for the elderly
Whilst we all recognise the importance of writing our Will, fewer of us will be considering a Lasting Power of Attorney, or an LPA. This enables you to appoint someone to act on your behalf if you're physically or mentally incapable of making your own... [read more...
Inheritance Tax on gifts: what are the rules?
New research suggests that tax breaks on gifts between family members could encourage more parents and grandparents to pass on a ‘living inheritance’ to the younger generation, giving them a boost as they try to climb the property ladder. As it stands,... [read more...
Make a Will Fortnight
We’re delighted to announce that Barcan+Kirby has raised over £2,000 for St Peter’s Hospice, as part of their Make a Will Fortnight last October.... [read more...
Estate claim successful in the High Court
We recently acted in a contentious probate case, representing a widow and her child who were contesting the terms of a disputed Will. Last week, our clients were awarded nearly £100,000 plus costs in court, effectively the value of the entire... [read more...
Families avoiding ‘difficult conversations’ about old age care
Our latest research reveals that many of us are burying our heads in the sand when it comes to the realities of our later life care, or the care of those close to us. As part of our research we surveyed those with elderly relatives and grown-up children... [read more...
Becoming a dementia-friendly firm
We’re pleased to announce that Barcan+Kirby has taken the first steps towards becoming a dementia-friendly law firm. Anna Molter, of our Wills + trusts team, recently attended awareness training to become a ‘Dementia Friend’. The training looked at... [read more...
Four things you should do before you die
Smart planning for the future has never been more important. With economic uncertainty looming on the horizon, we all want to retain that feeling of control over our own lives as well as our legacies after we’re gone.... [read more...
Where there’s a Will… there’s a war
You may think that writing a Will is the easiest and most effective way to stop any arguments after your death. But according to some people, the deceased doesn’t always know best. Contesting a Will isn’t easy – it can be emotionally draining, costly... [read more...
Protecting your interests: Lasting power of attorney
Let's be honest; none of us want to think about a time when we can't make informed decisions ourselves. This change may happen suddenly - maybe as a result of an accident. Or more slowly, due to the onset of a condition such as Alzheimer’s or the... [read more...
Protect your home + assets against care fees
An ageing population and increased life expectancy will inevitably mean that more and more of us will require care in our later years. Family aren’t always able to meet these care needs, so if you’ve been cautious with your money, own your property or... [read more...
Just how important is it to write a Will?
The importance of writing your Will should never be underestimated. But let’s be honest, it’s a difficult subject matter. That’s why so many of us choose to put it off until another day. Of course, we all know we should have a Will, but the... [read more...
Have you thought about your lasting legacy?
Writing a Will is something we all need to do. The process of writing it helps us to think about what we want to happen when we die and who we want to leave our estate to. It also offers us an opportunity to make bequests to charitable organisations that,... [read more...
Claims against DIY Executors triple in 2013
The High Court has released disturbing figures which highlight the huge increase in claims for mishandling a deceased’s estate. Information provided by the Chancery Division, states that a staggering 368 claims were lodged for breach of fiduciary duty... [read more...
Why is it important to think about Estate Planning?
We all know that having a Will is important and everyone needs to have one. It not only sets out your wishes after your death. It also helps you to understand better your current and future estate, which could be worth more than you ever imagined. If this... [read more...
HMRC considers splitting Inheritance Tax nil-rate band across trusts
It has come to light that HMRC has amended its proposal to split an individual's inheritance tax (IHT) nil-rate band (NRB) across trusts. The revised plans, which could come into force in 2015, mean that an individual would only have a £325,000 allowance... [read more...
Buyer beware: the case against DIY Wills + estate planning
We’re often asked by clients whether they can write a Will themselves. The answer is yes, of course, as long as you're aware of the risks involved in venturing down this particular path. Whether you look online or to an off-the-shelf pack, there’s... [read more...
DIY probate: a risk worth taking?
For some Will executors, it can be tempting to go it alone when it comes to the probate process. Prices are rising and it’s inevitable that many will cut costs and try to do themselves what they would previously have paid a professional to do. But... [read more...
The importance of choosing your executors carefully
One of the most important decisions you’ll need to make when writing your Will is who to choose as your executors. Your executor has an important and responsible role. It’s the executor who will manage your estate and affairs in the event of your... [read more...
When is the right time to write or update your Will?
It’s a commonly-quoted statistic that 70% of the UK adult population doesn’t have a Will; however it’s a lesser known fact that the majority of Wills in place are out-of-date and in need of review or updating. In many ways, having an out-dated Will... [read more...