Month: February 2018

Deadline to return old paper £10 notes fast approaching

At least £2.1bn worth of old £10 notes need to be spent or exchanged before they cease to be legal tender, the Bank of England says.
The deadline to spend or exchange old £10 notes – featuring naturalist Charles Darwin – is 1 March.
To exchange an old tenner, people can either post the notes to the Bank of England, or visit the Bank in person in the City of London.
The Bank will exchange all old £10 notes indefinitely.
The Bank says people can also try to exchange paper tenners at their local bank or post office.
However they are not legally required to accept old notes after the deadline.

Adult Social Care

Are you entitled to an LPA refund?

Did you register a Lasting Power Of Attorney between April 1st 2013 and March 31st 2017?

If you did, you may be owed up to £54.

The Government has introduced a scheme where those that paid the registration fee during the above dates can apply for a partial refund as they were charged more than was needed.

According to the Ministry of Justice, this could affect 1.7million applications.

A Lasting Power Of Attorney is a document that allows you to nominate someone you trust to look after your affairs if ever you lose capacity or are unable to do so.

The two common LPAs are finance and property, and health and welfare (although LCS offers a third; Business LPA).

If you’ve registered both LPAs, you’ll be entitled to a refund of up to £108.

What has happened?

When an LPA is registered, an application fee is charged and paid to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG).

During 2013 to 2017, the OPG operating costs decreased however the fee stayed the same.

With the fee only used to cover operating costs, the Government has decided to repay the difference plus 0.5% interest to those affected.

You cannot claim if you registered after April 1st 2017 as the fee was reduced on this date.

Only the donor, or the attorney can claim, and the refund will be paid to the donor.

The claim can be processed by contacting the OPG on their helpline 0300 456 0300.

There is currently no deadline, and you can also still claim even if the donor has died.

For more information regarding Powers Of Attorney, contact LCS NOW on 0345 017 8250.

Inheritance without marriage

In today’s society, many couples chose not to marry but to live (cohabit) with their partner.

According to the Office for National Statistics, in 2014 there were 247,372 marriages in England and Wales between men and women.

This is a far cry from the 349,000 marriages thirty years ago.

They also reported that the average age of marriage was at an all-time high of 34-37 years old.

So, with this in mind, where do cohabiting couples stand when it comes to the laws surrounding inheritance?

Unfortunately without a Will, cohabiting couples are not recognised in the eyes of the law in relation to inheritance. This means that a bereaved partner is currently legally entitled to nothing.

The only exceptions to this rule are if they own their house as joint tenant (joint owners) or are to receive their partner’s life policy, where the deceased has completed a nominee form in the partners favour.

In some cases, couples have been together decades and also share children.

This is where it can get a little tricky for the remaining partner.

If the surviving partner (or anyone else) hasn’t been named in a Will (or there is no Will), under the intestacy rules, the children of the partnership are automatically first in line to receive the estate.

In order to legally inherit, the surviving partner would have to claim against their children, which can be stressful, costly and may cause a family dispute, but they may need to do this in order to obtain money or assets to live on.

Cohabiting couples also lose the benefit of not being able to use their partner’s inheritance tax allowance. Currently, married couples or those on a Civil partnership have the ability for the surviving spouse / Civil partner to use their deceased spouse / partners inheritance tax (IHT) allowance, thus saving on potential tax upon second death.

Currently, gifts between spouses are exempt from IHT, whereas for cohabiting couples, if the assets exceed £325,000, IHT is charged at 40%.

In order to ensure your partner is provided for when you die, it is vital you make a Will and name them.

Without this, there is no protection for them, and you may literally leave them homeless and with nothing.

If you love them, protect them.

Why not give the gift of LCS this valentines. Contact us on 0345 017 8250.

Do family members acting as Carers deserve a bigger inheritance?

In a society where there is an increasingly ageing population and people are struggling to pay their care fees, it comes as no surprise that family members are acting as live-in carers to their elders.

Many of these carers not only invest their time and money into making their loved one comfortable, some would argue they also invest their lives, often putting careers on hold and making sacrifices towards their own family.

But what happens when the loved one dies and it comes to the division of their assets?

Do the carers deserve a larger portion of the estate due to their lifetime of sacrifice?

Such a case was in the news last week.

Reported January 24th 2018, a 62 year old man (Timothy) had spent his life living with his parents acting as a live-in carer, whilst his two brothers left home and forged careers as Doctors in London.

When their mother passed away in 2015, she left a Will stating her estate (estimated at £1.8million) was to be divided equally between her three sons.

As Timothy acted as “primary carer for many years”, he has challenged her Will believing he is entitled to a larger portion of her estate due to his brothers taking “none of the burden”.

His brothers on the other hand believe Timothy, who is still living in her property, should leave the home so it can be sold and distributed in line with their mother’s wishes.

In court, Timothy explained that for the last eight years he was caring for his mother (a dementia sufferer), unpaid.

Although there were two other paid carers living in the property with him, he believes he had taken on equal responsibility.

Speaking to his brother, he stated:

“You are employed as a consultant and have multiple properties. You are a wealthy man. You offered no financial support and didn’t visit often enough for it to manifest any form of care. I’ve looked after her almost single handedly.

“I don’t own a house, have a pension or a steady income.

“I don’t think I should be made homeless or put into penury if it can be avoided.”

Responding, his brother highlighted that his children are entitled to their share of the estate.


Mr Justice Carr highlighted that as he acted as a carer, there was an obvious conflict of interest between Timothy being both a beneficiary and an Executor.

Ordering Timothy’s brothers to pay their own costs of £25,000, he also ordered Timothy be removed as an Executor and replaced by a solicitor.

When delivering his verdict, he stated:

“The claim to remove Timothy as an Executor is well founded and I intend to accede to it.”

He also warned the brothers they may too have to be removed if further conflicts of interest became apparent.

Although it doesn’t appear Timothy was granted a greater share of the inheritance, it does bring about an important debate that families may need to discuss before their loved one dies.

To find out more information about care planning, LPAs or Will writing, contact LCS NOW on 0345 017 8250.