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Wills & Trusts news

Here you can follow Vardags’ latest news on wills and trusts, examining prominent cases, legal developments and other intricacies from both the UK and overseas. Covering the most engaging headlines from the private client world involving onshore and offshore trusts, inheritance and probate, we aim to be a helpful resource and a thought-provoker for lawyers and non-lawyers alike.

See our Law Guides for more about trusts, how they are treated on divorce and your rights.

Editors picks

Social distancing, Covid-19 and why this should not prevent you from...

The Covid-19 pandemic has presented a unique conundrum; whilst the demand for will preparation... Read More

Law Commission recommends overhaul of outdated wills system

The Law Commission last week published a new consultation paper urging reform of the law... Read More

Research suggests inheritances to rise by 60 percent in the next...

The annual total of inheritance in the UK will rise from the current level of £69 billion to £115... Read More


Latest wills & trusts news

Witnessing wills using video conferencing a welcome change or a risky reaction to COVID-19?

Witnessing wills using video conferencing – a welcome change or a risky reaction to COVID-19?

On 25 July 2020, guidance was published by the Government regarding new legislation which will permit people to witness the signing of wills via video conference software such as Skype, Zoom or Microsoft Teams. This is the first relaxation of the legislation governing the mandatory formalities required when executing a will since The Wills Act 1837 was introduced, almost 200 years ago.   What is the law on signing wills? The requirements for a will to be valid are... Read More

Social distancing, Covid-19 and why this should not prevent you from preparing your will

Social distancing, Covid-19 and why this should not prevent you from preparing your will

The Covid-19 pandemic has presented a unique conundrum; whilst the demand for will preparation services has increased dramatically in the last few weeks, with some authorities reporting a rise of over 70%, the Government requirements for social distancing have made the usual formalities for executing a will much more difficult to achieve. The Legal Requirements The requirements for a will to be in writing and signed by the testator in the presence of two independent... Read More

What happens to your bitcoin when you die?

What happens to your bitcoin when you die?

It is believed that of the 21 million bitcoins in circulation, up to 4 million have been lost forever. Anonymous, unregulated and with irreversible transactions, in the cryptocurrency world, once access is lost, there is no retrieving it. Equally, once someone has logged into a wallet and sold on the contents, rightful owner or not, it’s gone forever. Most of these 'lost cryptos' will be one of many infamous cases of people who had their private key on a USB or... Read More

Scottish man who murdered his mother made executor of her estate

Scottish man who murdered his mother made executor of her estate

A man from Fife serving a life sentence for murdering his mother has been the executor of her estate since her death. Ross Taggart bludgeoned and strangled his mother Carol to death in 2014. Her body was found hidden under a seaside caravan in Pettycur Bay, near Kinghorn, Fife three weeks later. Despite having been convicted for her murder, Taggart, who had lived with his mother before the murder, was given control of her £350,000 estate. The killer benefited from an... Read More

Charles Mansons body is to be released to his grandson

Charles Manson’s body is to be released to his grandson

A judge in California has ended the battle over custody of Charles Manson’s remains by awarding custody to Jason Freeman, whom the court accepted was Manson’s grandson and next of kin. Manson, once leader of the ‘Manson Family’ cult that carried out several high-profile murders in the 1960s, died in a state hospital last November after spending more than half his life in prison. He was 83 when he died and his body has been kept in an undisclosed location since then, temporarily frozen... Read More

Ken Dodd diddles the taxman by marrying two days before death

Ken Dodd diddles the taxman by marrying two days before death

Legendary British comedian Sir Ken Dodd has got the last laugh after he married his long-term partner two days before his death, thereby avoiding substantial inheritance tax on his estate. After a 64-year career, Sir Ken Dodd passed away at his home in Knotty Ash, Liverpool, on Mother’s Day. The 90-year-old was checked-out of hospital on 27 February after a six-week treatment for a serious chest infection and, in true character, refused to bow out: “while I was in there, I wrote some new... Read More

French rocknroller Johnny Hallydays adult children fight over 100m inheritance

French rock’n’roller Johnny Hallyday’s adult children fight over €100m inheritance

The man who brought rock’n’roll to France, Johnny Hallyday, passed away near Paris last December, aged 74. After the country came together to mourn the national treasure, it has now emerged that he left his entire fortune to his fourth wife, Laeticia Hallyday, resulting in open outcry from his two adult children. Born in Paris in 1943, Johnny Hallyday (né Jean-Phillipe Léo Smet) is hailed across the Hexagon as the French Elvis. Fondly referred to simply as ‘Johnny’, the star was one... Read More

Whitlock v Moree: inheriting joint bank accounts

Whitlock v Moree: inheriting joint bank accounts

In the case of Whitlock v Moree, the Privy Council held that a surviving joint bank account holder is entitled to the beneficial interest in the monies held even when the deceased had paid the entirety of the funds into the account, absent special circumstances such as fraud. Monies held in joint bank accounts are subject to any arrangements set out in the account’s documentation. Facts and background Mr. Lennard and Mr. Moree were joint account holders on an account with First Caribbean... Read More

Government launches power of attorney refund scheme after 4 years of overcharging

Government launches power of attorney refund scheme after 4 years of overcharging

The Ministry of Justice has launched the Power of Attorney Fee Refund Scheme for those who were overcharged for their arrangements between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017. Those eligible were able to start applying for a partial refund from 1 February using an online service run by the Office of the Public Guardian. A lasting or enduring power of attorney is a legal document which allows a person (the donor) to nominate a trusted friend or relative to take responsibility for their affairs if... Read More

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