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Wills and Tax

Funding your care home

Lee Young
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How does care home funding work? Who pays for residential care? How much does a care home cost? Lee Young, partner and solicitor from our Ringwood office, provides an introduction care funding.

Top five equity release concerns

Lee Young
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If you've owned your home for a number of years, it's likely that you have built up significant equity in it. To release a portion of this wealth downsizing is one option, but equity release enables you to release a tax-free lump sum, without having...

Is there any risk involved in being appointed as an Executor?

Lee Young
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When someone dies, they leave behind an ‘estate’. Their estate is formed from all their money, assets, property, possessions, debts, and liabilities. As you might imagine, bringing together and valuing all these different items can be a...

The end of expensive boundary disputes?

Carl Geary
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Neighbour problems, such as boundary disputes, can be notoriously difficult and expensive to resolve. Lengthy and expensive disputes This was highlighted recently in a case where a London family lost their £600,000 home, which they had lived in for...

Owning a second home - the tax implications of buying and selling

Lee Young
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There have been a number of changes in the last few years which have an implication on buying or selling a second property in the UK. This applies to property which is not your main residence but an investment or holiday property. Consultation on Capital...

83 years of Frettens experience coming to Ringwood

Michelle Hayter
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The Partners at Frettens Solicitors were delighted last week to announce the opening of a second office in Ringwood in July 2018. Who will be based at Ringwood?             The Ringwood team has...

Hello Ringwood!! Frettens opens second office

Matthew Fretten
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The Partners of Frettens Solicitors are excited to announce that they will be opening a brand new office in the heart of Ringwood in July 2018, making Ringwood a second home for the ever-growing Frettens family. A full service law firm for Ringwood ...

Why every parent needs a will

Lee Young
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When you are a parent to young children, life can be a daily demanding obstacle course! Getting everyone up, ready for nursery/school and getting into work… then after a busy day at work, coming home, cooking for the family, helping with homework,...

Capital Gains Tax - which is your main residence?

Lee Young
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Your main residence is exempt from capital gains tax because of private residence relief, which negates any capital gains. When someone owns more than one property however, the tax position becomes more complicated. The main residence Unless you confirm...

Power of Attorney fee refund scheme

Julie Frampton
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The Ministry of Justice has launched a scheme to refund those who may have overpaid when applying to register powers of attorney. The scheme applies to any lasting power of attorney (LPA), or enduring power of attorney (EPA) that was registered with the...

Intestate - What happens when someone dies without leaving a will?

Heather Varley
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When a person dies without leaving a valid will they are said to have died intestate. Dealing with their estate can be very complicated. When someone dies intestate If this happens to one of your relatives, it is best to seek legal advice as soon as...

What exactly is a mirror will and how similar do they have to be?

Julie Frampton
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A mirror will is when you and your partner make almost identical wills. These usually leave everything to each other respectively should one partner die before the other and if they die at the same time, everything is passed to children or the same named...

Valuing the estate of someone who's died

Heather Varley
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You need values of any money, property and possessions (known as their estate) of someone who’s died, on the date of their death, before you are able to get a ‘grant of representation’. This is the legal right to deal with their estate . ...

Inheritance tax - what's the benefit of gifts, trusts and charity?

Julie Frampton
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When someone dies, their assets (known as their estate) worth over £325,000 are liable for inheritance tax at a rate of 40%. This is the standard nil rate band and there is also a residence nil rate band which can make a higher proportion of the...

Legal 500 accreditation again for Frettens - Every Partner recommended

Matthew Fretten
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Frettens Solicitors is delighted to report that it has been recognised in specialist areas of 'The Legal 500' again for 2017-18. This marks the eighth year in a row that the firm has been recognised by the independently researched guide to law firms...

How do I challenge the validity of a will?

Michelle Hayter
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This is a difficult subject for everyone, especially when it concerns family or close friends. Challenging a will is emotionally charged but you may realise after a loved one has died that they either changed, or wrote their will whilst suffering from...

Inheritance tax and the residence nil rate band

Lee Young
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Your estate is the sum total of the value of your assets, including property, cars, jewelry, etc. The normal situation is that, when someone dies, if their estate is worth more than £325,000 and is not being passed to a charity or to their...

New Faces at Frettens

Matthew Fretten
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Frettens Solicitors is delighted to welcome three new members of staff to their Property, Wills & Tax and Commercial Teams. Kym Brooks joins the Conveyancing Team . Kym is a dual qualified solicitor, having qualified in South Africa as an...

My mother left a will. Do I need probate?

Lee Young
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If your mother has written a will, would you have to seek probate to authenticate the will when the time comes that she passes away? Often people assume that, once a will is written and signed, they will not need probate. Lee Young , a solicitor and Head of...

Planned increase to probate fees shelved due to general election

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Controversial plans to raise the legal fees payable after death are now to be shelved ahead of the general election. Probate court fees are paid to the government when someone dies and the personal representative of the estate needs a grant of...

Lasting Power of Attorney - How Do I Choose an Attorney?

Heather Varley
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A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows someone to make decisions for you, or act on your behalf, if you’re no longer able to or if you no longer want to make your own decisions or deal with your own affairs. Heather Varley...

Increase in Probate Court Fees

Lee Young
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If you have lost a loved one recently, you need to be aware of the increase in the probate court fees. The current fee is £215 for a personal application, or £155 if the application is made through a professional such as a solicitor. From May...

Living Wills

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A living will is where you express your wishes about how you want to be treated and cared for in certain situations, in case the time comes when you do not have the capacity to make or communicate your decisions. The document sets out your wishes about...

Is a Will enough?

Lee Young
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It is anticipated that around a third of British people have written a will. Those that have dealt with this may therefore be satisfied that they have made appropriate arrangements to ease the burden for their family at the end of their lives. But, is a will...

Buying property together - do you need a Declaration of Trust?

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Property is in the news at the moment – not enough houses, prices escalating and the government schemes to help first time buyers get on the property ladder. This is before considering the loan or gift by mum and dad to help with the deposit. For...

Have a plan in place should an unexpected catastrophe hit your business

Lee Young
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Your business has fire insurance, maybe flood insurance and computer system insurance, and you may well have “key man” insurance in place in case of your death, but what would happen to your business should you, or a partner, become physically or...

Promotion for our Solicitors

Matthew Fretten
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Frettens are pleased to announce some recent promotions at the firm. Head of Conveyancing Clare Hallett , is being promoted to Partner. Clare who joined the firm in 2002, trained and qualified at Frettens and has extensive experience in both...

Writing a Will and choosing executors

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When making a will, one of the most important decisions that needs to be made is who to appoint as executors. Being an executor involves a lot of responsibility and work so it is important to make sure that the people you ask are able and willing to take on...

'Cilla's Will' and the importance of making one

Heather Varley
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The whole world now knows how Cilla Black left a huge inheritance in excess of £15million to her three sons. They are also due to inherit her £2million Spanish mansion and £1.5million Barbados penthouse which are in addition to her UK...

Proposal to increase probate court fees

Lee Young
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The current fee for an application to the Probate Registry for a grant of representation in all estates worth more than £5,000, when made via a solicitor, is £155, with an additional 50p charged for each office copy of the grant that is required....

The importance of keeping your Will updated

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Dentist, Norman Martin, failed to divorce his estranged wife despite having lived with his new partner, Joy Williams, in Dorchester of 18 years. On his death there was no provision for Joy, as Martin had failed to update his will to reflect his relationship...

What happens to my ISA savings if I die?

Lee Young
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ISA rules have recently been overhauled but a recent survey has shown that 77% of British adults have limited knowledge of them. Savvy investors know of the income tax and capital gains tax benefits of ISAs but what happens to those benefits upon death?...

Mental capacity and lasting powers of attorney

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Mental capacity means that a person is able to understand and retain information and make a choice based on that information. Unless it is proved otherwise every adult has the right to make his or her own decisions. Sadly people can lose their capacity to...

Leaving gifts to charity in your will

Heather Varley
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UK charities rely heavily on gifts left to them in someone’s will – this amounts to 13% of all charitable donations and can amount to £2billion a year. It shows why charities in the Dorset area, amongst others are becoming ever more...

Basic rules of Capital Gains Tax

Lee Young
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Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is a tax on the increase in the value of an asset between the time it is acquired and the time it is disposed of. Only the gain is taxable, not the amount that you received for it – if you bought an asset, say an investment...

Avoid the pitfalls of cheap will writing

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Around 38,000 families a year suffer the ordeal of prolonged probate from ineffective or poorly drafted wills. In a recent case which received national media attention Ms Aregbesola is seeking hundreds of thousands of pounds in compensation from Barclays,...

Citizens Advice Bureau warns of rise in pension scams

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People aged fifty five and over are being bombarded with cold calls and emails offering bogus pension opportunities the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) has warned. After the Governments’ freedom of choice came into effect for the early draw down of...

Inheritance Tax changes - how will it affect you?

Lee Young
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The proposed changes in Inheritance Tax (IHT), being the introduction and the gradual increase in the so called “main residence nil rate band”, is due to begin to come into force from April 2017. Under current law if an individual’s estate...

Keep your Will where it can be found

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If your last Will cannot be found after your death there is not much point in having written it in the first place. The signed Will is needed to obtain the grant of representation to enable your personal representatives to administer your estate after your...

Christchurch to be a dementia friendly town

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Dementia has been brought into the headlines recently following the Oscar success of film ‘Still Alice’ and the sad passing of author Terry Pratchett. It is an illness that affects more than 800,000 Britons and the number of sufferers worldwide...

ISA rule changes benefit married couples

Heather Varley
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New measures were announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement concerning the inheritance of Individual Savings Accounts (ISA’s). This could save married couples (or civil partners) thousands of pounds but it may be necessary to update your...

Make sure your Will expresses your wishes

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Seven months after the death of actor Robin Williams, his widow and children are in a legal battle to dispute his Will. There is a bitter disagreement over money and property between his widow, Susan Schneider Williams and his three children from his...

Don't leave it too late to make a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)

Lee Young
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Mental capacity is broadly defined by the ability to make decisions in an informed way, in other words understanding what an LPA is and who you should appoint as your attorney. You might wrongly assume that your loved ones will sort things out if and when it...

Do you own all your digital content?

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Gone are the days when photos filled up shoeboxes and albums, bookshelves groaned under the weight of book collections and CD’s were everywhere. When a person died all these precious memories were shared out amongst their friends and family. Technology...

Changes to the Rules on Intestacy from October 2014

Lee Young
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“The Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Act came into force in October this year. It affects how intestate estates are distributed and how trustees can distribute income and capital to beneficiaries and apply to persons living in England and Wales...

Lasting Powers of Attorney - what are the options?

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There are two options: A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) that deals with property and finance and an LPA that deals with health and welfare. They are both different and come with different responsibilities. It’s easy to think that it’s never the...

Law on Wills to be updated

Heather Varley
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Much of the current law relating to Wills dates back to the time of Queen Victoria – the Wills Act 1837. The Law Commission, which is a non-political body, was set up by Parliament in 1965 to keep all the law of England and Wales under review, and to...

Care Homes set to enter special measures

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The Government recently announced that Care Homes and home-care agencies are to come under the same scrutiny as failing hospitals. The special measures system introduced by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to improve failing NHS hospitals across England is...

FAQ's about Wills

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Question : We are married but neither of us has a Will. We both have independent children from previous marriages. Our house is owned outright but is in my husband’s name although I have contributed towards this quite significantly. We are partners in...

Probate and Executorship - What are they?

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An executor is a person or persons appointed by you in your Will to deal with your affairs after your death. He/she will be authorised by the Courts to do this. Your executor will inform the next of kin, heirs and possible beneficiaries of your Will that...

Ways to lower Inheritance Tax bills

Lee Young
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When you die who do you want to benefit from your Will? Your nearest and dearest or the taxman? Inheritance Tax (IHT) is charged at 40% on everything over the ‘nil rate band’, which is currently set at £325,000 and which will remain at that...

FAQs about Inheritance Tax

Lee Young
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I’m worried that when I die my money will be taken in taxes and none left for my family If your estate totals in excess of £325,000 then there will be Inheritance Tax to pay. Although this will depend on a number of factors, if your total worth...

Be wary of unregulated Will writers

Lee Young
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Anyone can set themselves up as a Will writer and charge money for this service. They do not have to have any legal training or qualifications. A survey by the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) of their members, found that there was a...

Divorced and haven't got a Will?

Lee Young
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What happens if the worst should happen? If you are divorced and have children but no Will, what happens to your estate? Would your children inherit or would your ex-husband have a claim? Wills & Tax  Partner  Lee Young  says,...

Dementia, Banks and Lasting Powers of Attorney - what price peace of mind?

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It is estimated that almost 50% of people in the UK are connected to someone living with dementia. One of the biggest problems facing families and carers is how to deal with the banks which are not noted for being ‘dementia friendly’. No one...

Hampshire Woman awarded £700,000 Will damages

Michelle Hayter
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Mrs Lorraine Feltham from Fordingbridge, head of a property letting company, has sued her step-grandmother’s lawyer for failing to change the 90 year old’s will in her favour, saying that it has cost her more...

Legal Specialists Recognised by Legal 500 Directory

Matthew Fretten
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The Partners at Frettens Solicitors are delighted to announce their recommendations in this year’s Legal 500 Directory. Matthew Fretten , Managing Partner and Head of the  Commercial  Team was noted for having a “ very responsive team...

DIY Lasting Power of Attorney?

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2-Oct Are there problems ahead with the proposal by the Office of the Public Guardian to launch an on-line system for applying for a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)? The Public Guardian, Alan Eccles, said that ‘more and more people are taking the...

Is your Will out of date?

Heather Varley
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Even if you have a valid will you should consider keeping it updated, especially after any major changes in your life. It’s very easy to forget to change it after marrying, re-marrying, moving house, the death of your partner or a significant change in...

New Recruits in the Forest

Lee Young
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Malky Chaloner  and  Amy Leung  have joined Frettens’ New Forest Offices, expanding the Wills & Tax and Conveyancing Teams. Malky is a solicitor in the  Wills & Tax Team , working in both the Brockenhurst and New Milton...

Will Regulation

Lee Young
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There has been a huge amount of lobbying over the issue of will regulation over the last few months from within the solicitor’s profession, but the Lord Chancellor has rejected the recommendation by the Legal Services Board to bring  will writing...

Inheritance Tax Planning

Lee Young
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Making plans to avoid paying Inheritance Tax is not illegal. There are a number of ways to reduce your potential liabilty which are perfectly within the law and acceptable to HM Revenue and Customs. Inheritance Tax (IHT) is payable at 40% on the net value...

Discretionary Trusts - an introduction

Julie Frampton
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A Discretionary Trust is a legal arrangement where trustees have discretion about how to use the income of the trust and sometimes the capital. The trust is used to protect assets such as land, buildings or money for the benefit of the beneficiaries to the...

The dangers of cowboy will writers

Lee Young
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There are several ways of having a Will written but the most important thing you should consider is if your last wishes will be effective when you die – will your estate be passed onto the people you choose. Incorrectly drawn up Wills are all too...

How do you contest a Will?

Carl Geary
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A will is a legally binding document setting out a person’s instructions, wishes and bequests but there are several reasons whereby a will may be challenged including : • The will was not made in accordance with the law and is therefore invalid ...

When is the right time to talk about it?

Lee Young
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To most of us talking about death is taboo. You might not want to think about what happens when you enter your last years of life, but if you don’t, you leave difficult decisions for those left behind. No-one knows when illness will strike but putting...

Are DIY Wills Dangerous?

Julie Frampton
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Yes! A Will is probably the most important document that you can make and trying to do it yourself could end up costing your family thousands of pounds to sort out after your death. One of the most common problems with a DIY Will is that it is not legally...

Loss of mental capacity - managing someone's affairs

Lee Young
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It’s a sad fact of life that an increasing number of people will lose their mental capabilities – and not only as they get older – it can happen to a young person, particularly if they have been involved in an accident. A recent estimate...

Updating your Will after marriage

Heather Varley
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It is estimated that only 10% of newly married couples update their Will after marriage . Any major life event such as marriage, divorce, birth of a child or change in your financial situation have an impact both on your wishes and the distribution of your...

Disputed wills on the rise - Video article

Michelle Hayter
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A short video article featuring Michelle Hayter , Dispute Resolution Partner talking about the rise of disputed wills .   For a free initial meeting, please call 01202 499255 and  Michelle or a member of her team will be happy to discuss...

Tax avoidance versus tax evasion

Lee Young
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What’s the difference? As former Chancellor of the Exchequer Denis Healey once said ‘the difference between the two is the thickness of a prison wall.’ Tax avoidance involves using legal means to reduce your current or future tax...

Will writing to be regulated for first time

Lee Young
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The Legal Services Board (LSB), the body which regulates lawyers in England and Wales, have called for urgent regulation of will writing. The LSB said that all firms who offer will writing and estate administration should be regulated, to protect consumers...

Inheritance Tax changes will encourage charitable giving

Lee Young
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As part of David Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ the government has reduced the rate of Inheritance Tax (IHT) from April this year, in a bid to encourage more people to include a gift to charity in their Will. Lee Young heads our Wills and Tax...

Frettens Take Action for Lewis-Manning's Make a Will Campaign

Lee Young
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A group of local Solicitors is teaming up to help people plan for the future and raise money for a local charity by taking part in Lewis-Manning Hospice’s “Make a Will Fortnight”, which runs from the 11th – 22nd June 2012. ...

Protecting your Assets from Nursing Home Fees

Lee Young
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Several clients enquire about protecting their assets from nursing home fees should one half of the couple go into nursing care. There is a common misconception that this can be done simply by altering the ownership of the property from Joint Tenants to...

Lasting Power of Attorney - what is it?

Lee Young
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First and foremost, a Lasting Power of Attorney (also known as an LPA) is a powerful legal document. Lee Young , Head of our Wills & Tax Team, explains “It permits you to appoint someone that you trust to make decisions on your behalf, either...

How will you fund care home fees?

Heather Varley
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It is estimated that one in five men and one in three women will need to enter a care home at some time in the future and many others will need help with everyday living in their own homes. Local authorities are responsible for assessing your care needs and...

FAQ - Inheritance Disputes

Michelle Hayter
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Michelle Hayter is a solicitor specialising in helping people to make a claim to dispute an inheritance and to take action when they feel that a will has not been made properly. Here, she answers some common questions. Q: What is meant by an...

Your digital assets after death

Lee Young
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Have you ever considered what will happen to your assets stored on line in the event of your death? This can include music, films and photos stored online. What about the disposition of online bank accounts, websites and financial data? Many sites like...

Why should I get a will?

Lee Young
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We noticed this interesting article on the BBC website recently and would like to share it with you as the points raised echo our thoughts on why you should have a will… Here’s an excerpt, please do click through to read the whole article. ...

Cohabitees and the Inheritance Act

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More and more couples choose to live together without getting married or registering a civil partnership. If you’ve lived with your partner for several years, bought a house together, maybe had a family, you may think that if the relationship breaks...

The risks of DIY probate

Heather Varley
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It is entirely possible to apply for probate and deal with an estate without seeing a lawyer, but it’s not without risks.  Heather Varley is a member of Solicitors for the Elderly and an Associate in Frettens’s Wills & Tax Team. She...

Family disputes over legacies left to charity

Michelle Hayter
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People are free to leave their assets to beneficiaries of their own choosing under UK law. However, this is subject to some safeguards including claims under the Inheritance (Provision for family and Dependants) Act 1975. Michelle Hayter , specialist...

Appointing Guardians for your children

Lee Young
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This is an emotive issue for parents and one that needs to be very carefully considered. No one wants to think they will die young and leave their children orphaned but careful planning when making your Will can save bitter family battles in the event of...

Choosing an Executor of your Will

Heather Varley
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An executor is someone nominated by you in your will to distribute the assets of the deceased person to the beneficiaries. Your executor can be a family member or trusted friend or a legal professional. Above all they should be trustworthy and knowledgeable...

What is a Trust?

Lee Young
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Setting up a trust is a way of protecting assets – money, land, investments, property – for people. It is a legal arrangement where one or more ‘trustees’ are made legally responsible for the assets which have been placed in trust,...

What type of Will should you have?

Julie Frampton
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It’s very easy to delay making a Will and many people think that it is only something you should do in later life.  It’s actually one of the most positive, beneficial things you can do to protect your family’s future! A Will is a...

Frettens Litigator Wins High Court Case

Michelle Hayter
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On 28th February 2011 a judgment was formally handed down in the High Court in a case which had attracted national press attention because it surrounded the Will and Estate of the late Paula Beken, the wife of the late Keith Beken, a famous photographer...

Making a Lasting Power of Attorney

Lee Young
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A Lasting Power of Attorney (sometimes referred to as an LPA) is a very powerful document where you give another person (your attorney) the authority to act on your behalf and manage your affairs, should you become incapable of doing this yourself. It is a...

Can't take it with you - highlighting the importance of making a will and taking advice

Heather Varley
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On Friday (14 th January 2011), the BBC aired the first of an interesting series called “Can’t take it with you”. The series looks at a variety of issues surrounding writing a will; the first episode debated leaving money to...

Valuing land and property for Inheritance Tax

Lee Young
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Any land and buildings owned when someone dies are considered part of their estate for Inheritance Tax. The Inheritance Tax threshold for the tax year 2010-11 is currently £325,000. Inheritance Tax is also payable on some gifts – but not all...

Making a Living Will

Lee Young
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A Living Will, sometimes called an advance decision or directive, should clearly indicate your specific wish to refuse all or some medical treatment during an illness or at the end of your life. It cannot be used to request medical treatment. Under current...

What happens when someone dies without leaving a will?

Heather Varley
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When a person dies without leaving a valid will they are said to have died intestate. Dealing with their estate can be very complicated. If this happens to one of your relatives, it is advisable to seek legal advice as soon as possible, as the law...

Tee'd Off With Tax?

Lee Young
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Frettens Solicitors and Princecroft Willis Chartered Accountants are holding a free seminar on saving tax and a drinks reception at Brokenhurst Manor Golf Club on 7th October 2010 between 5.30pm and 7.00pm. The seminar will look at tax efficient...

Recommended for Property, Litigation, Commercial, Wills & Tax by The Legal 500 2010

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We are delighted to report that we have been recognised in four specialist areas of The Legal 500 Guide to Legal Service 2010. The Legal 500 is an independent guide to law firms and has become the largest and most in-depth survey of the UK legal market...

BBC Panorama programme: The Final Rip Off

Lee Young
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Solicitors or Will Writers – What is the Difference? Response to the BBC Panorama programme: The Final Rip Off The BBC’s “Panorama” programme, aired on 9 August 2010, revealed disturbing evidence of cases of mis-selling,...

Beer and Spice

Lee Young
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Beer and Spice and all things nice 16th September 2010 Aimed at estate agents, financial advisers and accountants in the New Forest, we have organised an Indian buffet at Bombay Nights in New Milton on 16th September. We will introduce our key...

Why is it Important to Make a Will?

Lee Young
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Although it is possible to write your own will, there are several legal formalities that must be followed to make sure that the will is valid. By making a legal will you can decide how your assets are divided up – if there is no will, the law decides...

Wills Week New Forest - 20% Discount

Lee Young
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Frettens are delighted to offer discounted Wills from our new Milton office during 12th July - 16th July 2010 . Our Wills experts will advise on a new Will or update your current will with a 20% discount, taking the price of a new will to...

Why is it Important to Make a Will?

Lee Young
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Although it is possible to write your own will, there are several legal formalities that must be followed to make sure that the will is valid. By making a legal will you can decide how your assets are divided up – if there is no will the law will...