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Posts tagged "wills"

Probate experts warn against online wills

The growing popularity of online will writing could lead to a ‘surge’ in contested probate cases down the line, probate experts have warned.

Funeral Solution Expert, a research and consultancy firm, analysed 26 online will writers and found that consumers are often mistaken as to whether their affairs are 'simple' or 'complex', and that the companies themselves ‘offer very little liability for something going wrong’.

‘There is no doubt that an online will can be a good solution if affairs are genuinely simple and can save money versus a more traditional solicitor route,' said Simon Cox, co-founder of Funeral Expert Solution. ‘But our research shows that 65% of consumers who rate their own affairs as “simple” subsequently reveal through questioning that their affairs are in fact “complex”.’

He added that the sector is storing up an ‘ever-increasing bank of wills’ that will be contested once those who made them have died.

The concerns were echoed by Michael Culver, chairman of Solicitors for the Elderly, who said: ‘It’s shocking that whilst solicitor are required to have professional indemnity insurance covering claims potentially as high as £2m or £3m (and many firms go for optional additional cover that can take this as high as £10m per claim), other professionals offering wills limit their liability to the cost of the will.’

The pandemic is believed to have fuelled a rise in will making, with Farewill reporting a 267% increase in the number of wills written at home between 2019 and 2020.

Farewill’s head of legal, Lorraine Robinson, said the business had long recognised, and campaigned for closing gaps in the protection of customers of unregulated firms. However she questioned whether the risk is posed only by the unregulated sector. 'As a solicitor myself, unfortunately qualification as a solicitor is not a guarantee of an individual solicitor or a regulated firm’s depth of understanding of a specialist area of law. For that, as an industry, we often look instead to qualifications such as those offered by STEP, which are open to regulated and unregulated professionals alike.'

She added that many businesses in the unregulated sector are members of voluntary organisations which prescribe minimum levels of indemnity cover. 'To suggest all unregulated will writers are uninsured undermines the diligence and responsibility of many in the sector.'

source: https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/probate-experts-warn-against-online-wills/5110251.article

March is Free Wills Month!

Free Wills Month brings together a group of well-respected charities to offer members of the public aged 55 and over the opportunity to have their simple Wills written or updated free of charge by using participating solicitors in locations across England, Scotland and Wales.

The solicitors have all taken steps to help keep you safe from coronavirus.

An up to date Will written by a solicitor ensures your wishes are respected. It also avoids difficult decisions and legal complications for your loved ones. Free Wills Month allows you to provide for family and friends and leave a gift to your chosen charities too.A gift in your Will costs you nothing now but can make a difference for years to come.To take part in Free Wills Month please scroll down and fill in a few details and click submit, we'll only contact you about this Free Wills Month campaign (unless you choose further contact from the charities), you will then get access to the details of your local participating law firms.

Source: - https://freewillsmonth.org.uk/

Coronavirus: Wills witnessed by video link to be made legal

Wills witnessed remotely via video link will become legal in England and Wales to make it easier for people to record their final wishes during the pandemic.

The change to the law will be backdated to 31 January, the date of the first confirmed coronavirus case in the UK, the government said.

It means any will witnessed remotely from that date onwards will be legally accepted.

This measure will remain in place until January 2022.

The time period could be shortened or extended if deemed necessary, the Ministry of Justice said.

Under the current law, a will must be made in the physical presence of at least two witnesses but social distancing measures have made this difficult.


For a will to be legally valid, as the law stands you must:

  • Be 18 or over
  • Make it voluntarily
  • Be of sound mind
  • Make it in writing
  • Sign it in the presence of two witnesses who are both over 18
  • Have it signed by your two witnesses, in your presence
  • You cannot leave your witnesses (or their married partners) anything in your will

During lockdown, lots of people have turned to video conferencing software as a communication solution, using platforms such as Zoom or FaceTime.

Ministers said wills witnessed using this sort of technology would be deemed legal, as long as the quality of the sound and video was sufficient to see and hear what was happening at the time.

The change to the legislation to include video-witnessing of wills will be made in September.

Two witnesses - who are not beneficiaries - will still be required, helping to protect people against undue influence and fraud, the government said. Electronic signatures will not be permitted.

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said: "We know that the pandemic has made this process more difficult, which is why we are changing law to ensure that wills witnessed via video technology are legally recognised.

"Our measures will give peace of mind to many that their last wishes can still be recorded during this challenging time, while continuing to protect the elderly and vulnerable."

However, the government said the use of video technology should remain a last resort and people must continue to arrange physical witnessing of wills where it was safe to do so.

Wills witnessed through windows are already considered legitimate, provided there is clear sight of the person signing it.

Emily Deane, technical counsel at Step, a professional body comprising lawyers and accountants, said: "We are delighted that the government has responded to the industry's calls to allow will witnessing over video conference.

"By removing the need for any physical witnesses, wills can continue to be drawn up efficiently, effectively and safely by those isolating."

She also welcomed the move to apply the change retrospectively, saying it would provide reassurance to anyone who had had no choice but to execute a will in this manner prior to this legislation being enacted.

source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-53530228

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Wills & Lasting Powers of Attorney

 

WILLS

We can draft a will which allows you to set out exactly how you would like your assets distributed in the event of your death. This ensures that your wishes are adhered to when you pass on

 

LASTING POWERS OF ATTORNEY

A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets you (the ‘donor’) appoint one or more people (known as ‘attorneys’) to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf. This gives you more control over what happens to you if you have an accident or an illness and cannot make your own decisions (you ‘lack mental capacity’). There are two different powers – one for health and one for finance /property

 

Here at Saifee Solicitors, we can help you prepare any type of will or power of attorney. Please contact Husein on 07539 456 528 or 07908 414 420

#Solicitors #Leicester #Hounslow #Immigration #Wills&Probate #LegalAdvice #FamilyLaw #PropertyLaw #Matrimonial #SaifeeSolicitors

Free Wills Month - October

Are you 55 or above? 

Get a free will as part of 

Free Wills Month

Leicester:
37 Beaumont Street,
Oadby, LE2 4DA

0116 243 8852


Hounslow:
Office 3, Duke of Cambridge House,
1-3 Kingsley Road, TW3 1PA

020 3621 4545


General – 03301243083


Email us:info@saifeesolicitors.com

Opening Hours: M-F 09:30 to 17:00
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