Calling for pre-paid probate regulation

pre-paid probate regulation

We recently wrote about the welcome regulation of funeral plan providers by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It has become painfully clear how crucial regulation is after the company Safe Hands went into administration earlier this year. Their customers’ funeral plans have been voided and it is likely that no more than 20% of their […]

Exclusive: Legal Ombudsman responds to criticism in national press

Legal Ombudsman

In an exclusive interview with Today’s Wills and Probate, the Legal Ombudsman (LeO) has responded to criticism in the national press. The Times released an article on July 30th criticising the LeO for long wait times for people who claim to have been misled by their solicitors. The LeO has responded by stating that The […]

Sponsor Spotlight: Pro-Gen Research

Pro-Gen Research

The fifth rendition of the annual British Wills and Probate Awards is becoming ever-closer. As we count down to the 20th October at the Grand Hotel in Birmingham, our “Sponsor Spotlight” series will highlight the progression, innovation and achievements of all our sponsors who make the event possible. Here, we speak with Pro-Gen Research, Private Client […]

Women & Equalities Committee: end “inferior” protections for cohabiting couples


Calls for cohabitation law reform are being led by a group of cross-party MPs who say that cohabiting couples have “inferior” protections to those who are married or within a civil partnership. The Women and Equalities Committee has published a new report titled “The Rights of Cohabiting Partners”, highlighting the lack of protection against the […]

£5 billion missing from bereaved families’ accounts

Millions of pounds in inheritance is going unclaimed every year because solicitors are not taking advantage of modern technology to uncover accounts, policies and shares due to bereaved families. Figures from dormant asset holders, the Reclaim Fund, show that £1.3 billion is currently being held, a sum that continues to increase annually. There is also […]

Industry urged to recognise its champions

Nominations are invited from across the wills and probate sector for this year’s Today’s Wills and Probate Industry Champion. Launched in 2021, the industry came together to recognise the individuals who have made a significant contribution to the life and times of our industry.  And with The British Wills and Probate Awards, sponsored by Property […]

Digital probate: a significant step forward?

digital probate

Joe Cobb, Partner and Head of Department in Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning at JMW Solicitors, offers his view on the challenges faced by the digital probate system, and how it could be improved moving forward in 2022. The UK Government’s digital probate system has developed significantly since its public offering commenced in January 2019. […]

Revealed: life expectancies across different UK socio-economic groups

life expectancy (1)

The ONS have published insights on mortality rates and have found startling differences for the life expectancies for those in different socio-economic groups. Her Majesty the Queen celebrated her 96th birthday this year, whereas in 1926, the year of her birth, the life expectancy for women was only 62. The International Longevity Centre estimates that […]

3 benefits of standardising your estate accounts workflows

standardising your estate

Standardising approaches has been a common tactic for many industries in the drive to become more efficient across the last decade, however, it is something that has been lacking within the legal sector, particularly when it comes to completing estate accounts. As the final task to be completed in the preparation and distribution of an […]

Goverment makes several important updates to TRS manual

Trust Registration

With less than a month until the deadline for registering non-taxable trusts, 6th of October, HMRC have made several important updates to the Trust Registration Service (TRS) manual. The changes include include sections being added to the manual such as penalties (TRSM80000), data requests (TRSM60000), and discrepancy reporting (TRSM70000). However, ads the registration is new and […]

Dormant asset funding consultation and avoiding missing assets in estate administration

Dormant asset

Following the Dormant Assets Act 2022 being passed earlier this year, the government has recently launched a consultation to gather public opinions on which causes should benefit from dormant asset funding in England. In addition to discussing this consultation and industry opinions on it, Title Research’s latest blog covers: What is a dormant asset? What […]

Charity trustees’ power over legacy dispute settlements set to change


Charity trustees’ discretion over the offering of financial settlements in legacy disputes is set to change later this year. Trustees must currently act in the best interests of a charity as is their duty. This puts the brakes on financial settlements with third parties who are disputing a legacy that has been left to the […]

Regulation, Regulation, Regulation…

Today's Wills and Probate Podcast

In this latest episode of The Today’s Wills and Probate podcast host David Opie is joined by Director General of the Society of Will Writers Anthony Belcher. Recorded just before the latest announcement by the Legal Services Board that there is no intention to review unregulated legal services at this time the podcast explores what […]

How property investment portfolios could create IHT headaches


There are a host of areas and products that you can invest in these days, but property continues to be a major draw for many. The recently published English Private Landlord Survey 2021 explored the reasons for becoming a landlord, with a key one being a preference to invest in property rather than other areas. […]

Update to the closure of the Solicitors Indemnity Fund

Solicitors Indemnity Fund

I have previously written about the SRA’s proposed closure of the Solicitors Indemnity Fund. The overwhelming response to the SRA’s consultation which ended in February 2022 was for the fund to remain open and as a result the fund was given a further year until September 2023. Since February 2022, the SRA have been consulting further. […]

Tackling financial abuse within Wills

John Lambe

With an increasing ageing population, financial abuse is depressingly common. Sometimes it is picked up during the victim’s lifetime and, if they lack capacity, the Court of Protection may become involved. However, often financial abuse is not picked up until someone has died. Financial abuse usually involves a weak and vulnerable individual who is a […]

Paper probate applications taking twice as long as digital ones


The latest figures from HM Courts & Tribunals Service have revealed that paper probate applications are sometimes taking more than twice as long as their digital counterparts. In May, the probate service performance figures show that digital applications took 13.5 weeks when stopped and 4.1 weeks without stops. In the same period, paper applications took […]

Equity release: record £1.6 billion withdrawn in Q2 2022

equity release

Statistics released by the Equity Release Council have revealed that a striking £1.6 billion of property wealth was withdrawn via equity release in Q2 2022. This comes as the number of new equity release plans agreed in Q2 increased by 26% from Q2 2021, but fell short of the peak of 12,891 recorded in Q4 […]