Tag Archive: property

  1. Still Not Written Your Will? Your Estate Could Go to the Crown

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    Writing a Will is often an activity that many put off, either avoiding the fees involved or avoiding having to address the morbid practicalities of what should happen to your investments and estate once you’re gone.

    It’s not the easiest subject to address, however getting your Will written is one of the most important tasks you will carry out in your lifetime.

    Dying intestate (i.e. without a Will) can have huge repercussions on your loved ones.

    The only way to guarantee that your assets are left to those who matter most, and not taken into possession by the crown, is to write a will.


    What could happen to my assets if I don’t write a Will?

    DRN have done the research for you and pulled together a list of six possibilities that your family could encounter if you pass away intestate.


    It could lead to an unexpected tax bill

    The law allows you to leave at least the first £325,000 of your estate to your heirs tax-free. However, anything above this sum may be liable for inheritance tax, charged at a rate of 40%. This can be avoided if you leave everything to your spouse in a Will, in which case there would be no inheritance tax to pay.


    It could leave your spouse or partner worse off

    Anything you own jointly with your partner, including any property you own as joint tenants or any funds that are held in joint accounts, will automatically pass to the joint owner. This may or may not be your partner.

    The other assets of your estate will be dealt with under the intestacy rules and do not automatically pass to a partner.

    In England and Wales, the current law ensures that your spouse receives the first £250,000 and half of whatever exceeds this sum, with the remainder split between your children. If you do not have children, different rules apply.


    If you don’t have a Will, your estate could go to the Crown

    In most cases in the UK, if you don’t have family to pass your estate along to, it will fall into the possession of the Crown. If you reside in Cornwall or Lancashire and this is the case, the estate will pass to the Duchy, who in turn generally donates it to charity.


    You won’t be able to specify who should receive heirlooms and items of sentimental value

    There may be items of value, such as collectibles or family heirlooms, that you hold dear and would like to be passed along to the right people following your death – those you know will take good care of the items and see the value in them that you see. The only way to guarantee that these items end up in the right hands is to specify which items should be passed to whom in your Will.

    Simply promising certain items to particular children, friends and family members whilst you’re alive unfortunately isn’t enough, and if a Will is not written, again they will pass under the intestacy rules and may pass to your spouse. In cases of second and third marriages these items may have no value at all to the surviving spouse.


    Your stepchildren won’t receive anything

    You will need to outline your intentions for your step-children in your Will as, unless you have formally adopted them, even if you’ve raised a stepchild as your own, they will not receive anything of yours after you’ve passed under the rules of intestacy.


    Your assets could be inherited by a separated spouse

    Unless you are fully divorced, the law will see you as a spouse upon your death. This is the case even for those who have been separated for a number of years and have moved on to live with another partner. Without a divorce registered and a decree absolute obtained, your estranged spouse will be entitled to some or all of your estate if you do not have a Will.


    Choose DRN to help you with writing your Will

    If you’re seeking the peace of mind that your assets and financial affairs will be dealt with according to your preferences upon your death, making a Will or setting up a trust are amongst the best ways you can make sure your wishes are fulfilled.

    It’s never too early to put plans in place, and our team can provide practical, honest and informed advice on the various aspects involved when securing your loved ones’ futures.

    The professionals at DRN will always take the time to fully understand your needs and wishes, approaching your case with the individual attention that it deserves.

    Contact us today to find out how our expert Wills and probate team of solicitors can help to get your affairs in order.

  2. When is the Best Time to Sell my House?

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    When is the best time to put my house up for sale?

    When you get the itch to move, whether it be to upsize or downsize, it can be difficult not to let impatience get the better of you. However, putting your house on the market as soon as you’ve made the decision to move may not be the best idea.

    Some seasons will see houses sell in less time, and for more money, than in others. The best time to list your house is when there is the highest number of buyers actively looking to buy, as competition in the market increases the likeliness of you not only selling quickly, but also achieving your asking price.


    Is summer a good time to sell my house?

    Whilst the lure of completing a move in the sunshine and having good weather to get the DIY done may be tempting, putting your house up for sale in summer may not necessarily have the best results.

    The garden will be in full bloom and the natural lighting will be brilliant, so there shouldn’t be much to worry about when it comes to prepping for viewings. The key thing to consider when selling in summer is that many people, particularly families, will find themselves prioritising other things and won’t necessarily be actively looking to buy.

    Summer is the time when most people will book their holiday, and the children will all be off school, leaving parents too busy entertaining the kids to think about house hunting.


    Is autumn the best season to put my house on the market?

    Putting your house up for sale in autumn can have its benefits, however you will also need to be prepared to make some compromises, particularly if you’re looking for a quick sale.

    In autumn, the weather is generally fair and the natural daylight is still good, so your property can still look great. In addition, whilst the garden might not be in full bloom, autumn colours can be just as attractive – you might just like to do a quick sweep of the outdoor areas to clear them of any fallen leaves prior to a viewing.

    There are no major holidays to contend with in the autumn months, so it’s a great time to sell from that perspective. However, as we move into the later part of the season you will find that the property market begins to quieten down, as many will decide to settle in for winter and wait for the new year to arrive before they start to look into moving again. If you do manage to sell in autumn, you will need to be prepared to execute a quick move, as you won’t want to get caught out by the varied (generally bad) weather and long nights of winter!


    Is winter the best time to sell my house?

    Selling your house in winter can be particularly difficult, as you will find that there are fewer people actively looking to buy, so your house may be on the market longer than it would be if you had decided to sell earlier in the year. The length of time your house has been up for sale will also have a negative effect on buyers – the longer it’s on the market for, the more people will start to question what could be wrong with it and why it hasn’t been snapped up already.

    Most people will also have different priorities during the winter months, and even if they are considering to move, they are more likely to hunker down for the winter and start their search properly after the festive season is out of the way. Christmas can be a hectic time, with family and friends paying visits, a busy social calendar, and all the preparations that go into the big day – few people will want to factor a house move into the equation as well!


    Is spring a good time to sell?

    Spring is probably the best time to sell your house. In spring, the garden will be in bloom, the natural lighting is fantastic, the days are getting longer and it’s the season of new beginnings. Many families will start to look at what’s out there on the property market in spring, as a sale in spring will most likely lead to a house move which lines up with the end of the school term.

    Selling your house in spring will allow you to be settled in time for the summer months, when the school holidays start and we’re treated to barbeque weather, late nights and garden parties! You’ll also find that the housing market “booms” in spring – with more people buying and more people selling, the competition can produce positive effects on the price you receive for your house and the length of time it takes to sell.


    Making the decision to buy or sell a house can be tricky, as it is a huge move for most people. With so much to plan for and such large sums of money involved, it can also be quite stressful.

    At DRN, we aim to make the process of buying or selling your home as quick, simple and hassle-free as possible.

    Find out more about our property buying and selling services here, or call us today for more information on 01282 433 241 (Burnley) or 01282 864500 (Colne).