Free Will this September –




Free Will this September


 

Lawindexpro Solicitors is continuing its work with UK charity Brain Tumour Research and in September 2017 we will be offering free Wills from the 7th – 21st.

 

We will draft your Will for free but in exchange we will ask you leave a legacy to Brain Tumour Research in your Will to the value of the fee you would usually pay to us.

 

We offer free, no obligation 30 minute consultations as standard with one of our friendly Solicitors in any of our four offices in Beaconsfield, Henley, High Wycombe and Guildford.

 

If you are interested in leaving a legacy with the benefit of having your Will drafted for free or have any questions then please contact us either by phoning 01628 496687 and ask to speak to our Private Client team or email them:

 

sales@Lawindexpro.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Terms and Conditions

1.  This offer is open to all England and Wales residents.  This offer is not available to employees of and their immediate families.

2.  This offer entitles you to one transaction free of charge for a basic single Will up to the value of £350.00 + VAT for an individual or couple on the condition that you leave a legacy to Brain Tumour Research Charity in your Will to the value of the fee you would usually pay us.

3.  This offer only applies to basic Single or Mirror Will instructions and Lawindexpro is allowed to charge for any bespoke or complex trust provisions which you request to be inserted into your Will at a standard hourly rate of £250.00 plus VAT.  All such charges will be quoted to you for your approval prior to those costs being incurred.

4.  Offer valid from 07/09/2017 until 21/09/2017.

5.  The offer may only be used once.

6.  Any persons taking advantage of this promotion do so on complete acceptance of these terms and conditions.


Instruct us to act on your Children or Matrimonial Matter and…have your Will Drafted for FREE –

Instruct us to act on your Children or Matrimonial Matter and…have your Will Drafted for FREE

 

When you instruct us to act in any family matter in September 2017, Lawindexpro Solicitors will include a free Will.

The free Will is subject to you instructing Lawindexpro Solicitors to act for you in your family matter and will be arranged for you by our Private Client te

Terms and Conditions

 

1.  This offer is open to all England and Wales residents.  This offer is not available to employees of and their immediate families.

 

2.  This offer entitles you to one transaction free of charge for a basic single Will up to the value of £200.00 + VAT when you instruct us to act for you in your matrimonial or Children matter in September 2017.

 

3.  This offer only applies to basic Single or Mirror Will instructions and Lawindexpro is allowed to charge for any bespoke or complex trust provisions which you request to be inserted into your Will at a standard hourly rate of £250.00 plus VAT.  All such charges will be quoted to you for your approval prior to those costs being incurred.

 

4.  Offer valid from 01/09/2017 to 30/09/2017.

 

5.  The offer may only be used once.

 

6.  Any persons taking advantage of this promotion do so on complete acceptance of these terms and conditions.

Vacancy – Solicitor – Family Department –




Vacancy – Solicitor – Family Department


We are looking to appoint an experienced Family Solicitor to work within a busy department dealing with divorce, civil partnership, co-habitation breakdown, all aspects of financial matters including TOLATA, pre-nuptial agreements, co-habitation agreements, private children law (privately paying), injunction advice and applications, and advocacy. Child abduction experience would be a bonus.

With proven experience in this area (PQE 3yrs +) a solicitor that is Resolution accredited or a member of the Family Law Advanced panel would be preferred.   Previous experience in acting as a supervisor for Legal Assistants also required, along with a willingness to promote the department through marketing and networking events.

Your ability to operate within a Lexcel accredited company whilst demonstrating commerciality, flexibility, adaptability, professionalism and excellent customer service are pre-requisites for this role.

You will be required to assist with the development of the Family department across multiple locations.  Pro-active networking is part of this role, therefore strong contacts across the local market combined with a commercial instinct, first rate client facing skills, communication and interpersonal skills must be demonstrated.

To be a successful candidate you must understand the compliance regimes associated with a modern law firm, and will have sound commercial acumen enabling you to understand not just the legal issues, but the commercial objectives underpinning them.

Travel between offices will be required therefore a clean driving license and the use of a car is essential.

This role would suit a self motivated individual who is looking to progress a career in a fast moving Commercial environment, who can demonstrate excellent IT skills and works well under pressure.  Previous experience of using a case management system is essential and you will demonstrate a flexible and pro-active approach to problem solving.


Protecting our Digital Legacies When we Die –




Protecting our Digital Legacies When we Die


Traditionally, assets have always been best protected after death by writing a Will to make sure that our loved ones benefit from our legacy – but what about our digital assets?

In recent years we have seen a rapid increase in the use of social media with many people choosing to keep their personal messages, photographs and videos stored primarily online. This gives rise to questions about what happens to your digital life when you die.

A recent story saw a heartbroken mother denied access to her daughter’s Facebook account after she died due to a brain tumour. According to the BBC, Facebook denied the mothers request to her daughter’s account but instead her account was memorialised.

Last year The Law Society urged the public to give clear instructions written in a Will detailing their wishes for their “digital estate”.  This could include: giving your loved ones unfettered access to your account; memorialising your accounts so all friends and family can still see your photos and posts; or it could also detail your wish to close all accounts. The Law Society stresses your Will should provide this information but you should also detail any online bank accounts, investments and digital currency.

Whilst dealing with such assets in a Will is quite a new concept in the traditionally archaic legal world, society’s increasing dependence on technology and innovation certainly ensures this practice will become a necessity in the future.

You need to include an express authority in your Will for someone to deal with your digital assets but you must not give anyone your personal log in details. This is why you should simply list your online accounts rather than include passwords and pins to make sure they are protected against fraud and hackers. Just as importantly, your Executors might commit a criminal offence by using your details.

Lawindexpro have a vibrant and diverse Private Client department who can efficiently and accurately draft your Will taking into account all of your assets by asking all the right questions. Our staff know the steps you need to take to pass digital assets to your chosen beneficiaries without compromising your ongoing online security. If you would like to discuss this further please do not hesitate to contact our Private Client department.


What are the Consequences if You Die Without a Will and “Next of Kin”? –




What are the Consequences if You Die Without a Will and “Next of Kin”?


Intestacy

The term “Intestacy” is used where a person dies without leaving a valid Will. This means the Intestacy Rules will apply and the persons Estate will be divided as per these Rules which are set by the government.

Most people believe the Intestacy Rules mean that your belongings will pass to your next of kin; however, this is not always the case and rarely ever that simple. The matter becomes especially complicated for those who die intestate without any living relatives and the Estate could potentially be paid to the Crown.

For more information about the Intestacy Rules, look out for our blog that is coming soon on the subject.

 

What if I have no apparent family?

An intestate death for people with no connected or apparent family opens up a whole new chapter most people are not aware of. It can cause issues with regards to disposing of the body but also who inherits what and, most importantly, who takes on responsibility for undertaking all the tasks involved in administering an Estate.

 

The consequences of Intestacy

Bona Vacantia

The Latin term “Bona Vacantia” simply means “vacant or ownerless goods” and in the context of intestacy is simply means “no heirs”.

According to recent research and the list which is available to the general public, at the moment there are over 14,000[1] Estates which are looked after by the HM Government Legal Department and most of the Estate are referred to them by:

care homes;

lawyers;

the bereavement office (very commonly);

councils;

hospitals.

In addition to this, over 3,000 Estates are known to be worth more than £15,000 and some even many millions according to the Government.

Under the law, an Estate should be claimed within 12 years of the intestate’s death but under Bona Vacantia it can be extended to 30 years or more at their discretion.

Furthermore, under Government’s discretionary powers, it is not necessary to be an entitled relative (by blood and/or name) to inherit. You can be merely someone who was ‘close’ to the intestate for whom they may have made some provisions in their Will “had they made a Will” would be sufficient. In other words this could simply be cooking, cleaning and helping the intestate in any other way.

A complete industry has evolved due to people dying intestate in recent years known as “Heir Hunting”. This is where heirs to an intestate estate are tracked down on contingency commission based contracts.

Research shows an increase of heirs self-claiming an inheritance; however claimants are often unaware of their legal obligations to trace others who might be entitled and may find that not all of the inheritance (or in fact any of it) is theirs.

A potential claimant will only need to prove that he or she is a blood relative by submitting documentary evidence to prove their relationship to the deceased. This will ensure that they have a prior claim to the Crown who will take the money otherwise.

Having said this, there have been instances where claimants have been taken aback when they found out that another relative has a better claim and entitled to either more or all of the estate and they are left with nothing despite personally funding the cost of the claim and going through the hassle.

 

What can I do about it?

When looking back at the above the easier option would be to simply make a basic Will which is inexpensive, easy to do and clearly sets out your wishes.

At B legal Solicitors we pride ourselves in giving our clients clear and precise advice, which is easy to understand and follow. We are more than happy to sit down with you and discuss your issues, concerns and what you would like to achieve from your Will in our free, no-obligation half hour consultation.


The Guildford Business Club – January 21st meeting –


The Guildford Business Club – January 21st meeting

 

We would like to thank all who attended our launch meeting of the Guildford Business Club on September 17th. We are pleased to confirm that our next meeting will be held on Wednesday January 21st 2017.

We welcome all local businesses, business start-ups and other industry experts such as; mortgage advisers, bookkeepers and accountants. The Guildford Business Club has a range of opportunities for you and your business! As well as a delicious choice of breakfast for you to enjoy, there will be opportunities for you to network with local business people, raise your own business profile, receive financial and legal support, general business advice, ask questions from expert advisors and keep up to date with new legal and financial legislation.

The Guildford Business Club is a Business Biscotti Gold club organised by Lawindexpro Solicitors and St James Place Wealth Management.

Our tailored “ask the experts” section involves guest speakers giving advice specific to local businesses in the Guildford area. It is an opportunity not to be missed!

In this meeting we are joined by Business Coach Paul Warriner who is talking about ‘Turning Good Intentions into Good Practice’ and Private Client Insurance Broker Paul Huntley giving a talk on ‘Helping You Protect Your Biggest Personal Asset’.

Places are limited! So to book your seat at our second event, please click on the link at the end of this article and follow the instructions. Alternatively, for more information visit our website at http://www.businessbiscottigold.com/buckinghamshire/marlow/the-marlow-business-club-january.html.

Alternatively, you can email at Lawindexpro  on sales@Lawindexpro.co.uk

*Please note that business attire is required on attendance.

Wednesday 21st January, 7:30am – 9:30am

Venue: The Assembly Room – Guildford


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The Guildford Business Club – Launch Event


The Guildford Business Club – Launch Event!

This September marks the launch of an exciting new opportunity for business professionals in Guildford. If you are a local business owner, thinking about business start-ups, mortgage advisor, bookkeeper or accountant, The Guildford Business Club has a range of opportunities for you and your business! The Guildford Business Club is designed for people who want answers to all things legal and financial, both in their personal and professional lives.

The Guildford Business Club is a Business Biscotti Gold club organised by Lawindexpro Solicitors and St James Place Wealth Management. The club provides a forum for people to receive up to date information and support from both legal and financial experts. Breakfast meetings will be held once per quarter and you can expect to receive topical briefings on a variety of financial and legal subjects.

As well as a delicious choice of breakfast for you to enjoy, there will be opportunities for you to network with local business people, raise your own business profile, receive financial and legal support, ask questions from expert advisors and keep up to date with new legal and financial legislation.

Our tailored “ask the expert” section involves guest speakers from related industry giving advice specific to local businesses in the Guildford area. It is most definitely an opportunity not to be missed!

Places are limited! So to book your seat at our launch event, click on the link at the end of this article and follow the instructions. Alternatively, for more information visit our website at http://www.businessbiscottigold.com/buckinghamshire/marlow/buckinghamshire/marlow/the-marlow-business-club/the-marlow-business-club-september.html

Alternatively, you can email Charlotte Digby or at Lawindexpro on cdigby@Lawindexpro.co.uk or sales@Lawindexpro.co.uk

*Please note that business attire is required on attendance.

17th September, 7:30 – 9:30am

Venue: The Assembly Room – Guildford


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10 Great Reasons to Write Your Will


10 Great Reasons to Write Your Will

Many people make it a New Years Resolution to make a Will but before they know it work and family life soon takes over and they never get around to it.  Not making a will is a missed opportunity to have your say about what happens after you die. Here are just 10 reasons which illustrate the importance of making a will:

1. Security

A Will is the only way to ensure your Property and possessions will go where you want to. Nothing can beat the feeling of relief knowing that your loved ones will be financially secure after your death. If you have no family and do not make a will everything will go to the Crown.

2. You are Unmarried

If you are unmarried but have a partner who you would like to inherit in the event of your death, then you must make a Will. Unmarried partners have no rights to an estate of a loved one and will receive nothing.

3. Guardians for your Children

If you have children under the age of 18 your Will can stipulate who is to be a guardian in the event of your death. It would give you the security of choosing who is going to look after your children.

4. Prevent Family Feuds

If you do not leave clear instructions after your death then rifts may occur between your family members. This can be the result of one or more parties feeling that they are more entitled than others to certain assets. In writing your Will this can help to avoid any arguments and unnecessary expense and delay after you have gone. This can be particularly relevant if you have remarried and have children from previous relationships.

5. Skip a Generation

It might be the case that your children are financially secure and that you want your Will to benefit your grandchildren. A Will can be set up so that it skips a generation thereby ensuring your grandchildren’s financial security.

6. Change in personal circumstances

If you already have a will but have since married, entered into a civil partnership, separated, divorced or remarried then you must make a new will. If you are separated but not legally divorced and do not have a will your assets will pass to your spouse even if you no longer live with them. 

7. Sentimental Items

If you have items of great sentimental value or family heirlooms then you may wish to stipulate in your Will who should have these to prevent arguments and ensure that the sentimental value will not be lost in years to come.

8. You’ve had a Windfall

If you are fortunate enough to come into some money, no matter what age, you should consider writing a Will. It is easy to forget to make such plans when you are enjoying an unexpected cash flow – however this often means that the money isn’t distributed in accordance with your wishes in the event of your death.

9. Charity

A Will can be set up so that your estate is donated to charity. If you have an organisation or support a group close to your heart which you would like to leave something to then we can write your Will to respect those wishes.

10. Keeping it in your own family

If you and your partner have children from a previous relationship or marriage then you may wish to leave your estate to your blood relatives as opposed to passing to your new partner’s family. You can arrange this by making a will. In the unfortunate event that you and your spouse died together then it may be deemed that the eldest person died first. If your spouse is younger than you then your estate would pass to them and could pass to their family either by their will or intestacy rules.

These are only 10 of the great reason to make Will and there are many more. Why not give us a call and find out how we can help you get the security and peace of mind that you deserve.

The Private Client Team

, Fareed Kazi, Stephen Bucknill, Kate Corris, Michael James and Joanne John

We have offices in Guildford, High Wycombe, Henley and Beaconsfield and are happy to see clients in any of our office locations or at home if it is not possible to travel.

Please contact – sales@Lawindexpro.co.ukDirect Dial: 01628 496674 for more information


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Women on the Rise –




Women on the Rise


A recent article by the Law Gazette said that women account for almost a third of new partners in the magic circle’s latest appointment round. Whilst this is higher than last year, of 91 promotions across the big five law firms only 32% were women.

Traditionally, the ‘Old Boys Network’ meant white middle class men dominated the legal profession, but will it always continue? According to The Law Society, in July 2013 48.6% of the 158,644 Solicitors on the Roll were women. This number could rise further still if we look at educational statistics in the industry as The Law Society also found that in 2012, 62.4% of students accepted onto University law degree courses were female.

Lawindexpro is ahead of the curve in the surge of female legal professionals with women making up three quarters of our employees. In fact: 9 out of our 14 solicitors are female (including a trainee); 3 out of 5 Directors are also women at the top of their fields; and Nicola Chard is our founder and Managing Director.

We pride ourselves on our progressive and modern approach to the law where the only thing which matters to us is how hard you’re willing to work to reach your goals. We hope to see an increasing number of female legal professionals in senior positions throughout the country which should appropriately reflect the evident rise of young women studying the law.


Why a financial planner is an essential part of your divorce team –




Why a financial planner is an essential part of your divorce team


By Guest Blogger Hannah Foxley of The Women’s Wealth Expert http://www.thewomenswealthexpert.co.uk/#!


 

A mistake that is often made in the divorce process is involving the financial planner at the end once the settlement has been agreed, but they can add much value in helping to reach a settlement.

A good financial planner will bring to your attention and help you avoid making mistakes, I have included some here as examples but the list is not exhaustive;

Dealing with financial assets on a single basis rather than taking account of the bigger picture

  • Keeping a house that you can’t afford
  • Failing to break all financial ties
  • Not having a true understanding of the financial assets and debts of a marriage
  • Failing to understand what your true outgoings are and preparing an incorrect budget
  • Assuming that an equal division is a fair division on divorce
  • Failing to understand the risk and reward trade off when offsetting assets
  • Having an unrealistic expectation of your lifestyle after divorce
  • Failing to understand the true value of your husband’s defined benefit pension scheme
  • Failing to take your fair share of your husband’s pensions
  • Taking the house in lieu of the pension
  • Not taking into consideration the impact of tax on assets
  • Failing to change joint life policies
  • Failing to insure the maintenance payments and maintain control of policies
  • Not understanding the liquidity of assets
  • Failing to consider your long-term security
  • Forgetting about the long-term impact of inflation and tax and having unrealistic expectations of investment returns
  • Failing to develop a post-divorce financial plan

So, as you can see, having a financial planner is key.

Here are some of the ways that they can help you.

 

Help with preparing the Form E

The Form E is the financial statement document in a divorce and is the lynchpin of the financial decision-making. It is absolutely vital to get the information on it correct. The most crucial part for you to get right is part 3, which relates to the financial requirements that you have both in terms of capital and income. This is where any mistakes in the budget could have a negative impact on the settlement that you agree. It is imperative to include absolutely everything on that statement and take into account the impact of inflation and tax.

In addition to that, a financial planner can help with the rest of the form by assisting you to obtain all of the relevant information about your savings, investments and pensions from the providers. Because they see this paperwork all of the time, they know exactly what they are looking for and can take the stress away from you and save your solicitor time also.

 

Understanding the assets

If your husband has many different assets and investments, you will need to understand exactly what they are, how risky they are, what the tax implications are and whether you can actually sell them.  You will also need to understand the future value of those investments and how they will help your future financial security rather than focussing on the current value of it. Your husband is likely to have a different risk profile to you and so you will need someone who really understands the assets to explain them to you. A financial planner can do this for you.

 

Getting to grips with the pensions

Getting your share of your husband’s pension is absolutely crucial and it’s not just about agreeing an equal split based on the current value of the funds, doing this could be seriously detrimental to you. There are many factors to consider when looking at splitting the pension and they are a significant asset in most marriages, so getting it right is crucial. Only a financial adviser can advise on pensions. They work with your lawyer and, if necessary, an actuary, if a final salary pension scheme is involved to bring the figures to life and explain the impact of the factors used in the calculations.

 

Calculating your future income needs

When calculating your future income needs factors such as inflation, tax and investment returns need to be taken into consideration so that you do not run out of money. Failure to take these factors into consideration can and will have a devastating effect on your future financial security.

A good financial planner uses specialist software, which can analyse future cash flow requirements taking into account inflation, tax and different investment returns to calculate the sum that would be required as a settlement.

 

This software gives you a visual representation of how different factors can affect your future financial security. It will show when you will run out of money, which allows the financial planner and lawyer to calculate how much of a lump sum you need as a settlement or how much maintenance needs to be paid. It can also be used to show how much of your husband’s pension you will need to take to ensure that you have a fair income in retirement. It clearly shows the effects of inflation and investment returns on your money and is brilliant for helping you to plan and budget. The results of this analysis and the assumptions used can be used to produce a report to provide to the court. The planner will then use this software for the post-divorce financial planning to help you set a realistic budget to live on so that you don’t run out of money. This is the true value of a great financial planner.

 

Protection of the settlement

You may agree as part of the settlement that your husband will pay you maintenance either until the children reach a certain age, or it may be for the rest of your life. It is essential that this is protected in case your husband becomes sick or dies. It is also vital to ensure that the protection is set up in such a way that you know that he is paying the premiums, and you don’t find out when it is too late that he cancelled the policy without you knowing.

 

Post-divorce financial planning

Once the divorce has been finalised and you have your settlement, you will be on your own financially. Proper financial planning is really important as you don’t want to get ten years down the line and run out of money, or get to retirement and realise that you don’t have enough.

As described above, financial planners can help you to budget correctly, so that you have money for now and money for the future. You will also need help with school and university fees for the children.

You may have got some of your husband’s pension as part of the settlement and this will need to be invested for you, as well as a discussion around adding to it yourself. You may have cash and assets that you have no idea what to do with. This is a very scary and fearful position to be in when you are not used to it and this is where the planner can help. The relationship with your financial planner is a long one and will guide you through life’s changes as well as any curve balls that it throws at you.

Your relationship with your lawyer ends as soon as the divorce is finalised but a financial planner will be there for as long as you continue to have a relationship with them. This will give you a feeling of security and continuity. By having them involved at the very beginning you can ensure that you avoid making expensive financial mistakes, they can support your lawyer, working with them to ensure the best outcome for you.

If you would like further financial advice then you can contact Hannah on 020 7125 0409 or email her at Hannah@thewomenswealthexpert.co.uk