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  • Have you decided to DIY probate?

    You might think that doing probate yourself will save you money and that you can do it quicker yourself. If I can give you one piece of advice it would be to think again. Administering an estate can take months and even years. Once you accept the responsibility of executing the estate it is a job for life. You can’t simply resign or decide to step down once you have started carrying out your duties. You also make yourself personally liable if things go wrong. As solicitors, we have special insurance measures to protect us should a situation like that ever arise. Do you have the same protection? “Debra dealt with my matter extremely efficiently and professionally. She explained everything clearly to me and took all the worry out of the process. It was a quick and overall a very positive experience. I have already recommended her to friends and family due to the fantastic value for money and brilliant customer service. Thank you so much.” - Miss H (Windsor) Please get in touch with me on 01753 299466 or email debrawilliamson@mdwsolicitors.com to discuss how I can help you deal with probate swiftly and sensitively and allow you to move on with your next steps in life. P.S. If you do decide to manage probate yourself, I strongly recommend that you advertise in the Gazette, the UK's official public record, for any unknown creditors to come forward, once you have received the grant of probate. If you do not, then you could be held personally liable for unidentified debts.

  • Have you made time to create your LPA yet?

    It’s easy for creating a Lasting Power of Attorney to slip down your to-do list. None of us want to think about a time when we might not be able to make decisions for ourselves. Deciding where to book your next holiday may sound much more appealing. Even if you are in good health and haven’t retired yet, creating a Lasting Power of Attorney is an important step in planning the future you want. It can also save your family heartache later on, as they try to second-guess what you may have wanted, or fight to get access to the care you need. As one of our clients found, I can help you cross creating a Lasting Power of Attorney off your to-do list and put your mind at rest, so you can get on and enjoy life. “It has been a pleasure dealing with MDW solicitors as your professionalism and helpfulness has made the process of creating power-of-attorney very painless.” Mrs N (Seer Green) Please get in touch with me on 01753 299466 or email debrawilliamson@mdwsolicitors.com to book your free appointment today. P.S. When the time does come, we offer a full Probate Service. This is the dealing of the estate when a person dies and is normally done through a Solicitor in order to not overburden you when you are at your most vulnerable after the loss of a loved one.

  • Covid changes the way in which Wills are witnessed.

    For over 100 years The Wills Act 1837 has dictated how Wills are made valid. Section 9 of that Act states that a Will should be witnessed by two people in the presence of the testator after he has signed. This has caused tremendous problems during Covid and it has taken until a few days ago for the Ministry of Justice to announce that video witnessing of wills will be made legal during the Corona virus pandemic. The planned changes will be back dated to the 31st of January 2020 and there is no end date however it is thought that this new law will remain in until the Corona virus pandemic has passed. Although the Ministry of Justice would prefer future Wills to be witnessed in accordance with section 9 of the Wills Act guidelines will be produced in the next few weeks which will explain how Wills can be witnessed via video means such as zoom. This will therefore avoid the problems that many clients have experienced over the last few months and will also assist should we go into lockdown in the winter months. To discuss how this may affect you please call Debra on 01753 299466 where we will be happy to advise you. Please remember that we offer a fixed fee will service which will ensure that you remain in control of your assets and leave them to who you chose to leave them to. We also offer price reductions if you chose to have your LPAs drafted at the same time.

  • HM courts and tribunals service contradicts the government in saying that as from Monday 27th July 2

    As from Monday anyone that attends court in England will have to wear a face mask. This is welcome news for many lawyers and directly contradicts what the Government said just over a week ago with regards to the public not being required to wear masks in court buildings. With regards to what happens inside the courtroom itself, this will be left to the individual judge but social distancing rules will be observed and it is likely that masks may be removed when evidence is being presented and when people are speaking in court. This will ensure that the safety of the court and tribunal users remains paramount. Again, We do not know how long these changes are for but they illustrate how Covid has changed the way in which the law in this country is being administered.

  • The Importance of appointing a Parental Guardian

    For all those people out there who think they are too young to make a Will, then you might find this article particularly interesting. Wills help you protect your loved ones in ensuring that they are safe and cared for both financially and otherwise. That is probably why so many people have decided to use any extra time they have during lockdown to sort out their affairs: https://www.todayswillsandprobate.co.uk/main-news/a-reminder-of-the-importance-of-appointing-a-parental-guardian/?fbclid=IwAR1i1O2ig9fIhHNG9tX0WIw9HLyL1JboNHsJ0EkuRuwJkQel5ISnRJ7bvmk

  • Its Our Birthday!

    MDW Solicitors is delighted to be celebrating our first birthday. After 27 years of qualification, it has certainly been a year to remember. Leaving the security of paid employment as a director of a multi office firm and setting up your own firm was probably as sensible as jumping off a cliff but someone wise once said if you do not jump then you will be safe but you will never soar. So soaring we did and we have not looked back since. Thank you all for your support and instructions over the last year and here's to building our future.

  • Why bother in hiring a solicitor for probate?

    You may think dealing with an estate of a loved one or a friend is easy but as an executor or administrator you need to think carefully before you decide to deal with things yourself. Hiring the right solicitor will allow you to avoid personal liability, prevent you from spending hours of your time dealing with something you may not understand, and it will ensure that no time is wasted. Here are a few questions that you need to consider before you decide how to proceed: Can you identify which assets pass outside the well? Can you identify which assets pass without proof of title? Are you able to assess the outstanding debts of the estate yourself? Can you ascertain what the assets are yourself? Do you have the time and expertise to trawl through previous tax returns and complete required tax returns if necessary? Can you identify from bank statements if lifetime gifts were made and if they were made are you able to ensure that any associated taxes are paid? When looking at a will are you able to understand what would happen if any of the legacies fail? Are you able to dispose of assets in accordance with the will and have you exercised due diligence in the tracing of all potential beneficiaries to avoid your personal liability? These are only a few of the questions that you need to ask yourself and apply to even the simplest of estates. Consult the experts. It will cost you nothing to start with and then you can make an informed decision.

  • Guide to probate

    When someone close to you dies the difficulties you face can be unbearable. The last thing a lot of people want to get involved in is sorting out their loved one’s estate. It is then that one that starts searching for legal advice as they often prefer to instruct an expert to deal with obtaining probate. The Steps of Probate How much probate costs in instructing a solicitor depends on what level of service you require. You need to ascertain if the deceased has left a will. You may find this strange but no more than 40% of people in the UK are said to have made one. You can check if a will exists by contacting family and friends and the will registry and/or the deceased’s previous solicitors or bank. If there is no will this means the deceased died intestate. The next of kin can apply for the grant usually through solicitors. If there is a will then the executor can consult a solicitor to apply for the grant of probate. It is the grant of probate that gives them the legal right to access financial accounts etc. The reason why executors normally appoint a solicitor is because there are complex forms involved that requires submission to both the probate registry and HMRC. These forms must be completely accurately, and they need to include things like whether the deceased made lifetime gifts. If there are errors in completion, then the executor can be held personally liable. If the estate is less than £5000 then probate is not always required but always check with a professional first. You can instruct a solicitor to apply for the grant on your behalf and once that is obtained you may choose to do the rest yourself. It is an SRA requirement for solicitors to be transparent on probate fees and fees should be displayed on a solicitor’s website. After obtaining the grant you will need to administer the estate in accordance with the wishes of the will. If you do this without a solicitors help and if a beneficiary is omitted then once again you are personally liable. You have nothing to lose in speaking to a solicitor especially if the initial consultation is free. Please do not hesitate to ask if you have any questions.

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