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News

Fergusson Law shares their latest news, the latest legal news and provides some legal advice on this blog.

BLOODLINE WILLS

What is a Bloodline Will?

Many of you will have heard about or seen TV advertisements for, so-called Bloodline Wills.

The theme is that you want your estate to go to your immediate family whom you know, with no risk of it being diverted to your daughter’s ex-boyfriends, people whom your children owe money to, future step-parents to a grandchild, and so on. Your grandchildren could be specifically named in your Will but end up with nothing at all. It is even possible that your wishes could be bypassed if you own a buy-to-let property as well as a family home.

There is nothing new about making your directions clear in your Will except that modern cohabiting relationships can create unexpected legal consequences.

You might think your existing Will provides protection for your family assets but it is likely that your grandchildren will only inherit if their mother or father dies before them. Your grandchildren may never benefit from your estate.

Bloodline Trusts

The solution may be placing funds into a specialist Trust whose sole beneficiaries are within your family. These funds can be used at any time for the named persons’ personal benefit but cannot be accessed by outside third parties.

Without such a Trust, you could find that your money wends its way to former partners (married or not) of your sons and daughters, their stepchildren, people who claim money from your descendants and so on.

A thoughtfully drawn up Will is the first step. If you die without one, your estate may not be distributed in the way you would have intended, and it might cause real problems for your family. The issue is of particular concern to buy-to-let investors, who own flats and houses in addition to their family home. If you do not have a Will in Scotland, your estate is divided according to the rules of intestacy.

After your spouse (probably) gets the family home, any other houses and land you own (including your buy-to-let properties), and all the cash remaining may go to relatives whom you have never met. Known in Germany as Laughing Heirs whose relationship to the deceased is so distant they suffer no sense of bereavement but are happy to receive an unexpected financial windfall.

Potential care home fees are another area where we can offer advice to protect your assets.

‘Bloodline’ Will Trusts are not for everyone. Annual costs are involved as accounts have to be created and tax returns made. We can help put a Plan together and quote you a Fixed Price for doing it.

Please call Janice now to have a talk about it. Ring 0131 556 4044 or send us a message via our website.

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Fergusson Law website follows Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) transparency guidelines

The CMA has concluded that competition in legal services for individual consumers and small businesses is not working well. In particular, there is not enough information available on price, quality and service to help those who need legal support, choose the best option.

The CMA has set out a package of measures which challenges solicitors to help customers better navigate the market and get value for money. These changes have been drawn up after discussions with key stakeholders, including the frontline legal regulators.

There is a requirement on providers to display useful information that will help potential customers.  This information includes:

  • Price
  • Service
  • Redress and regulatory status

This would include publishing pricing information for particular services online. Some 17% of firms in England do so at present but a much smaller proportion in Scotland.

Fergusson Law leads in this matter by publishing fixed prices for legal services on their website.

 

HAVE YOU OR A CLIENT HAD A PROHIBITION NOTICE FROM HSE?

Ignoring it could land you in prison.  Factory owner Matthew Holmes of Derby was caught continuing to use a piece of equipment that was subject to an HSE prohibition notice.  South Derbyshire Magistrates gave him a 30 week prison sentence, albeit suspended for two years. And his firm was fined £25,000. 

If you get such a notice take immediate advice.  Janice our Principal Solicitor has personal experience of such notices.  Call her for help 0131 556 4044