What is a ‘Stateless Person’?

It might seem unfathomable, but some people belong to no country. Imagine having no national identity, no passport or no place to really call home. Statelessness happens in a variety of ways; sometimes people are born into statelessness, sometimes they become stateless later in their lives. Many people who are stateless have never even crossed an international border or left the country they grew up in. Citizenship and the state Citizenship of a nation doesn’t just provide a sense of belonging. It is a bond between person and state. It gives you the right to have rights. Citizenship allows you...

Are Pre-Nups legally binding in the UK?

Pre-Nups and Post-nups are not legally binding in the UK. However, more weight is given to them in court now, provided the agreement is a “qualifying agreement”. What makes a Pre-Nup a “qualifying agreement”? For a Pre-Nup to meet the criteria of a “qualifying agreement”: There must be full financial disclosure of both parties’ assets before the agreement is made; no assets should be hidden by either party Both parties must receive independent legal advice about the agreement from different Solicitors The agreement has to have been signed no later than 28 days before the wedding The agreement must not...

Brexit: The impact on Wills and Probate

A large proportion of Wills are made with tax planning questions in mind, particularly Inheritance tax which has always been a hot topic amongst voters.  Many people feel that after working and paying tax all their lives, then having an additional tax charged upon their death, is undeniably nefarious. Now there is a new challenge facing us ahead – Brexit.  There has never been more uncertainty in Britain since the outcome of the referendum to leave the European Union. Many UK and non-UK nationals who have property across the EU member states are concerned about inheritance tax and succession planning as...

Benefits of providing gifts to charities

Whilst public spending cuts have increased this year, the Government has given a major tax incentive to those who wish to leave money to charity upon death. Currently inheritance tax is charged at 40%, but by leaving a part or all of your estate to one or more charities, this will reduce or eradicate your estate’s inheritance tax liability altogether.  By leaving a legacy or a percentage of your estate to charity, this will not be included for inheritance tax as charities are deemed to be ‘exempt beneficiaries’ or non-tax payers.    Therefore, should you decide to leave everything to charity,...

We’ve joined Remember a Charity

Freeman Harris are proud to announce that we have recently become a Campaign Supporter for “Remember A Charity”. We are aware that charitable legacies contribute around £2.5 billion a year to good causes across the UK.  Many charities rely on these gifts to help them carry on their vital work.  However, hayamix.com despite being a philanthropic nation, only 6.3% of the UK population go on to leave a charitable Will.  By joining RAC, Freeman Harris hopes to change this and support a large number of nationwide charities. We have agreed to RAC’s Charter, which is designed to postland net help further RACs...

Our aim to raise £100,000 for Cancer Research UK

We have recently launched a new partnership with Cancer Research UK with a goal to raise over £100,000 in the next year. This money will go towards supporting the charity in an effort to beat cancer and continue their life saving research. In support of the partnership, we are providing a Free Will Service. To qualify for a Free Will* with Freeman Harris you must: Be aged 55 or over You must complete, sign and date the Free Will Service form from CRUK to give to us. You must also sign our invoice upon completion of your Will. Our Wills...

DIY Probate – How to get a UK Grant of Probate by yourself

Yes – it is possible to obtain probate without going through a solicitor.  This is a short guide on what to do when your loved one has passed away and how to obtain probate. Probate is where you make an application for the authority to handle the deceased estate and distribute their assets.  Please note that by making an application yourself you will only save on solicitor’s professional fees.  You will still have to pay the court fee and a number of other disbursements by making a personal application. It may also be likely that you have to pay inheritance...

Solicitors: Professionals To Write Your Will

Solicitors are still the best option for Wills – Report by Will Aid In a public survey conducted by Will Aid, the charity Will writing scheme, they have found that solicitors have been chosen as the best option to ensure that people’s wishes are carried out effectively in their Wills. According to Will Aid’s research, 62% of people who made a Will last year used a solicitor, 12% a will-writer and 9% made a home-produced Will while others used DIY store bought Will packets. Whilst there has been an increase with people using online Will-writing services, a large majority of...