R A Savage & Co, Family Solicitors Blog

Passing down wealth to your children

We all want to help our children get on in life. In the past, people often expected to leave their children an inheritance after their death, but rising house prices, university tuition fees and an uncertain jobs market have all created extra pressures for younger adults. Parents may wish to help by passing down some of their wealth to their children at an earlier stage than they might have done in the past. If you are considering passing some of your wealth to your children, there are different avenues you can explore.

Passing down wealth using a trust

There are a number of different types of trust you can utilise, all with different advantages, but they can be an excellent way of passing wealth to your children in your lifetime. Trusts are flexible, enabling you to change the beneficiaries or their provisions. As the rules governing trusts are complex, it is always advisable to seek legal advice so you can make the best decision for your family's circumstances.


What is a Deputyship Order?

As the population ages, conditions such as Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia are on the rise. If a loved one is suffering from dementia, they may have been able to plan who will make decisions on their behalf when they are no longer able to do so; for instance setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). If no provisions have been made in advance, the Court of Protection can appoint a deputy to manage the affairs of a person who lacks mental capacity. This is called a Deputyship Order.

I have been asked to become a deputy ? what does it involve?

Often, the deputy is a friend or relative, but they can also be a professional such as a solicitor. If you have been asked to become a deputy, you need to be aware that this can be a difficult role which carries a number of responsibilities. You have specific duties you must carry out. You will be responsible for making decisions on behalf of the person who lacks capacity. This might be about their care, day to day living or property and financial affairs. When you make these decisions, you need to:


What is a Mediation and Information Assessment Meeting?

What is a MIAM?

Mediation and Information Assessment Meetings (MIAMs) were introduced in April 2014 for divorcing couples as an alternative to lengthy and costly disputes in Court over issues such as division of assets and access arrangements. The initial meeting is facilitated by a trained mediator accredited by the Family Mediation Council (FMC). The meeting is designed to provide you with information and determine whether mediation might help you. Some couples attend the meeting together, but you can attend it on your own.

Mediation can still be an option if you've been separated for some time or even if your case has already gone to court.


Divorce and Separation Issues: Can my ex take the children on holiday abroad?

A range of issues can crop up both before, during and after separation and divorce, particularly if there are children involved. One frequently asked question arises when one parent wants to take the child(ren) on holiday abroad following a divorce or separation and the other parent has concerns over this. Parents want to know what their rights and responsibilities are in this situation.

If you or your ex want to take the children abroad on holiday, you should ask permission from anyone who has parental responsibility.


Child Maintenance Changes: an update on their impact

In August we blogged about the changes to child maintenance system with the introduction of the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) which came into effect in June. Four months on, the lone parent charity Gingerbread has highlighted the impact these changes are having on single parent families.

Citing figures from the government, Gingerbread shows that there has been a 38% drop in the number of applications to the CMS, equivalent to some 3,700 families. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) had predicted there would be a 12% fall in applications as a result of the changes, with more parents coming to 'family-based agreements' and using family mediation services; however the apparent 38% drop is far higher than predicted.


Changes to the Intestacy Rules 2014: How will you be affected?

On 1st October 2014, new rules were introduced dealing with what happens to the estate of a person when they die intestate (without leaving a will) leaving more than 250,000 pounds. If you think this might apply to you or a loved one, read on to find out how the changes could affect you.

What are Intestacy Rules and What's Changing?

Intestacy rules govern the division of property and other assets in the event that a person dies without leaving a will. The rules are different depending on whether the person has a surviving spouse or civil partner or surviving children.


Divorce and Separation: How Can I Help My Children?

There are few more hotly contested areas than the impact separation and divorce can have on children. Conflicting studies emerge with regularity and it can be almost impossible to generalise as each family situation will be different.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists lists a number of potential impacts that separation and divorce can have on children, including feelings of guilt and responsibility, believing the divorce was their fault, fear of one or both of their parents abandoning them and feelings of loss and grief. All of this can be compounded by the practical changes children may also experience when their parents divorce such as seeing one parent less, moving home or school and potentially having to get used to new partners and step-siblings.