Month: November 2017

Avoiding Will Disputes

Nowadays, with a growing trend in people not marrying, and roughly 60% of the adult population not having a Will, Will disputes are on the rise.

So what can you do to ensure this doesn’t happen, and your wishes are abided by?

1. Make A Will

This is the only way to guarantee your wishes are documented. Unfortunately, unmarried couples are not recognised in the eyes of the law. If you die without a Will, your partner may not be provided for no matter how long you’ve been together.

2. Keep Your Will Up To Date

Circumstances change, and Wills may become out of date. If you do not update your Will, it may not actually reflect your dying wishes, leaving family and close friends upset and disappointed.

It is important to update it every time something changes and don’t leave it for another day. Anything could happen!

3. Professional Advice

Sometimes, to abide by your wishes, the family circumstances may suggest a dispute. Take professional advice when writing your Will.

This may be a cost you wish to avoid, but it will be far better than the costs incurred to the family when contesting the Will.

Not only this, the professionals will not only ensure your Will reflects your wishes, but it is valid too.

In the case of a dispute, it is harder to challenge and invalidate a Will that has been prepared by a professional.

By all means, a family member is allowed to help, especially if they’re elderly or vulnerable, but without the assurance of capacity, and the professional seeing the individual alone, it can be viewed as suspicious and raise the question of undue influence.

4. Write An Accompanying Letter

Think about why you are writing your Will as you are, and record your reasons for this in a separate letter.

It is better to have inheritance discussions before death, however if this is too hard, an accompanying letter clearly explaining your reasons will reduce the stress and upset of the situation.

Sometimes, people just need to understand why, and if you aren’t there to ask, that becomes impossible.

5. Reasonable Financial Provision

No matter what, under the Inheritance Act 1975, a beneficiary could claim financial provision from your estate.

If you firmly believe a disgruntled beneficiary may do this, it may be a good idea to include financial inheritance for them.

It may end up less expensive, and you can ensure it is provisional on them not making a claim.

6. Trusts

Assets can be left in a Trust specifically designed to be left to a particular person under the protection of Trustees.

This could be the case if your child is in a difficult marriage and you don’t wish the money to be included in a divorce, or if your beneficiaries are of an age deemed to be too young to inherit.

For information regarding any of the above, contact LCS now on 0345 017 8250 and ensure you have peace of mind this Christmas.


Don’t Forget Your Digital Estate!

With technology at the forefront of most people’s lives and a new generation of “social media techies” being brought up surrounded by tablets and smartphones, is it time we started thinking about what will happen to our technology profile after our death?

Currently, the U.K. has no formal procedure regarding digital assets and what happens in the case of death or incapacity.

Under the Inheritance and Trustees Powers Act 2014, personal assets (chattels) do not include digital assets.

It may be the case that some accounts cannot be legally accessed, and assets cannot be passed on. But some, normally those containing money can be, if the correct procedures are followed.

This of course doesn’t just refer to accounts containing assets.

Nowadays, it is normal for people to have at least one form of social media account. Facebook for example, now allows you to grant someone access to your account in the case of death.

This is called a “legacy contact”, and will allow your chosen contact access to memorialize your account.

It is also vital for those who hold their own online business, especially those who own intellectual property rights to address this issue.

For example, under the act, those who own a photography business may leave their hard copies to a beneficiary in their Will, however, they may not be given access to them digitally.

To prepare for this, you need to figure out your assets, your rights, and if this can all be passed on.

So, what can you do?

– Review the terms and conditions and find out what happens in the case of death or long periods of inactivity.
– Ensure your next of kin knows how to access your phone, tablet, laptop etc. And keep a note of your passwords and logins for these, ensuring that they are kept safely or encrypted.
– Ensure your legacy contact knows they’re your contact and know what they need to do to manage your social media.
– Keep your bank statements organised.
– Ensure your executors know where your tax information is, but do not give it to them. Keep it securely as an up to date hard copy.
– Be specific about your digital assets in your Will, and leave additional powers in there.
– You may wish to accompany your Will with a separate letter of wishes if you feel you’d like to maintain privacy between you and your digital executor.
– Always ensure that you have an anti-virus cover on your computer, laptop etc.

To receive more information regarding Wills and your estate, contact LCS NOW on 0345 017 8250

Text Message Wills

According to research by, in 2016, 59% of UK adults did not have a Will.

Nowadays, with technology taking over, the majority of the population does everything on their phones or tablets, people can be forgiven for leaving instructions over what happens to their assets when they die.

What people may not realise, is that in the UK, this is not a legal and binding Will.

Recently, there has been some press regarding an Australian Court accepting an unsent text message as a binding Will.

The message was found in the drafts section of the deceased’s mobile phone, leaving “all that I have” to his brother and nephew, this was compiled shortly before he took his own life.

Although his widow contested the decision (as the text was never sent), it contained the phrase “my Will”. The court ruled that this phrase showed the deceased’s intention.

With an appreciation for modern times, the English Law Commission is currently consulting over the legalities regarding Wills; video Wills may be on the horizon!

As it stands however, the old rules apply.


You must be of sound mind and capable of making decisions when you sign your Will. You must also be under no external influences to be compiling your Will.


You must intend to distribute all or part of your estate. There are particular expressions that must be used eg. “I leave the residue of my estate to X”.


The Will must be signed by the Will maker. This ensures it is clear the Will reflects your wishes.

Document storage is also an added security measure.

The Will should also be witnessed by two independent people.

Without all these requirements, your Will won’t be valid and may cause unnecessary stress and heartache to your loved ones upon your death.

For more information regarding Will Writing, Lasting Powers of Attorney, and Document Storage, contact LCS NOW on 0345 017 8250 and let us help you, to help yourself.

Have You Appointed Guardians?

We often hear from younger people that they will make a Will once they have children. Yet, so many people with children have not actually made a Will. According to Will Aid, this is the case with 57% of parents.

Although most younger people don’t believe they have the assets to create a Will, many do not realise that a Will is more than just dividing assets after your death.

If you have children under the age of 18, it is vital that you appoint trusted Guardians within your Will to look after your children under 18 should you and your partner both die. Otherwise, the Courts will decide what happens to your children, running the risk of them entering care.

It is important for you to discuss everything with potential Guardians, as they may decide the responsibility is one they don’t wish to bear.

One worry may be that they don’t have the finances available. This may be overcome by leaving Trusts written into your Will for your children, but ensuring your Trustees have the authority to apply for funds from the Trust fund prior to your children reaching 18 years of age.

Trustees may also be responsible for your entire estate, thus ensuring that directions are set for the financial upbringing of your children, this would ensure that your appointed guardians are not out of pocket and, that your children’s needs are met.

Guardians normally gain parental responsibility, making decisions for a child such as medical treatment and education, until they reach the age of 18.

It is also possible to appoint a substitute Guardian as a substitute in case your original Guardian is unable or unwilling to act.

Although nobody wishes to think of their death, especially when just starting your own family, it is imperative to secure your children’s future whilst you’re still able to do so.

For advice regarding Guardianship, and writing Wills, contact LCS NOW on 0345 017 8250.