Archive for August, 2014


Do you have a Will? Here’s why you should! 

Don’t be a statistic:

According to a survey for Will Aid in 2013

  • Only in the 55+ age group has a significant majority (over 71.80%) made a Will. But there has been a big rise in the numbers of younger respondents between 18 and 24 with a Will, up from  5.20% in 2012 to 10.90% in 2013.
  • Single people are the least likely to have a Will..
  • More than 58% of people who have separated from their husband/wife/partner have no Will. This is likely to cause significant problems since, until divorce; the Ex will automatically inherit their share of the estate.
    Almost 70% of cohabiting couples who are neither married nor in a civil partnership have no Will. This means that on death, the surviving partner would have no right to inherit automatically.
  • Only 31% of respondents with dependent children have a Will. Yet everyone with young children and other dependents should make a Will to make financial and caring provision for them and decide at what age they can inherit.

1.    Do you have children?

Probably the most important reason why any one would make a Will is to make sure they have provision in place for their young children. Appointing a guardian to look after them and trustees to look after their your money for them.  If you don’t  do this it will be left to the legal rules of intestacy to decide who does.

2.    Do you have a partner you cohabit with ?

If you do not have a Will and you are not married your partner will get NOTHING. They will not be provided for even if you live as a married couple. They will not be looked after.

The only way to make sure it goes to them an no one else is to make a Will.

BE AWARE:

If you have children from a previous relationship who are under 18 it will be their parent (your Ex) who will be the one to deal with everything.

3.    Are you divorced or separated – still own a property with an Ex ?

If you are divorced or separated and have children from a previous marriage you would need a Will to cater for all your children fairly. Otherwise your whole estate could go to your second spouse leaving all your children with nothing.

If you are separated your estate will still go to your spouse and it is likely your house will too.

4.    Do you travel abroad?

In 2012/13 there were over 6000 deaths of British people

abroad according to the FCO

Younger people go on more adventurous holidays and take more risks.

Like extreme sports – snowboarding, skiing, bungee jumping, climbing, mountaineering. This increases the risk of needing a Will when you are younger.

What would your family do if anything happened to you. It would be devastating for your family and friends and having a Will in place just in case would help to sort things out.

5.    It is not always about wealth

There are many other reasons to make a Will. If you have a house or some savings you should make a Will but what about making provisions for others issues:

–       Your children

–       Your pets

–       Your digital assets

–       Your passwords and social media accounts?

–       Facebook twitter Instagram

–       Your personal belongings ?

–       Your car? Your mobile?

–       Your debts?

MAKE A WILL TODAY

It is a simple and easy process to make a Will. It can be done by email telephone skype or FaceTime at a time to suit you with our expert solicitors. For a basic Will the cost is £90 + VAT = £108. We can find a way that will suit your needs whatever they are or however complicated.

Email: jo-ann.masno@wesolicitors.com

Call today on  0870 165 9413

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A Norwich business man who was left solely in charge of the wills and probate services arm took cash from deceased’s person’s estate to pay his personal debts and build his own property portfolio. He abused his position of trust and deceived his customers.

Jailing him for four years eight months, Judge Stephen Holt said: “A very large sum of money was siphoned off from your various clients.”

However he said that because he had not frittered the cash away, the losers might get the money back: ”I am told possibly that 100 per cent of all the money you stole will be repaid because of the property portfolio of the nine properties you have bought.”

He said his actions had been a breach of trust, although because the industry was unregulated, it was not as high as if he had been a solicitor.

“None the less a considerable breach of trust has occurred.”

Andrea Lock, prosecuting, said that the will writing business was not subject to regulation, unlike if a will had been drawn up by a solicitor.

Jason Sugarman, for Jones, said: “He feels terribly sorry for what has occurred. He accepts he has let many people down, including the public, who trusted him.”

WE Solicitors say: “There is more risk when dealing with unregulated companies who offer wills and probate services. Anyone can set up a company but it does not mean they have the expertise and experience required for these services or that they will always act in the best interests of their clients. This is a given when instructing a solicitor.

Solicitors are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and it is mandatory to have Professional Indemnity Insurance in place. Clients can have the peace of mind that they are in safe hands. This is not obvious from companies who are not regulated”

If you would like advice on administering an estate or you are not happy with the company who is dealing with an estate contact WE Solicitors.

Email info@wesolicitors.com

Free phone Telephone: 0800 294 3065

Recent Court data from the Chancery Division has shown there was a rise in cases where Executors have breached their duties to the beneficiaries in 2013.

 The claims include theft of the assets from the estate by the executor and taking it upon themselves to distribute the estate to more favoured beneficiaries. All of which amounts to fraud.

Where executors take out probate on their own there is a high risk of this happening. Beneficiaries often find themselves in the dark. They may not be told the full contents of the Will or how the estate has been distributed. It is very difficult  to find out what assets are in the estate if your are not an Executor.

If an estate has not been administered properly then it is likely court proceedings would follow which can be lengthy and costly and ultimately it’s the beneficiaries who suffer through the long process.

It can be a false economy for a lay executor to administer the estate and is often perceived to be a simple process. In some cases it is quite straightforward but there are many cases were it is far from it.

What can you do to prevent this happening?

Appointing a solicitor to as an executor to administer the estate is  the safest option. Alternatively, you can appoint a solicitor to act with a family member. That way family or friends can deal with more personal issues and their involvement can help reduce the costs but a solicitor will ensure that the estate is administered properly and all the beneficiaries are protected.

A solicitor has a higher duty of care to the estate and will ensure all assets are collected in and distributed properly, providing Estate Accounts at the end so that all parties can see what has been done. It is not necessarily expensive to do this and the costs come from the estate.

This is even more important where the executors and/or the beneficiaries do not see eye to eye. A solicitor can act as a go between and make sure they are all treated fairly. Thereby reducing the risk of an expensive court case.

It is a big responsibility for an Executor to administer an estate, being  responsible for large amounts of money and keeping beneficiaries happy.

If you are planning to make a Will and want some advice about appointing an executor or if you are an executor battling with an estate contact us for a free initial consultation to see what we can do for you.

Call WE Solicitors LLP Failsworth Manchester on:  0870 165 9413 / 0161 684 372

Email: info@wesolicitors.com

There are now over 340,000 Dementia Friends who are wearing their badge with pride and doing a few small things to make life better for people with dementia. Read about 900 new Dementia Friends from Poole High School, the students were part of an exciting new pilot to engage younger people.

It’s really easy to become a Dementia Friend, visit www.dementiafriends.org.uk watch our short video or join a face-to-face Information Session in your local area.

Dementia Friends Champion training courses

Dementia Friends Champions are volunteering to change the way people think, talk and act about dementia. Champions are trained volunteers who encourage others to learn a little bit about dementia, and inspire them to help people with dementia live well by delivering Information Sessions in their local community. Our Champions include award-winning actress Josette Simon OBE and Jamie Anderson, the son of legendary television and film producer Gerry Anderson who have both run Dementia Friends Information Sessions over the last week.

Dementia Friends is an Alzheimer’s Society initiative

                       

Jo-Ann Mason of the Wills and Probate Department at WE Solicitors has recently become a Dementia Friend. She attended an awareness session at Wigan and Leigh Carers Centre.

She says:  “It was a very informative group session. We were more aware of the perspective of someone living with dementia and how you can help. Being a Dementia friend is about understanding and taking action to help people with dementia even little things like helping someone to find an item in a shop or being more patient in a queue. It has increased my awareness and hopefully will benefit my clients who may have recently been diagnosed with dementia and need to make a Lasting Power of Attorney. It is a vital document to have and I try to make the process as easy as I can. After diagnosis it is still possible to make a Lasting Power of Attorney in most cases so it is worth looking into sooner rather than later. If the health of a person living with dementia deteriorates then it may not be possible to make an LPA when you need it the most.”   

If you have any questions about a Lasting Power of Attorney contact our Wills and Probate Department and speak to an expert.

Call 0333 200 4232 or email: info@wesolicitors.com

We offer fixed fees and home visits