Legal New Year’s Resolutions


Thinking of learning a new language? Or climbing a mountain? Here are some very attainable ideas to keep your affairs in order.

Make / review your Will

Making a Will is the best way to ensure that your wishes are adhered to after your death. The intestacy laws provide some protection, but don’t catch everything. If you have made a Will, but more than 5 years ago, make sure to review it to ensure it still works for you. Remember, you can change your Will as many times as you like.

Making or reviewing your Will is also a good time to consider your inheritance tax position. The rules around inheritance tax are very complex and there are many reliefs and exemptions. Please remember, we offer a free 30-minute consultation and bespoke advice and would be delighted to make a referral to a tax specialist to make sure your Will works in the way you wish.

Consider a Lasting Power of Attorney  (LPA)

There are two types of LPA. The first, for health and care arrangements would be made whilst you have mental capacity in preparation for the possibility of mental capacity being lost, and covers decisions including where you live, what care you receive and what activities you partake in. A lot of families assume that they would be able to make decisions for their loved one if they become unable to make decisions for themselves, but without an LPA this is not actually the case, and a family may end up with a reality in which doctors and social workers make the decisions. You would be able to leave instructions within the LPA for your Attorney regarding life-saving treatment and if mental capacity is regained there is a mechanism for you to take back control.

The other type of LPA relates to your finances; decisions about selling property and paying bills for instance. It can come into play before or after mental capacity is lost and you would be able to request updates regarding your finances. It is important to consider putting such an LPA in place so that when the time comes your family and loved ones are able to assist you with your finances. If you do decide to go ahead with this type of LPA you should also register a copy with your bank to ensure that you attorney’s can act without too much difficulty.

Make the most of the Land Registry’s property alert service.

This monitors your (or a rental / family member’s) property and alerts you of ‘significant activity’, for example a new charge or alteration to the register. Property fraud is a significant threat and this can help you to keep an eye on things.

Free flood alerts

Another useful service to take advantage of is’s flood alerts. Certain addresses have the benefit of these and you never know, a bit of advance warning could make a huge difference to the safety of your family, property and belongings.

Protect your brand

If you have built up ‘goodwill’ in your brand and have a good reputation and customer base, the common law provides some protection against another person / business ‘passing off’ as you. However, it is safer to register a trademark as it is much easier to enforce against an infringement. Please speak to our litigation department if you’d like any advice about this.

Deal with those nagging concerns

Is something worrying you? Noisy neighbours, trouble with tenants or a builder dispute? It can be astonishing what difference a letter from a solicitor can make when you feel like you’ve exhausted every other option to sort out a problem. Our litigation team will be able to point you in the right direction.

Recently married or getting married in 2024?

We know this is the last thing on your mind, but it is always advisable to consider a pre/post nuptial agreement, especially if either partner has children from a previous relationship. If a time ever comes when divorce is likely, it is important to remember that these agreements are not binding in England & Wales, but they can be hugely persuasive in proceedings as long as they are fair.

Contact us for more information

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