Top tip for Executors: check that the Will is valid!

Don’t just take someone’s word for it – look at the Will with your own eyes and think:

  • Has it actually been signed by the Will-maker (aka the “Testator”)?
  • Are there two witness signatures? Are these witnesses also beneficiaries (or the husband/wife/civil partner of a beneficiary) in the Will?
  • Can you see the special “Attestation Clause” that suggests the Will was signed correctly?
  • Does the Will clearly say that you have been appointed as an Executor?
  • How do you know there isn’t a later Will which supersedes this one…?
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Do I need Probate if I have Power of Attorney?

When the person dies, the Power of Attorney ends.   Example With the help of his solicitor, Joe has written a Will and Powers of Attorney.   Will Power of Attorney   What do we call Joe? Testator Donor   What do we call the people chosen by Joe? Executors Attorneys   When can Joe’s…

Shortlist: Best Small Business Award

Undue Influence: The Case of the Isolated Mother

In 2021, Mrs Daphne Jones signed a Will in which she named her daughter – Ceri Jones – sole Executor and Beneficiary. But when Mrs Jones died, the Court refused Probate to Ceri because they discovered that she “increasingly isolated her mother from other members of the family”. That isolation was “substantially complete” by the…

Solicitors vs Plastic

If a solicitor writes your Will, are they going to use plastic unnecessarily? Ask them if they plan to put a plastic cover on the front of the Will or perhaps use a plastic spine to hold it together. Don’t be afraid to challenge your solicitor on environmental issues. You might be the one that…

Inheriting an ISA

Did you know..? When a person passes away, their surviving spouse/civil partner’s ISA allowance may increase? For that particular tax year only, the amount that the survivor can pay into their own Individual Savings Account gets “bumped up” (depending on how much the deceased had in their ISA). This is known as the Additional Permitted…

Dormant Assets

Think about all of the assets you’ve owned throughout your life. Perhaps your home, bank and building society accounts, personal items, a car, Premium Bonds, shares, investments and pensions. When you die, it will be your Executors’ legal duty to find out what you owned so that they can make truthful tax declarations and properly…

The Case of the Fraudulent Attorney

In 2014, a man called Brian Malam was appointed as an Attorney for his friend, Mrs Margaret Wright.  Mrs Wright had dementia and was living in a care home.  Using the Power of Attorney, Mr Malam stole £65,000 from his vulnerable friend through a combination of bank transfers, direct spending and cash withdrawals.  After he…

The Tale of the Executor who Buried his Head in the Sand

In September this year, the England and Wales High Court ordered the imprisonment of Mark Totton for three months because he deliberately ignored a Court Order requiring him to fulfil his duties as the late Hazel Totton’s Executor. Mr Totton sold the deceased’s house for £425,000 in April 2020 but had not given the Beneficiaries…

Brothers, sisters and Inheritance Tax

Generally when one spouse dies and the other inherits, there is no Inheritance Tax to pay on that transfer. This is called the “Spouse Exemption”. Parliament is debating whether something similar should apply to transfers between siblings, in certain circumstances. You can track the process of the proposed legislation here.

Best Will & Probate Solicitor UK 2022

We’re very proud to announce that Deo Law has won the Business Excellence Award for “Best Will & Probate Solicitor UK 2022”.  A link to the page and details of the other winners, can be found here: To be named the best Will Solicitor in Lincoln would be one thing but to win a…