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The Kings Court Trust Blog

Keeping you up-to-date with Wills, probate and estate administration industry news

Regulation of Will writing popular amongst the public

The public are in favour of Will writing becoming a regulated practice and are hoping the UK government will soon look to implement some form of regulation in the near future, according to the Law Gazette.
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DIY Wills "could cause family disputes" warns legal expert

When making a Will, many people choose to use a DIY kit or online template for a variety of reasons. Research shows that 37% of us thought it would be cheaper than going through a solicitor, whilst others thought it would be quicker to do it ourselves or didn’t want a stranger knowing their business.
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Landmark Ilott ruling may boost demand for professional Will writing

Following on from the recent and well publicised Ilott case, the Financial Times reports that the ruling highlights the powers at the disposal of the courts to overrule Wills.
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Daughter excluded from mother's Will wins £164k inheritance in landmark case

A landmark legal ruling has seen a daughter who was explicitly left out of her mother’s Will awarded £164,000 in inheritance on appeal.
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How a cheap Will could leave your family in ruins

With recent research suggesting that half of the British public don’t have a Will, there is no doubt that many of us need to consider formally writing down our wishes on how our estate will be dealt with upon our death.  However, it is important to remember that while a cheap DIY kit or some scribbled notes could be legally binding, a Will that isn’t professionally drafted substantially increases the chances of it causing problems after your death.
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How a £90 Will from Barclays cost a woman half her father's house

Barclays are being sued for hundreds of thousands of pounds by a woman who claims the bank’s Will writing service resulted in her losing a stake in her late father’s London home. Although the bank is contesting the reports, Telegraph Money have revealed that when the complaint was assessed by the Financial Ombudsman Service, the bank was found at fault so the complaint has been progressed to the High Court.
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Fake Will salesman jailed

We recently came across a news article that highlights the importance of seeking trusted, professional advice when it comes to having your Will written. Samuel Eaton posed as a Wills specialist and salesman but has been jailed for swindling vulnerable pensioners out of their cash by selling them fake legal documents and trust deeds.   Eaton did this while trading under the guise of The Pensioners' Association and The Senior Citizens' Advice Centre, while his promotional leaflets and business cards implied that he was also connected to the charities Age UK, Macmillan Cancer Support and Sense. During one of his visits, he also played a DVD of a BBC documentary related to Wills and trusts to further convince his victims to part with their cash and add gravitas to his operation.   Judge Alan Conrad, QC, commented that Eaton had taken time to choose his specific victims carefully and that he was guilty of "serious offences involving a number of different victims, some particularly vulnerable."   The local authorities were alerted to Eaton's acts when the son of one of his victims contacted them after both he and his parents handed over £1,100. When examined, the documents created by Eaton were discovered to be inconsistent, ambiguous and full of errors.  Eaton has been sentenced to eight months in jail and has also been fined £3,950.   David Birrell, representing the prosecution, said: "It is clear that each of his victims believed that his operations were charitable, rather than commercial ventures.  There was a lack of professional diligence on the part of the defendant."   Kings Court Trust always recommends that individuals seek professional advice when it comes to preparing your Will, ideally from a firm that is a member of a reputable professional body such as the Institute of Professional Willwriters (IPW).  In doing so, you can be confident that you are dealing with a firm that abides by a code of conduct and ethics when dealing with customers.  For more information, visit www.ipw.org.uk.
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Councillor found guilty of defrauding disabled brother out of inheritance

Another week and we have found another story regarding malicious behaviour from an individual in relation to inheritance – this time courtesy of the Plymouth Herald.  According to the article, a local councillor has been forced to stand down after admitting to defrauding her own brother – who is also disabled – out of his inheritance.
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When William Herd died he left £300,000 but his only son never saw a penny: Why you must write a Will

We’re sure you were as equally shocked as we were to hear about this case today. Stuart Herd’s widowed father, William, remarried at 67. His son Stuart was delighted as he’d feared his father would live out the rest of his days alone, after the death of his wife, Freda, in 1986.
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