Probate applications continue to lag amidst persistent delays

Delays affecting probate applications remain prolonged despite minor signs of improvement, new data from HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has revealed. For the 22,072 grants of probate issued in February 2023, the average timeline from submission to grant was 10.6 weeks, according to the data. While this is a slight reduction from the 11 […]

2022 a ‘record-breaking year’ for charity legacy income

pound sterling

A new report has revealed 2022 saw legacy income reach unprecedented levels for charities in England and Wales. The report, put together by Smee & Ford, looked at 37,053 charitable estates out of a total of 269,699 estates processed in 2022 that included a will. This means around 14% of probated estates with wills are […]

Trust funds of 80,000 young people without capacity ‘locked away’ – report

lock money

A new report has suggested as many as 80,000 young people’s assets could be locked in their Child Trust Funds (CTF) due to their lack of capacity to make decisions. The current Court of Protection process is described as lengthy and expensive, meaning just 15 CTFs were accessed via this method in 2021. What’s more, […]

Rishi Sunak ‘considers cutting inheritance tax’

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Rishi Sunak has said to be considering an inheritance tax cut ahead of the next general election, according to the Independent. Recent figures from HM Revenue & Customs revealed that inheritance tax (IHT) receipts are £0.9 billion higher than in the same period a year earlier. Only “4% of deaths in the UK resulted in […]

Does AI-generated content impact your SEO?

SEO graphic

AI, or Artificial Intelligence, is becoming more and more commonplace in the legal industry. It is being used to do things such as create contracts, analyse data, and of course generate content for marketing purposes. To our knowledge, it’s not yet widely used for tax calculations and for estate planning but we believe that there […]

Due execution of wills

Image of someone writing a will

The recent unreported case of Smith V Ganning [2022] provides a useful reminder of the importance of ensuring that wills are validly executed in accordance with the requirements of the Wills Act 1837 (“the Act”). Background Alison Ganning died on 20 May 2016.  She had made a homemade will dated 5 April 2016. By that will she left her entire […]

Getting paid your true worth

Today's Wills and Probate Podcast

The True Worth Expert Vanessa Ugatti joins host David Opie on the latest Today’s Wills and Probate Podcast. Vanessa works with professional services individual and organisations to help them understand their true value, and explain that better to clients to help them get paid their true worth, unapologetically. In her work Vanessa sees individuals and […]

Use of electronic bills in Court of Protection cases

Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

The pilot for the use of electronic bills, which began on 1 November 2022, has been successful. Currently, about 30-40% of Court of Protection bills received are in electronic form and the Costs Officers have efficiently assessed a sufficient number to enable us to conclude that the use of bills in this format should continue. […]

What Do Consumers Want? graphic

On 15th March, some of the team were lucky enough to have an in-depth conversation with David Mort, Director of the famous IRN Research Reports. We discussed the findings from his two latest reports:         1. The UK Wills & Probate Market Consumer Research Report   AND       2. The UK Wills, […]

New network launches offering free probate advice to families

probate advice

A new network of solicitors has been launched with the aim of providing free legal advice to people dealing with probate and estate administration.  The Probate Network is made up of solicitors that provide free 20-minute telephone consultations to answer probate-related questions and give advice related to any issue surrounding probate, intestacy, estate administration, or […]

CTT Group: Superhero webinar 100

CTT Group graphic

It’s time to say goodbye to our SUPERHERO. Superhero Webinar 100 will not only be a landmark for CTT Group but also a chance to look at the ever-changing landscape that has faced estate planners over the past 100 months. Webinar 101 will represent a new dawn for Countrywide’s webinars. Since the Superhero Webinar series […]

One in four plan to invest in property to generate income for retirement

retirement pot

New data has revealed that one in four people (25%) plan to invest in property to generate income for their retirement and enjoy a comfortable lifestyle. With inflation standing at a 45-year high of 10.4%, there has been a growing trend of people – most commonly those approaching retirement – turning to investing in property […]