Earlier in the year it was announced that a new online service to apply for probate would be introduced. This meant that those applying for probate could do so from the comfort of their own home, potentially negating the need for involvement from a solicitor.
Following the announcement of the snap general election to take place on 8th June, the government has decided to scrap its plans to increase the legal fees due after a person has died. Having proposed a rise in probate fees in England and Wales to come into effect in May, which would have seen an increase from the current flat figures of £155 or £215 to as much as £20,000 for the most valuable estates, the Ministry of Justice announced in the second half of April that there was too little time for the legislation to go through parliament before the election.
With Internet usage in the UK at its highest ever levels and growing, perhaps it's time for people to give some consideration to the protection of their digital assets? Over 80% of UK adults access the internet every day, using sites such as Facebook and Twitter for social purposes but also transactional sites such as eBay for the sale of goods for money.
Banner Jones is delighted to have become a recent member of the Derbyshire County Council Trusted Trader scheme.
The scheme, with its distinctive purple logo was set up in 2008 to help local people find traders and businesses who are committed to providing good customer service at a fair price.
New laws simplifying what happens when someone dies without leaving a will came into force on 1st October this year. Sarah Nadin, Head of Wills & Probate said, “The changes to the law are designed to speed up and modernise the process of dividing the money, property and other assets of a person who dies without a will (intestate)”.
The England & Wales Court of Appeal has ordered that a clerical error in the signing of Wills by a husband and Wife can be rectified after the event. Sarah Nadin, Director of Banner Jones said, “The creation of a valid Will follows very strict rules in relation to how it is signed and witnessed”.
In this case, a solicitor had been instructed by the husband and wife to draft identical wills leaving his or her estate to the other and, if the other spouse had already died, to the claimant, whom they treated as an adoptive son. Through the solicitor’s mistake each signed the other’s will. The error was not noticed on the wife’s death but, on the husband’s death the natural sons of the husband and wife, who would succeed to the entire estate on intestacy, challenged the validity of the will signed by the husband.
UK domiciled individuals with non-UK domiciled spouses or civil partners will welcome changes to the inheritance tax (IHT) regime from 6 April 2013. The changes could reduce potential IHT liability on transfers to their spouses or civil partners, whether during their lifetime or on death.