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 – 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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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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“Judges say your Will can be ignored” Landmark Court Ruling: Ilott v Mitson –




“Judges say your Will can be ignored” Landmark Court Ruling: Ilott v Mitson


 

On Monday The Court of Appeal ruled on the case of Ilott v Mitson which has led lawyers to warn that the outcome could undermine the rights of an individual to leave their assets to whoever they wish.

 

The facts

Mrs Ilott had been estranged from her Mother for 26 years after she eloped at the age of 17, some 37 years earlier, which had resulted in a family dispute. The deceased had taken steps to have her will professionally drawn up, realising  there could be a potential claim on her death, and had even prepared a letter explaining why she had disinherited her Daughter and instructing her executors to fight any claim.

Despite the deceased seemingly having done everything she could to ensure her estate did not pass to her Daughter the Court awarded the sum of £164,000 to Mrs Illot, instead of the whole estate (£489,000.00) being paid to the three charities named in the Will.

 

Why did the Court reach this decision?

While it has always been possible for certain people to make a claim against your estate by proving the will to be invalid or that they had not been given reasonable financial provision, the latter has always been notoriously difficult for a self sufficient adult. The concern is that this case has widened the gap to make it more accessible for claims to be brought.

However, whilst this is a landmark decision it should be noted that this case is very fact specific and the Court took into account many factors when making their decision.

Although the pair had been estranged for a number of years it was noted that Mrs Ilott had made several attempts to reconcile with her Mother during that time, the Court acknowledged that some fault must lay with Mrs llott but that the deceased had in fact been the dominant cause in the breakdown of the relationship.

The Court held that the deceased had failed to make “reasonable financial provision” for her Daughter and took into account basic human needs given Mrs Ilott’s circumstances. She has 5 children and is dependant on State Benefits, her and her Husband live in a Housing Association house which they had the right to buy but could not afford and in addition the family had never had a holiday and had at times struggled to afford clothing and food.

The amount awarded was enough for her to purchase the property and cover any incidental costs incurred in doing so.

Finally, the Court’s decision was influenced by the fact the deceased had “little association” with the Charities she had named in her Will and the charities in question were not dependant on the funds.

 

What does this decision mean for you and how can we help?

It is likely that as a result of this decision we will see an increase in the number of claims being made against estate and if these are successful it will be a cause for concerns for those who wish to disinherit members of their family from their Will.

It is more important than ever to ensure your Will has been drawn up professionally to make it as water tight as possible.  It is not sufficient to just give the reasons why someone is not inherit; you must now go the extra step and give detailed reasons why you have left the estate to those named in the Will.

Our team of private client solicitors can discuss your circumstances and wishes and how best to achieve these. We will then accurately record your wishes in detail so that should a claim arise all aspects have been covered. We keep our Will files and these can be called upon as evidence.

If you do not have a Will, or have made a Will in the past and want to make sure everything is in order, then please contact one of the team to arrange a free initial consultation.


Vacancy – Receptionist – High Wycombe –




Vacancy – Receptionist – High Wycombe


We are looking to appoint a full time Receptionist in our busy High Wycombe office.

You will need to deliver friendly, efficient customer service and to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere for all our clients.

Administration duties will also apply to this varied role, and a flexible, can do attitude is essential. You will need to demonstrate good literacy and numeracy skills together with a good working knowledge of Microsoft Office programmes. A minimum academic requirement of 5 GCSE’s at Grade B (including Maths and English) preferred.

Please see our website for details on how to find out more and instructions on how to apply http://www.Lawindexpro.co.uk/vacancies/


Pensions and Divorce –




Pensions and Divorce


When dealing with a case involving pensions on a divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership there are three potential options;

• Pension Sharing

• Pension Attachment (Earmarking)

• Pension Offsetting

Without a doubt pensions can be difficult to understand. That’s why specialist advice is needed and that will often involve a separate pension expert and involvement by an actuary.

There are a variety of different pensions which may need to be considered, to include personal pensions, final salary schemes and often executive pensions, such as SSASs (Small Self Administered Schemes). An actuary can asses the options and present a report setting out the calculations and the relevant options to assist with negotiations.

Once matters are agreed, separate advice is often needed on how to actually implement the pension share or pension attachment. It is obviously important that the relevant pension order is implemented properly and in a timely fashion. Equally, separate advice can be taken about how best to rebuild a pension following the pension share.

Pension Sharing

A pension share essentially means that a pension on divorce is shared between the parties. The pension member who loses a percentage of the pension (pension debit) and the other party receives the percentage of the pension which is subsequently transferred (pension credit). The person receiving the pension share then has his/her own entitlement to that share of the pension.

There are two options in relation the pension credit;

• An internal transfer – this means that the pension remains within the existing pension scheme; or

• An external transfer – where the pension credit has to be transferred out of the existing pension scheme and invested in a new pension of his/her choice.

A pension sharing order can only be made following a divorce and by a Court order. A pension scheme has four months to implement the pension sharing order/ annex from the date it is served with the relevant papers. In considering pension sharing, it is also important on a case by case basis to consider the other relevant options of pension attachment and offsetting.

It is also important that the pension valuation is fair and accurate and special care must be taken where the pensions are perhaps unusual in nature particularly where the benefits are undervalued or are connected to a privately run business – this is where independent actuarial input can be crucial.

Pension Attachment

This effectively means that part of the pension is paid to the other party when the pension is drawn or in payment.

A pension attachment order can be made by a Court and following a divorce. Commonly, a pension sharing order will not take effect for some time as the member of the pension scheme will not have retired. Common problems with pension attachment orders are that they end at the death of a pension member or on the remarriage of the spouse. A pension earmarking order, might be an attractive option where the death in service benefits are high and a member of the scheme is near retirement.

Pension Offsetting

This basically means that the value of the pension benefits are offset against the value of other assets commonly the family home or investments. This could be appropriate where the pensions are modest, where it is the case of a short marriage and/or parties are of a young age and/or pension sharing is not a viable option, for example, because the case involves and overseas pension where sharing is not allowed.

Process

Where there is an application for ancillary relief the applicant must indicate on Form A if this will include any pension arrangements.

A copy of this form must be sent by the person with the pension rights to the persons responsible for each pension arrangement (scheme provider or administrator) requesting the following information;

Valuation of pension rights or benefits

A cash equivalent transfer value (CETV)

Details of the benefits included in the valuation.

Whether the administrator will offer membership to the person receiving a pension credit as an internal transfer, or whether an external transfer would be necessary.

Schedule of charges which would be levied.

This information then forms part of the overall negotiations and a report may be produced by a pensions expert to aid negotiations in this regard.

Once a Pension Sharing Order is made an annex is attached for each pension arrangement which outlines the specific percentage value of the pension arrangement to be transferred as well as the date at which the benefits are to be valued and how the charges are to be apportioned between the parties.

The annex will usually require the recipient to include details of where their pension credit will be received – therefore pensions advice will be required to select the most appropriate vehicle.

The scheme provider/ administrator must discharge their liability within the period of 4 months beginning the date on which the order or provision takes effect or the first day they are in receipt of the order, including the annex.

How Brown Shipley can help;

We have pension experts who can provide advice and guidance for individuals with regards to pension matters and we also have our own pension wrapper which can accept most pension credits.

We are more than happy to discuss a situation in outline without obligation, working with the individual’s advisors and our Private Bankers to ensure an effective solution.

Brown Shipley & Co Limited is a UK authorised bank, authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. In relation to Pensions and Financial Planning Brown Shipley provides advice on a restricted basis.

Brown Shipley is also a member of the network of private banks known as KBL European Private Bankers, which, together, manage over €40 billion of client assets.