Are you still legally prepared…?

Ann OrrThe Probus Club of Basingstoke, the social club for retired professional and business managers, heard Ann Orr update the legal situation about some matters that had changed in the six years since her last visit. Working for Collective Legal Solutions, the largest independent legal service providers in the UK meant that she was an expert about problems that can sometimes surround the matter of inheritance.

There is a danger that having made a Will, it is safely put away until the time it is required, but her recommendation is that a Will is reviewed at least every five years to check that it is up to date and fit for purpose. One specific benefit of such reviews was that it is a simple check that the solicitor was still conducting business and had not moved location. And seeing the original Will is important as a copy is not considered a legal document. Any appearance of grandchildren should give good cause to revisit the Will to properly target any inheritance. She also said that if anyone remarried then their Will prior to that event would be null and void and a new document would be needed.

A surprise to most of the audience was that any property owned abroad cannot be included in an English Will as a separate Will is required to be written in the country where the property is situated.

Consideration should also be given to incorporating medical decisions in a Lasting Power of Attorney. The rights involving dispensing of medication were explained and any individual wishes will need to be included within the LPA. Monetary considerations if a partner enters a care home were highlighted together with possible funding implications and to what extent assets will be taken into account.

The rules surrounding Probate were outlined and there are considerable pricing differences for executive services provided by banks compared to solicitors or specialist company executors.