The Government first announced plans for a shared ownership right to buy in October 2019. At the time the sector raised concerns about the impact the plans would have on housing associations ability to borrow. An election and a pandemic later the Government announced, during the CIH Housing Festival last week, the return of the right to shared ownership as part of its Affordable Homes Programme (AHP).
Let’s face it, Wills are underappreciated and often overlooked. In fact, around 54% of the British public do not have one!
A few phrases come to mind when considering taking the plunge and drafting a Will:
- “I’ll get around to it at some point”.
- “I don’t need a Will”.
- “I don’t want to talk about death”
- “I don’t have any assets to give away”
- “My family know what I want”.
Whilst speaking to solicitors is a scary prospect, it becomes worse when the chat involves what happens when you die. Breathe, it is fine to have these feelings. This is a step along the bumpy road to peace of mind.
Having a Will
A Will is a legally binding way of dealing with your affairs after your death. There are many important reasons to have a Will, for example:
- If you do not have a will, everything you own will be shared out in a way that is decided by the law. This is outlined in more detail below.
- A Will makes matters easier for your loved ones when you die due to the certainty and understanding that comes with it.
- A well-drafted Will can help reduce any inheritance tax liability that may arise against your Estate.
- A Will lets you choose people that you know and trust to deal with your affairs after your death.
To truly appreciate the importance of having a Will, you need to understand what happens without a Will.
The Intestacy Rules
If you die without a valid Will, your Estate passes via a special set of rules called the Intestacy Rules. Under these rules, only certain people can inherit your Estate when you die. The rules apply in order of closeness:
- Spouse or civil partner;
- Children/grandchildren (including adopted);
- Brothers and sisters;
- Uncles and aunts;
- Cousins; and
- The Crown
The amount that an individual will receive from your Estate is uncertain and depends on the value of your Estate and who has survived you from the list above. One certain thing is that there is no control over who receives what from your Estate.
A special mention must go to:
- Cohabitants or unmarried partners;
- Common-law spouses;
- Stepparents or stepchildren; and
- Ex-spouses or civil partners.
If you die without a Will, these people inherit nothing!
How can we help?
Our firm has a clear purpose to improve lives, communities and society and this starts with our clients.
Our specialist team of personal planning lawyers are on hand to offer you all the advice and assistance you need to put your affairs in order and protect your loved ones, should the worst happen.
Please contact Reiss Taylor for more information.
Two final pieces of the possession jigsaw have been published on 15 September 2020. Mr Justice Knowles’ working group on possession proceedings has issued its guidance on the “overall arrangements” for possession proceedings.
One change proposed by the Building Safety Bill is the introduction of a duty holder regime, which will see statutory responsibility for the safety of higher risk buildings placed on key individuals
Throughout this pandemic, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been publishing various “Statements on Coronavirus” (Statements) which provide guidance on consumer rights during this time.
A recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the UK means new measures are being put in place in an effort to reduce the risk of a second wave. Whilst the impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt, it is important to remain focused on the sector’s road to recovery.
Sometimes half an hour at a conference gives you the reality that has been staring you in the face all along. That was my experience watching “Change is on the Horizon”
Following our recent e-briefing on Possession Notices, Helen Tucker and Emilie Pownall from our housing litigation team discuss the impact of the changes on social landlords.
Not only has the possession stay been extended until 20 September, the notice periods to be given to tenants has been extended in certain circumstances with some important exceptions.
The Court has confirmed that a party cannot withhold its consent in order to re-write the original bargain.
Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, building safety continues to be a key concern for social housing providers and their residents.
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