Posts tagged “property”

The ownership of your home can affect who can inherit it when you die.
In a recent High Court case a widow was awarded £80,000 from her brother-in-law’s inheritance following a dispute over property ownership. Here’s what happened. 
 
Her husband has made a Will leaving his estate in full to her. However, after his death, there was a dispute concerning the family home that she had shared with him. The property was registered to her husband and his brother. It had been owned by their mother until she died in 2009, but it wasn’t clear whether the brothers held the property as joint tenants or as tenants-in-common
In 2014 the Care Act introduced a ‘care cap’ of £72,000 on the total you would be liable to pay for your care costs. It came in to effect in April 2020
 
However, most people will have to spend much more before the cap is reached; often over £140,000. 
When someone dies, a personal representative (PR) is appointed to manage their estate (money, property, and possessions). If the PR is named in their Will, they are known as the executor. Part of a PR’s role is to close any bank accounts, but sometimes this isn’t straightforward and there can be several challenges. 
Claudia Lawrence, a chef at York University, went missing in 2009. In these circumstances the rule is that someone will be presumed dead when they have been missing for seven or more years. 
 
Claudia’s father, Peter, Kevin Hollinrake MP, and the charity Missing People, campaigned for this rule to be changed. They argued that the family and friends of a missing person should be able to deal with their property and financial affairs before seven years have passed. 
booklet with the title 'wish you were here' re Claudia's law
If someone asks you to be an executor for their Will you will be responsible for making sure their estate is properly wound up and that their wishes are carried out. 
 
There are legal responsibilities associated with being an executor, including: 
registering the death 
arranging the funeral 
valuing the estate 
paying any inheritance tax 
applying for probate 
resolving finances 
distributing the estate 
keeping estate accounts. 
 
All the costs of administering the estate and receipts should be recorded. 
Books and gavel on a white background
We’re told that waiting times for grants of probate have now been reduced to around five weeks. 
 
HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) says that the number of grants issued each week is now higher than the number of applications being received. 
 
If you apply for probate online, an option that was introduced in November last year, you should only have to wait around four weeks. If there aren’t any errors or omissions in the application, it could even be handled in a week. 
 
If you submit the paper forms instead, you should receive your grant within eight weeks. 
 
However, this is just the beginning of the process of administering an estate on behalf of a friend or family member. 
black and gold pen and Last Will and Testament
There are reports that challenges to historic Wills have increased by up to 400% this year. 
 
In some cases, challenges are being made several years after an estate has been settled. 
 
People are enquiring about the possibility of challenging the Wills of friends and family members, believing they have a claim to money or assets, although they weren’t declared at the time. 
Some of the UK’s biggest banks, building societies and insurance companies are discussing how to improve services for bereaved customers. 
 
More than 60 organisations, including major banks, intermediaries and brokers are involved in creating a new Bereavement Standard. 
butterfly and orange flower
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