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News

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

Disinheriting the family? Take advice before you do it

A recent ruling in the Court of Appeal in England and Wales highlights that although you can leave your money to whom you like there are some limitations, wherever you live in the UK.

England, Scotland and Wales, like the United States, have a tradition of "testamentary freedom" - the idea being that you can, in theory leave your wealth to whoever you like.

Countries like France, Spain and the Republic of Ireland, by contrast, have fixed heirship shares.

However in Scotland, children and spouses may have "legal rights" to a portion of the deceased's estate.

A surviving spouse, or civil partner and children are entitled to part of the deceased person's moveable estate. In Scots law, heritable property means land and buildings, while moveable estate includes such things as money, shares, cars, furniture and jewellery.

The surviving spouse or civil partner is entitled to one-third of the deceased's moveable estate if the deceased left children or descendants of children, or to one-half of it if the deceased left no such children or descendants.

In England and Wales the Inheritance Act of 1975 section 2 sets out that close relatives may apply to a court for a variation to a will ‘such as to make reasonable financial provision for the applicant’.

The bar is set high in that an applicant must show real need or that they were led to believe that they were to receive an inheritance and acted on that belief.

A professionally drawn up Will covers all these eventualities and must show that the needs of close family were considered fully.

For advice in this matter please get in touch.

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'How a £90 will by Barclays lost half my house'

Will writing is not a simple matter.  A woman is seeking hundreds of thousands of pounds compensation from Barclays, claiming the bank's unregulated will-writing service resulted in her losing a stake in a valuable London home. The full story can be read here.

Barclays is, of course, a huge, reputable financial services group authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for financial matters. But banks, and many other organisations, are not Regulated for writing Wills.  So they do not have to act on an Ombudsman's findings, if it disagrees with them.

We solicitors are regulated by The Law Society in all our activities.   

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Never Too Young to Make a Will says Sunday Times

The Sunday Times has written an interesting article about why you are never too young to make a Will.  

Our news post about Rik Mayall hightlights the problems that can occur if there is no Will.   A Solicitor can help even if there is no Will but it is much easier if there is one in place.

 

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