• What happens when somebody dies without a Will?

    When somebody passes away and they have not left a valid Will, this is known as dying intestate. The deceased’s estate is divided in accordance with the Rules of Intestacy. These rules determine who inherits – this depends on what surviving family the deceased has and also, the size of the estate. Only married or civil partners and some other close relatives can inherit under the Rules of Intestacy. This means that dying without a valid Will could result in important people, such as unmarried partners and step-children, being ignored when the estate is distributed. You can find out who …

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  • Letter of wishes

    Writing a Will can be tricky, but trying to understand a loved one’s Will and the reasons for their decisions after their death can be agonising and distressing. A simple letter of wishes can avoid this emotional confusion. A letter of wishes is not a legally binding document.  It is a personal and private document that is designed to sit alongside your Will (which may become a public document after your death) to provide your Executors and Trustees with a guide to help ensure that your personal wishes are carried out. You can write a letter of wishes at any …

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  • Codicil or new Will?

    Most people understand what a Will is. However, not many people know what a Codicil is.  A Codicil is a testamentary document which would be read in conjunction with a Will. A Codicil must comply with the same legal requirements and be executed in the same way as a Will. Codicils should be kept safe with your Original Will.  You might want to make slight changes to your Will, but not change the whole document. A Codicil can be drafted to change specific provisions of a Will but leave the rest of the Will the same.  It could be that …

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  • What is a Lasting Power of Attorney and why should I make one?

    A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets you (the ‘Donor’) appoint and give legal authority to one or more people (known as ‘Attorneys’) to make decisions on your behalf. You can choose when you would like the LPA to take effect – this could be immediately, or only if you lack mental capacity. An LPA gives you more control over what happens to you if you lack mental capacity in the future and can no longer make your own decisions. Research shows that the number of people in the UK with dementia is set to …

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