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Wills During the Coronavirus Pandemic

We appreciate that many people will be considering making a Will and Lasting Powers of Attorney now, more than ever, in light of the Coronavirus pandemic. At Maples Solicitors we will work around those who are self-isolating and we will continue to follow Government guidance by keeping our distance from others. This does mean that we can now offer “Through your Window Wills”. We will take instructions for your Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney via the telephone, video calls or e-mail and we can attend at your home and arrange the signing and witnessing of the documents through your window.

 

Our costs for dealing with Wills are as follows:-

Our Simple Wills service offers a comprehensive service to ensure that your wishes are carried out in the event of your death.  

If you are married or have a partner and want to make mirror Wills our cost are £360 (inclusive of VAT).

This fee is made up of:

  • Legal fee £300
  • VAT on legal fees £60

If you want to make a single Will our costs are £210 (inclusive of VAT). 

This fee is made up of:

  • Legal fee £175
  • VAT on legal fees £35

The Simple Will Service includes: 

  • Appointment of Executors
  • Provision for your funeral wishes
  • Appointment of Guardians for minor children
  • Provision for specific legacies including money and personal items to named beneficiaries
  • Basic Inheritance Tax advice
  • Advice with regard to the distribution of your residuary estate to your intended beneficiaries
  • Draft Will with full explanation in plain English sent to you in the post
  • Answering any queries you have on the draft Will
  • Face to face meeting at our offices to sign the Will with a Solicitor or Legal Executive
  • Registration with Certainty the National Wills Register 
  • Secure lifetime storage 

This service does not include: 

  • Complex inheritance tax advice and planning
  • Assets that are situated abroad
  • Property protection advice
  • Advice with regard to disinheriting family members 

If it becomes apparent additional work will be needed we will inform you of the additional work required and confirm the additional costs.

If you would like to make a “Through your Window Will” or Lasting Powers of Attorney please telephone the office on 01775 722261 or e-mail enquiries@maplessolicitors.com.

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Assets on divorce - Can I keep the Family Home?

The Family Home

Each and every case is different and it is important to bear in mind that whether one party can retain the family home depends on the circumstances of the case; the extent of other assets in the marriage; the needs of any children and a variety of other factors.

There are a number of options as to what can happen to the family home  and here are a few examples

  • The home can be sold and the proceeds of the sale split between the parties, either equally or otherwise depending on the parties’ relative earning capacity;
  • One party can buy the other out of the home by paying them a lump sum and having the house transferred into their sole name. This usually works on the basis that the party keeping the house takes on the existing mortgage and the other party is removed from it;
  • One party can remain living in the home until any children turn 18, at which point the property is sold and the proceeds are split either equally or otherwise depending on the parties’ respective earning capacity. Where there are children involved this option can allow them to stay in their home without too much disruption;
  • Where there is more than one property owned by the parties, the properties themselves may be transferred to either party so that each of them has a property to live in. One party would transfer one house to the other and be released from any mortgage on it and the other party would do the same with the second house; or
  • The home can be transferred to one party subject to a ‘charge back’ securing an interest for the other party to receive a share when, for instance the youngest child of the family reaches the age of 18.

Pension - Can I get a share of my spouse’s pension?

There are many ways that pensions can be dealt with, but again there are some more common solutions:

  • Pensions may be made subject to a Pension Sharing Order where a percentage of one party’s fund value is transferred to the other and invested in a pension in the other’s name;
  • A pension’s value can also be offset meaning that one party retains more pension provision but the other receives a greater share of the family home and/or other assets; or
  • Pensions can be subject to a pension attachment order whereby the other party is linked to the pension holder’s pension and retains an interest in it.

The assets of the marriage are divided up taking into account a variety of factors including the income and earning capacity of the parties and their respective needs.

Our expert Family team can advise you on any issue regarding finances on either divorce or separation, and what you might expect to be able to receive from a settlement or from an Order of the Court. If you would like further advice, please call 01775 722261 to arrange a meeting, or email anita.toal@maplessolicitors.com.

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What is a Pre-Nuptial Agreement? image

What is a Pre-Nuptial Agreement?

What is a Pre-Nuptial Agreement?

A Pre-Nuptial Agreement is a legal agreement made between two people who are about to get married. It normally states how the parties want to divide their assets if they later divorce or maybe how they want to deal with finances during the marriage.

What are the Advantages of a Pre-Nuptial Agreement?

Pre-Nuptial Agreements are appropriate for many circumstances, but typically they are made by people who are marrying for a second time, have acquired wealth prior to the marriage, those with inherited wealth or those who want to reduce the possibility of conflict if they were to divorce in the future.

Pre-Nuptial Agreements are great for having that peace of mind before getting married so that both parties know exactly where they stand in all circumstances.

Is a Pre-Nuptial Agreement worth entering into?

If you are sure of the agreement and are willing to be bound by the terms of the agreement then it may be worth entering into. It is certainly worth considering whether the agreement could be disadvantageous to you should you separate from your spouse in later years. It is important that you make a fair agreement for you and that you both take separate and independent legal advice from a specialist solicitor.

Will the agreement be binding?

In England and Wales the courts do not have to follow the terms of a  Pre-Nuptial Agreement when dividing up the assets of the marriage but in recent years the courts have been more willing to adopt the terms of a pre-nuptial in certain circumstances. The agreement is likely to be binding if the parties enter into it of their own free will, without undue influence or pressure and if they have been informed of its implications. It must also be fair to hold the parties to their agreement. For the agreement to carry weight, it needs to be properly drawn, both parties need full knowledge of each other's financial circumstances, and both parties need to take independent legal advice before entering into the agreement. Factors which may make an agreement unfair include failure to take account of the needs of any children or the length of the marriage.

A Pre-Nuptial Agreement must be fully completed at least 28 days before the wedding. Therefore, the process must be started before this to allow both parties time to obtain legal advice, get disclosure of each party's financial situation and allow both parties to sign the agreement.

Missed the deadline?

If the Pre-Nuptial Agreement is not completed in time, a Post-Nuptial Agreement may be an alternative. The difference between a Pre-Nuptial Agreement and a Post-Nuptial Agreement is that a Post-Nuptial Agreement is made between two parties who are already married.

What do I do next?

Maples Solicitors LLP has a specialist family law team who are more than happy to advise on any area of family law and the best course of action. Maples Solicitors LLP has years of experience with Pre-Nuptial and Post-Nuptial agreements. Maples offer an initial Fixed Fee Appointment so that you can discuss what is best for you.

 

If you would like further advice and information, please contact Maples Solicitors LLP on 01775 722261 or email anita.toal@maplessolicitors.com.

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Jamie Dobbs SCILEx

Open Quote Icon "I should like to take this opportunity to express my very sincere and grateful thanks for Jamie's unfailing helpfulness and efficiency in all aspects of the handling of my late stepmother's estate. Jamie have always replied to my (many!) queries promptly and comprehensively which has been a enormous help throughout what I know can be a fraught and stressful process. Sadly, it is increasingly rare these days to experience the highs standards of service that Jamie has provided." Close Quote Icon

Gemma Mayer LLB

Open Quote Icon "I would highly recommend Maples Solicitors, especially Gemma Mayer, for any conveyancing work. The level of support and professionalism was excellent at all times. I also felt if I needed to ask or clarify anything that it was not an issue. Buying and selling a house is stressful enough, but Gemma helped me through it step by step." Close Quote Icon

Anita Toal LLB BA

Open Quote Icon "I think you are brilliant. You can use my comments above. You are efficient, friendly and quite clearly very good at what you do. Mainly you don’t leave people hanging around too long for." "So easy to talk to her and she understood what I wanted. She put me at ease and I cant thank her enough" Close Quote Icon

James Turner BA

Open Quote Icon James Turner was extremely helpful with our buying process. Everything went smoothly. We are very happy with the level of professionalism demonstrated by the office. Highly recommended solicitors. Will definitely do business with them again. Close Quote Icon

Daven Naghen LLB

Open Quote Icon "Daven provided an excellent service, from attending the first interview with me to the final court appearance. He filled me full of confidence that he would defend me to which he did and come out with an excellent outcome in view of my position that I had put myself in." Close Quote Icon

Faye Blair LLB

Open Quote Icon Faye was excellent, sensitive and acted very well to the time constraints we faced. Great service and dealt with compassion at such sad times made the process less painful very professional. Close Quote Icon

Jamie Dobbs GCILEx

Open Quote Icon Over the last forty years I have cause to deal with many law firms both in a personal and professional capacity, including some ‘top’ London Companies. In all of those dealings I have never found anyone as proactive and so willing to offer help and advice as Jamie Dobbs. During the last two years Jamie guided my parents through the completion of Lasting Powers of Attorney. Helped myself with the use of the LPA and recently dealing with Probate and Estate Administration following their death. Close Quote Icon

Mike Pepper MA

Open Quote Icon Mike Pepper gave us excellent advice. He was always most helpful and accommodating giving lucid explanations every step of the way. Thank you Mike. Close Quote Icon

Donna Sandison FCILEx

Open Quote Icon Donna has been helpful and professional every step of the way during the process. Always on hand to answer any queries and totally professional and friendly at all times. Close Quote Icon