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The doctrine of election - a hidden probate problem

Here is a link to a case from 2008 which illustrates when the doctrine of election might be relevant to executors distributing an estate.

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Joint tenants and tenants in common

joint tenants and tenants in common

A non-lawyer may think that these terms relate to a rental arrangement. He would be wrong. They refer to the way in which property is owned. If two persons own a house or flat they will own legal title to it as joint tenants - that means that on the death of one, legal ownership passes to the survivor. Note the words “legal ownership”. You can legally own land, but not be entitled to its economic benefit. You might, for example, be a trustee of a golf club and you and your co-trustees will be registered at the Land Registry as the proprietors of the land. But you would have no right to sale proceeds or rental income.

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Eco-friendly funerals

Burials and cremations are so twentieth century – according to a recent New Scientist (13 August 2011). With one half of the worlds’ population living in cities, lack of space is a growing problem in urban cemeteries.

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Funeral wishes - how do you know what to do when someone dies?

It is common to find in a will a clause about the funeral. Often it will simply express a preference for burial or cremation. Occasionally the expressed wishes are lengthy and go into amazing detail including the exact choice and sequence of music to be played at the funeral service. Unfortunately this forethought can be wasted. By the time the will is located the deceased’s funeral has already taken place.

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Fixed fees in probate: will it spread?

This article in The Lawyer today about fixed fees in legal work highlights what is perceived to be a shift in the approach by solicitors to billing, even at the high-end City firms.

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