We are delighted to announce three internal promotions within our Family, Private Client and Residential Property departments.Jennifer Herbert (Family) has been promoted to Senior Associate status and Chris Dickinson (Private Client) and Rebecca March (Residential Property) have been promoted to Associate status.Jennifer was recently recognised by ...
Are Wills soon to get a much needed digital makeover, with texts becoming a legal document? Our Solicitor Chris Dickinson explains.
The process of making a valid Will in England and Wales is currently governed by the Wills Act 1837, which states, amongst other things, that a valid Will must be in writing and signed by the testator in the presence of two witnesses, who must also then sign in the presence of the testator and of each other.
With a view to keeping up with the digital age, the Law Commission has drawn up plans to launch a consultation suggesting that a testator should be able to validly record their wishes in the form of notes, emails, voicemails and even text messages.
The proposals do not suggest that all such communications will be valid as a binding Will, but that the courts should at least be able to take into account ‘on the balance of probabilities’ exactly what the testator’s wishes were based on such communications that may be presented to them. If the courts are satisfied with the testator’s wishes, and that no undue influences have been placed upon them, then they could direct how the deceased’s estate be distributed even if this is contrary to an existing Will.
At present, even in cases where a testator has made their wishes unequivocally clear if the formalities of the 1837 Act have not been followed the courts do not have the power to intervene.
England and Everton footballer Aaron Lennon has been sectioned under the Mental Health Act, once again showing how mental health can affect people of all ages and backgrounds.
The primary concern for the family of a loved one affected by mental health is the speedy recovery of the person concerned, however, they will also have practical concerns such as who will manage the finances and property of the person affected, and even consideration of medical treatment decisions. Dealing with these issues can cause difficulties for the family at what is already an extremely traumatic time.
No one likes to think about the possibility of any form of mental illness but sadly it can affect anyone; it is therefore important to be prepared.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that enables you to appoint someone to legally manage your property and financial affairs, as well as make health and welfare decisions on your behalf in the event you become unable to make those decisions.
An LPA is best viewed as an insurance document - hopefully, it will never be needed, but by having it in place it gives both you and your loved one's peace of mind that they are able to make decisions for you should the need arise.
If you are interested in learning more about Lasting Powers of Attorney please contact a member of our Private Client Team today who will be happy to talk you through the process.