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Wills, probate and administration

Probate – contested probates; professional negligence

An increasing number of contested probates (around a 700% increase in five years) is accompanied by a bigger risk of professional negligence claims. The author gives timely advice on what practitioners can do if they face a negligence claim and how claims can be prevented.

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Wills – estate planning

Wills drafting practices will soon need to take into account same-sex marriage issues in relation to some testators and potentially their relatives. The definition of ‘personal chattels’ is also to be amended under the Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Bill, under which provision for a surviving spouse will be increased.

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Probate – nil-rate band

How will the courts determine a nil-rate band (NRB) legacy? In this useful article, probate specialist Lesley King of the University of Law examines a recent case which she describes as ‘a useful first decision on interpreting a clause giving a nil-rate band legacy where the deceased had the benefit of a transferred nil-rate band’.

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Wills – donations; political parties

A residuary legatee’s chose in action was ‘property’ for the purposes of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 which prohibits foreign donations to registered political parties (s54).

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Wills and inheritance – practice

A well-considered, regularly reviewed written policy communicated to all staff will help a practice to:

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Wills and inheritance – WIQS

In relation to will drafting, probate and estate administration instructions, a firm will need to seek the client’s consent for disclosure of the file for the purposes of the Law Society’s Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme (WIQS) audit procedure. One way to achieve this is through the practice’s terms and conditions.

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Wills – estate planning

One in five children in the UK is born outside marriage and the shape of the family is changing. Private client practitioners will benefit greatly from this in-depth and immensely practical article on wills and estate planning in the context of the increasingly complex modern family.

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Capacity – medical treatment

When an application was made for an order that it would be in the mentally incapacitated patient’s best interests for life-sustaining medical treatment to be withheld, the focus had to be on whether it would be in his best interests to give the treatment – rather than whether it would be in his best interests to withhold it.

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Wills – STEP guidance

Wills practitioners (particularly STEP members) are advised to be aware of the imminent STEP code for will preparation in England and Wales. The code forms a framework for practitioners to determine how best to meet the needs of each client while operating within appropriate standards.

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Gifts – gift in contemplation of death

Gifts made in contemplation of death must meet certain conditions for an effective donatio mortis causa – otherwise the gift may be invalid. A recent High Court ruling gives a timely reminder on how the courts will treat such gifts.

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Most-read articles

Court of Protection – trust deputies
Friday, 13 April 2018
How does the CoP approach an application to appoint a trust corporation as a deputy? HHJ Hilder has, in a recent CoP ruling involving 36 applicants and 11 trust corporations, analysed the law on the... Read more...
Professional – update
Friday, 13 April 2018
 A reminder that internal e-mails can result in SRA action; for a case involving sexist, racist and homophobic e-mails sent to a work colleague see [2018] LSG 12 February 2. Read more...
CFA – assignment
Friday, 13 April 2018
The introduction of LASPO in April 2013 caused problems for clients who already had CFAs, but then wanted to move to another firm. Read more...
Agent of change – new builds?
Friday, 13 April 2018
The ‘agent of change’ principle has been hotly debated in planning circles for some time. Indeed, the concept is likely to feature in the revised National Planning Policy Framework and the draft... Read more...
Withdrawing admissions – increase in value?
Friday, 13 April 2018
Suppose a defendant is faced with a low-value claim and decides to admit liability; later, it turns out that there is a significant increase in the value of the claim. At that stage, can the... Read more...
Service charges – estoppel?
Friday, 13 April 2018
Suppose service charges have been raised for many years in a way that does not properly accord with the wording of the lease; if T subsequently questions those service charges, can L argue that... Read more...
Service charges – code of practice
Friday, 13 April 2018
The RICS has published the proposed changes to its Code of Practice on service charges. The important change is that RICS members must act in accordance with eight core principles; the Code is no... Read more...
Japanese knotweed – nuisance
Friday, 13 April 2018
One of the (potentially) most important decisions last year was a humble county court case in which it was held Network Rail was liable after Japanese knotweed grew close to neighbouring terraced... Read more...
Adoption – new regulations
Friday, 13 April 2018
 A number of new provisions in relation to adoption are in force (as of 5 January 2018) under the Adoption and Care Planning (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2018. Read more...
Sickness – on holiday
Friday, 13 April 2018
 A worker who falls ill during annual leave is entitled to take that holiday leave at a later date. This is so whether the sickness commenced before, or during, the holiday. Read more...

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