Posts tagged “Wills”

The ownership of your home can affect who can inherit it when you die.
In a recent High Court case a widow was awarded £80,000 from her brother-in-law’s inheritance following a dispute over property ownership. Here’s what happened. 
 
Her husband has made a Will leaving his estate in full to her. However, after his death, there was a dispute concerning the family home that she had shared with him. The property was registered to her husband and his brother. It had been owned by their mother until she died in 2009, but it wasn’t clear whether the brothers held the property as joint tenants or as tenants-in-common
While most people in the UK believe their affairs are simple, their requirements are often quite complicated when it comes to their Will. 
 
According to recently published research online Will writing services often fail to consider things that can significantly affect the details of your Will such as marital status, children, assets, business and property ownership, overseas property investments and disinheritance. 
creating your Will on your laptop is easy but it might not be valid.
Even photo stored on your phone or in the cloud are digital assets
Social media and email accounts, cryptocurrencies, and photographs stored in the cloud are all digital assets
 
Although they are an important part of our lives, we probably haven’t given much thought to what will happen to them if we die or are unable to make decisions about them. 
 
Joint research by the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and the Microsoft-funded Cloud Legal Project at Queen Mary University of London has looked at the practical issues surrounding digital assets for estate planning. 
Changes to the online probate service, MyHMCTS, for solicitors and other legal professionals came into effect on 19 August 2021. These changes could simplify and streamline the probate process for executors and administrators. 
 
 
A black gavel use in HM Court and Tribunal service hearings
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has launched a consultation on its proposals to increase probate fees. 
 
The new single fee of £273 will apply to professional and non-professional applicants, regardless of the size of the estate. The MoJ says the new fee reflects the cost of providing the service and is not intended to make a profit. 
 
Currently the fees to apply for a grant of probate for an estate valued over £5,000 are £155 for professionals and £215 for individuals. Estates worth less than £5,000 don’t pay a fee. 
 
picture of a gavel representing HM Courts & Tribunals Service
Latest figures show that charitable donations left in Wills increased by more than 60% last year. 
 
More than half of people in the UK don’t have a Will and only three out of 10 people say they have an up-to-date Will. During the pandemic 7% of people made or updated their Will

Why leave gifts to charity? 

Many people are leaving tax-free gifts to charities in their Wills to reduce the amount of inheritance tax (IHT) to be paid on their estate when they die. 
 
Gifts to charitable causes are tax-free, and if you donate 10% of your estate to charity, the amount of inheritance tax due will be reduced from 40% to 36%, above the £325,000 tax-free threshold. 
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