Make your voice heard!

Legally, you can have someone else to speak for you if you’re no longer able to do so. You need to complete and register a Lasting Power of Attorney to give the person or people you trust the legal power to be your voice.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), and at the moment a lot of people are setting up Health & Welfare LPAs.

Having tough conversations

People who are already vulnerable are concerned about the Coronavirus.  People working on the front line in healthcare, public transport, and other key roles know that they are risking their health and that of those they live with.
Talking about healthcare wishes, talking about financial and funeral arrangements, talking about Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney… Big topics.

Making a Will or LPA from home

You won’t be surprised to learn that the COVID-19 outbreak has made lots of people think about their Will, or who will help them with their money or decisions about medical treatment if they are hospitalised. We want to make it as easy as possible for you to have peace of mind about these things. You can access any of our services by telephone consultation, and do not need to visit us in our office or invite us to your home.

Services

Wills    

How do I manage the money when someone dies?

When someone dies, their money and possessions have to be sorted out.  If they had a Will, there will be named Executors who take this on. If they did not have a Will, then usually the next of kin is the person responsible. These people are legally allowed to manage the ‘estate’, and are known as the Personal Representatives (PRs).

Unsigned Codicil…International Assets…

There are complications with administering the estate of a person who dies if they have not signed all the documents, or if they are in a language you do not understand.
This article talks about what you can do to make the administration of your estate more straightforward.

Money Management

The question of who’ll keep our finances in order if we are seriously ill or have lost our capacity to manage them ourselves is a huge one! It’s important to have someone we trust in control.
This article explains a bit more about Financial LPAs. These are correctly known as Property & Financial Affairs Lasting Powers of Attorney.

…Gail made it a painless and thought provoking exercise…
Will Writing Service

Probate Fee Increase Scrapped

Recent proposals by the government to dramatically change the probate fee structure have now been abandoned. Find out how we can support you through the probate process, and what the current fees are.

Families and festivities!

Families – can’t live with them, can’t live without them!?
The season of goodwill isn’t guaranteed to bring happiness and joy for everyone.
Some are enduring a first, or another, Christmas without a loved one.
Others are spending Christmas with family they don’t see often.

What happens if I can’t afford a funeral?

What happens if you can’t afford to pay for your loved one’s funeral…or your loved ones can’t afford to pay for yours? A reporter for the Independent went undercover to find out, and was horrified to discover that relatives are being barred from some publicly funded funerals, and ashes are not being released to the families.

What does an Executor do?

The role of Executor involves collecting in all your assets, paying off your debts, and distributing your estate in accordance with your wishes. It’s a time consuming role that is a considerable responsbility, so you and your Executor(s) should be realistic about the potential challenges of the role.

Confidence Tricksters & Estate Planning…

Our attention is sometimes caught by media reports of manipulative individuals taking advantage of older or vulnerable people for financial gain.
This might be by convincing the person to change their Will, or set up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in respect of Property and Financial Affairs, in their favour.

Representing my views on healthcare

When we become too ill to speak for ourselves we are said to have ‘lost capacity’. Necessary decisions about treatment and care will be made by medical professionals, deciding what is in our best interests and acting accordingly. For your voice to be heard, an appropriate person will have to make an application to become your Health and Welfare Deputy.

What’s happening with Probate fees?

The planned increase to Probate Fees has not yet happened – though it’s still likely that it will. What can you do to assist your Executors, who will have to pay the fee when they apply for the Grant of Probate? We can advise you. Book an appointment with us to ensure your estate is prepared.

We’ve entered the Shine (virtual) Balloon Race in May!

We’re delighted to be fundraising for Shine – a charity offering support to those living with hydrocephalus and/or spina bifida. Shine host balloon races to raise funds for their shunt services. With an eye on the environment, they’ve made the races a virtual event so no real balloons will be released!

Talking about Trusts

Trusts are used to manage the passing on of assets or money in a particular way. There are a number of different types of Trust, serving different functions. A Trust may be established during a lifetime, or started under the provisions of a Will. They are therefore a crucial aspect of estate planning.

Bicester…Buckingham & now Oxford!

Our business has clients all across Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. We are delighted to have opened offices in Buckingham and now also in Headington, Oxford. We are now offering our Wills, Probate, Lasting Power of Attorney and general estate planning services from all three offices. Come and see us!

The cost of dying is on the up again

Of course there’s a cost to dying! But when we die, we’re not there to foot the bill, so why should we worry?
The thing is, it can be tricky – or impossible – for loved ones to come up with a significant sum of money at the time of a death. (The costs & infographics in this blog post are taken from SunLife (2018), Cost of Dying Report.)

Why not write a Will?

If you don’t have a Will…perhaps it is because you’ve simply never thought about it? 55% of adults in Britain still do not have a Will, and yet disputes about inheritance are on the increase. Writing a Will is the only way to ensure your exact wishes are known to your friends and family when you are not actually there to spell it out.

Are you prepared for all eventualities?

Sudden incapacitation, deteriorating illness or loss of ability to communicate means you may no longer be able to state your wishes at a time when you most want to be heard. Would it give you peace of mind to know that your affairs will be dealt with by someone you trust? With an LPA, you can rest assured that the person speaking for you is chosen and trusted by you.

Probate fees are set to rise

The Government has said that Probate Fees will increase in 2019. The fee accompanying a Probate application will be calculated on a sliding scale, likely to be around 0.5% of the value of the estate. This is a large increase on the current fee, which has not been well received in the private client sector.

Leave your money to children or charity?!

Sheila Hancock, actress, is adamant that her children can work for their own success. She’s made provision for her own long term care, so as not to burden her children, and intends to leave her money to charity. For advice about your own estate, contact us at Bicester Wills.

Home Visits & Priority Service

We pride ourselves on putting our clients first. Our office is open for appointments on Saturday mornings, as well as on weekdays, to ensure our clients can access our services when they have the time to do so. There are times when clients can’t come to us at all. We understand this.

What costs are associated with funerals?

Funeral costs matter! The BBC reports that funeral providers are competing to reduce their prices. You may have seen funeral providers advertise 'reduced fees' in national and local press too. But what does 'reduced fees' in relation to funeral providers really mean?...

Hidden charges in Wills drafted by banks

Many people have had their Will drawn up by a bank, appointing the bank as Executor. This enables them to charge a large fee for their probate services, leaving less money in the estate. Book your free Will review now, and we can ensure your Will carries out your wishes.

Marriage Matters…

Marriage matters... ...by which we mean, it makes a real difference to your Will! While all eyes are on Prince Harry and his bride this weekend, you can be sure there are advisers making sure their estate affairs are in order. Why?  Because their marriage changes...