Easier access to historic wills under new government plans

Genealogists, historians and amateur family archivists will be better able to access historic wills under proposals published by the Ministry of Justice. The digitisation programme could see millions of wills dating back more than 150 years moved online and more easily accessible to the public in a bid to improve the current storage system. Currently […]

Thank you and Happy Holidays

Thank you to all our Today’s Wills and Probate readers, subscribers and contributors for your support in 2023.  It has been another busy year in the wills and probate and wider private client and estate planning world with too many stories to mention. We look forward to continuing to bring you the very latest news, […]

Dame Esther Rantzen and cabinet minister contemplate assisted dying

Veteran broadcaster Dame Esther Rantzen, at 83, has recently discussed her membership with the Swiss assisted dying clinic, Dignitas, amidst her battle with advanced lung cancer. The cabinet minister has also come forward saying he “welcomes” assisted dying law debate. In an intimate conversation with BBC’s Radio 4, Rantzen revealed her current engagement with a […]

Common questions in SWW inbox: Issues you could be faced with as a will writer

Welcome to a new series of articles from the SWW Technical Team; Common Questions in our Inbox. For this instalment, we have decided to do something completely different and consider remote instruction taking along with some other common issues will writers may face. Is it acceptable to take instructions over Skype, Whatsapp or FaceTime? Since restrictions were […]

Wills for unmarried couples

In this article, Gurpreet Jani, Senior Associate, Private Wealth at Lewis Denley explores the compelling reasons why unmarried couples should consider creating a will to protect their loved ones and ensure their wishes are respected in the event of the unforeseen. The Crucial Need for Unmarried Couples to Have a Will Love knows no bounds, […]

Probate applications reveal continued delays

Probate application delays reveal a continued increase from the start of the year despite a slight decrease from the previous month – decreasing from 15.4 weeks to 15.2, new data from HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has revealed. For the 27,664 grants of probate issued in October, the average timeline from submission to grant […]

IHT receipts £0.4bn higher than same period last year, data reveals

Inheritance Tax receipts for April 2023 to November 2023 are £5.2 billion, which is £0.4 billion higher than the same period last year. Lower receipts in April and May 2020 were due to a temporary issue where HMRC were unable to accept cheques for payment of IHT due to COVID-19, which was resolved, hence the peak in June […]

Decades-old gifting allowance erodes in real value, research reveals

The annual tax-free gifting allowance remaining static for the past four decades means its real value is lagging by 360%, research from law firms Shakespeare Martineau and Mayo Wynne Baxter has revealed. Current rules allow individuals to give away assets or cash up to a total of £3,000 each tax year without it being added […]

Kelly Greig TEP elected worldwide Chair of STEP


Kelly Greig TEP, Partner and Head of Estate Planning and Tax at Steele Raymond, has been elected as worldwide Chair of STEP, effective 1st January 2024. Kelly succeeds Tony Pitcher TEP, whose term as Chair ends on 31st December 2023. Full STEP members, like Kelly, are known as TEPs. They are internationally recognised as experts […]