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FAQs

General FAQs

We’re a team of legal experts helping consumers with estate planning (including will writing, funeral plans, trusts and probates), data breach claims or mis-sold pension claims.

You can read more about us and meet the team on our About Us page.

Yes, we can.

This will depend on the specifics of your claim.

For example, in the case of financial mis-selling, it is often difficult to tell if you’ve been mis-sold. Check out our PCP mis-selling page or visit our sister website Return My Money for more insight into PCP or pensions mis-selling.

If your social housing landlord has failed to make repairs to your property or ensure your home is fit for human habitation, you will potentially have grounds for a housing disrepair claim.

If your personal details have been involved in a data breach, the company involved is legally obliged to notify you, although you can make a claim even if you haven’t received such a notification.

Whatever the type of claim you’re looking to make, LawPlus can conduct a FREE assessment of your claim and advise you whether we believe you have grounds for a claim and may be entitled to compensation.

This depends on the specifics of your case and how the thing you are claiming about has affected your life. Factors such as financial losses, health problems, and emotional distress can all play a part in determining how much compensation you get from your claim.

Nothing! We provide a no-win, no-fee service. If we make a claim on your behalf and are unsuccessful, you don’t pay a penny*.

*If you, as a client, decide to cancel once proceedings begin, you may be subject to a cancellation fee. Please refer to our terms and conditions for more information.

Data Breach FAQs

We will liase with the ICO when pursuing any data breach claims on your behalf. This is because we are able to use ICO evidence to support your case, and if the ICO finds an organisation guilty of a data breach, this should make it much easier for us to file a claim on your behalf and get the compensation you deserve.

You can still contact LawPlus Solicitors if an ICO investigation is ongoing; we can collect your details and prepare as much as we can so we are able to act quickly once the ICO has published its findings.

Yes; you can make a data breach claim on the grounds of emotional distress or simply on the grounds of failure to protect your data. You do not need to have experienced any financial loss to make a claim and get compensation.

You can make a data breach claim simply on the basis that a business failed to adequately protect your data, regardless of whether a breach occurred due to negligence or hacking, for example.

While you do not need to have suffered any financial loss, emotional distress, or other inconvenience, such outcomes may lead to you being awarded a more significant compensation amount.

You can make a data breach claim against any organisation that has put your personal data and privacy at risk.

It depends on the specifics of your case, including what data was involved and how the data breach affected you. There are no guidelines around minimum or maximum compensation awards for data breaches, so what you are awarded may depend on what the defendant offers you or what a judge awards.

It depends on the specifics of the case, and the cooperation of the organisation you are claiming against.

In dealing directly with organisations guilty of a breach, we may need to wait for them to raise an appeal. The timeframe of the process will also depend on whether your case itself needs to go to court.

Whatever happens, LawPlus Solicitors aims to make the process of making a claim as stress-free as possible for you. Once we have collected all the evidence, we will do all the work and keep you updated along the way.

Yes, there is a limitation of six years from notification of the breach. In some group actions however, a court will specify a deadline by which claimants must join if they wish to receive compensation as part of any potential judgment.

The best thing to do is to make a claim as soon as you have discovered that your data may have been involved in a breach. While we may need to wait for the outcome of an ICO investigation before proceeding with a claim, acting at the earliest opportunity is always the most favourable approach.

First, take steps to protect yourself. Depending on the data involved in a breach, you may need to cancel your credit cards or change some of your passwords for your online accounts.

Once you have done this contact LawPlus Solicitors for a FREE assessment of your potential data breach claim!

As soon as an organisation tells you that your data has been involved in a breach, or you suspect your data has been involved in a breach, start keeping a diary. Logging events, such as fraudulent attempts at acquiring credit in your name or having to change passwords, can be valuable evidence in backing up a claim.

Both the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act (2018) mandate that organisations must tell you if your personal data has been involved in a data breach. However if you suspect your data has been exposed and your privacy put at risk but you have not received a notification, you should report the business in question to the ICO.

The ICO will not be able to do anything if you think your data has been involved in a breach but are not able to provide details around the organisation you believe to be responsible.

Yes; you can make a data breach claim against an existing or a former employer.

Yes. While the ICO may investigate whether an organisation is guilty of a data breach, they won’t help you with a compensation claim. However we will be able to use any evidence uncovered by the ICO, as well as any judgments they make, to support your case and get you the compensation you deserve.

Estate Planning FAQs

Nobody needs an estate plan, but it is definitely worth having one, even if your estate will consist of just your property and some cash.

Having an estate plan is the only way to ensure your assets are managed and distributed in full accordance with your wishes upon your death or should you become unable to make decisions for yourself.

 

While people typically do not start thinking about having an estate plan until later in life, it is worth having one in place from the moment you start acquiring assets or have children. Some financial advisors even suggest creating your first estate plan when you turn 18, and then adapting it periodically or as your circumstances change.

Although having an estate plan in your 20s and 30s, for example, may not seem necessary, it could be vital for ensuring an unmarried spouse can inherit your assets or that any children under 18 are looked after in accordance with your wishes should you pass away.

An estate planning lawyer specialises in all elements of estate planning.

Contact LawPlus Solicitors to speak with our estate planning legal specialists and get the advice and guidance you need to put your final wishes in place.

A will is a specific legal document that you will usually prepare as part of the wider estate planning process.

If you do not have a complex estate, then a will may be the only document you need to prepare. However, estate planning may also include the creation of a trust or even taking specific actions such as making charitable donations or gifting cash or assets to loved ones.

It depends on the specific services you need and what exactly you are looking to put in place.

Contact LawPlus to discuss your estate planning needs and to get a quote.

Estate planning helps you ensure that your assets are managed and distributed in accordance with your wishes.

Without an estate plan, the rules of intestacy will apply to your assets upon your death, meaning your estate may not be distributed how you would like. Without an estate plan, you also may not get the funeral you want, and those who inherit your assets could face a significantly larger inheritance tax bill than they may have done had a plan been in place.

Estate planning is the process of determining how you wish for your assets to be managed or distributed in the event of your death or becoming unable to make decisions for yourself.

Estate planning can involve various elements, including writing a will, setting up a trust, taking actions that will help your beneficiaries minimise inheritance tax upon your death, and even setting up a funeral plan.

Probate FAQs

Probate gives you the legal right to deal with someone’s estate when they die.

You may need to apply for probate regardless of whether the deceased left a will. The documents you receive will differ depending on whether or not there was a valid will. If a person dies without a will (intestate), you will receive letters of administration giving you the right to deal with their estate. If the deceased had a will, and you are named as the executor, you will receive a grant of probate.

While the term probate is often used to describe getting a grant of probate, probate itself is actually the entire process of dealing with a dead person’s estate. This includes valuing the estate, settling any outstanding bills or debts, paying applicable taxes, collecting monies owed to the estate, and distributing the estate according to the will, or per intestacy rules where a will is not present.

A grant of probate is a legal document that gives you the right to deal with a person’s estate. You will only receive a grant of probate if the person died with a will and you are named as the estate’s executor.

If a person dies without a will, the process of applying for probate is the same as if they had one, but you will instead receive letters of administration rather than a grant of probate. However, letters of administration give you the same rights as a grant of probate and will allow you to go about dealing with an estate in exactly the same way.

You will usually need a grant of probate if you are named as the executor in the will of someone who has died or if you are the nearest living relative of a person who dies intestate (without a will). You may not need probate if the person who died had jointly owned assets, as these will automatically pass to the surviving joint owner(s), or if they only had savings.

Only the named executors can apply for probate if there is a will.

If there isn’t a will, the closest living relative can apply for probate.

Probate applications can take up to eight weeks to process, depending on whether you need to provide any additional details and on the value and complexity of the estate.

Once you receive a grant of probate, it typically takes between six and 12 months for an estate to be fully distributed. The time it takes you to deal with the estate will depend on several factors, including the value and complexity of the estate and what instructions were left in any will.

Contact LawPlus today to get your personalised quote. You can speak to our probate specialists if you need additional assistance with valuing an estate, completing an inheritance tax return, or dealing with any other matters relating to an estate of which you are the executor or administrator.

Trusts FAQs

A trust is a legal arrangement that you can set up to manage your assets. There are different types of trust, and the one  you choose may depend on your reasons for setting one up. How your trust is managed and taxed will differ depending on the type you set up.

Trusts can hold various assets, including cash, land, property, and shares.

You can, but it usually is not advised as it can potentially complicate inheritance issues and often will not reduce an estate’s inheritance tax liabilities by much, if at all, compared to having one trust. Instead, you might be better off exploring a mirror trust, which works in the same way as a mirror will.

Contact us to discuss your options for setting up a trust with one of our estate planning specialists.

It is a legal requirement to update certain details concerning your trust within 90 days of becoming aware of such changes.

If you make other changes to your trust, like adding or removing beneficiaries or assets, you should do so at the earliest opportunity. This ensures that should anything happen to you, your trust is prepared and managed 100% in accordance with your wishes.

Yes, your trust deed may be invalid if it is not notarised. This may lead to issues with administering your estate and could mean your assets are not distributed in full accordance with your wishes.

Writing your assets into a trust can be done in a matter of days.

Distributing your trust upon your death typically takes between 12 and 18 months, depending on the assets to be distributed. If you have beneficiaries under 18, your trust will remain in place until they can inherit your assets.

Not necessarily. If you have a simple estate consisting of property and cash, and everyone you want to name in your will is over 18, you probably do not need a trust. However, you may still wish to explore your options if you are concerned about your estate’s inheritance tax liabilities.

Ask us about trusts when you speak to one of our estate planning experts about writing or updating your will.

It depends on your situation and how you want your inheritance to be dealt with.

While some people set up trusts to reduce inheritance tax liabilities, some trusts will be subject to higher rate income and capital gains tax.

Speak to one of our estate planning experts to discuss your options and decide which approach best suits your needs.

In general, three parties are involved in a trust.

  • Settlor(s) – the person or persons setting up the trust.
  • Trustee(s) – the person or persons entrusted with managing the trust per the settlor’s wishes.
  • Beneficiaries – the person or persons who will ultimately benefit from the trust, such as by receiving an income or inheriting assets at some point.

If your trust has been registered correctly, you must use the government’s online service to update the trust register and close it in accordance with anti-money laundering regulations.

When closing your trust, you will need to confirm the last provided details on the trust register are up to date and the date the trust ended.

Depending on the status of your trust, you may need to complete a tax return for the tax year in which you close the trust.

Lasting Power of Attorney FAQs

Yes, your LPA can include specific instructions relevant to the type of LPA you have. For example, a health and welfare LPA may include a wish to not be resuscitated under specific circumstances or for potentially life-saving treatment to be withheld in certain emergency situations.

Yes, so long as you still have the mental capacity to do so. We can do this for you, contact us to discuss your options.

Yes. If you still have the mental capacity to make decisions, we can do that for you. You can change specific instructions in your LPA, remove an attorney, and notify change of details or death of an attorney.

If you wish to add an attorney, the only way you can do this is to end any existing LPA and create and register a new one.

Yes, if you grant that power in your LPA.

However, your attorney will not be able to refuse treatment on your behalf if you are sectioned under the Mental Health Act, or if you need life-saving treatment in an emergency situation, unless you have specifically granted this power in your LPA.

A property and financial affairs LPA comes into effect as soon as it is registered. That does not necessarily mean your attorney will be able to make decisions on your behalf straight away, but you should outline this in your LPA and also detail at what point they will be able to make decisions on your behalf.

In contrast, a health and welfare LPA only comes into effect when you lose the capacity to make decisions for yourself.

Yes. If an LPA is in place, it will cease upon your death, with your will then needing to be dealt with by your executor.

Other ways a lasting power of attorney can end include if:

  • you cancel it
  • your attorney loses mental capacity themselves
  • your attorney divorces you or ends your civil partnership
  • the Court of Protection removes an attorney
  • your attorney dies
  • in the case of a property and financial affairs LPA, your attorney is made bankrupt or subject to a debt relief order.

Yes. While a lasting power of attorney covers your wishes while you are alive, a will ensures your beneficiaries are protected after your death and that your estate is distributed in accordance with your wishes.

While a will and an LPA are different legal documents, many people choose the same person as an attorney and executor, but there is no requirement to do so.

We also offer will-writing services.

You can make a lasting power of attorney whenever you wish, assuming you have the mental capacity to do so.

If you do not already have a lasting power of attorney, it is a good idea to make one if you have been diagnosed with, are at risk of, or think you might develop an illness that could affect your ability to make decisions for yourself in the future.

Anyone over the age of 18 with the mental capacity to make financial, property, and medical decisions for themselves can make a lasting power of attorney.

Yes, anyone can object to an LPA, although it’s most common for attorneys, where there is more than one, or “persons to be told” to raise objections to an LPA.

There are several grounds under which someone can object to an LPA, known as factual objections and prescribed objections.

Factual objections include: the donor or an attorney has died, the donor and an attorney were married or had a civil partnership but have now divorced or ended the civil partnership, an attorney not having the mental capacity to be an attorney, an attorney choosing to stop acting as an attorney, or the donor or attorney are bankrupt, interim bankrupt, or subject to a Debt Relief Order. The points around bankruptcy only apply to property and financial affairs LPAs.

Prescribed objections include if you believe: an LPA isn’t legally correct, the donor didn’t have the mental capacity to make an LPA, the donor cancelled or expressed a wish to cancel their LPA having regained mental capacity, fraud has taken place, the donor was pressured into making an LPA, or an attorney or attorneys are not acting in the donor’s best interests.

All objections must be raised with the Office of the Public Guardian and evidence provided to support objections. Attorneys and “persons to be told” have three weeks after being notified of its registration to object to an LPA and can do so at no cost.

Anyone over 18 can be an attorney.

The only other restriction is that an attorney for a property and financial affairs LPA cannot be bankrupt or subject to a debt relief order.

Yes. While your spouse is your next of kin, they do not automatically have the right to make decisions about your health and welfare or property and financial affairs should you lose the capacity to do so. As such, not having a lasting power of attorney could mean your spouse is unable to make decisions about joint bank accounts or selling your property without first getting a deputyship order from the Court of Protection.

No, an LPA can only apply to individuals. Generally, a married couple would nominate each other and, where applicable, one or more of their children. LawPlus offer a package rate for members of the same family.

Many people choose to have both types of LPA, often with the same attorney or attorneys. This can be wise, as a deterioration in your mental capacity to the point where you need someone to make decisions about your health and welfare often means that your financial affairs need dealing with too.

However, it is important you make the right decision for you and your loved ones.

The main difference is what they cover.

A health & welfare LPA covers decisions about things like your medical treatment and care, your daily routine, where you live, what you eat and drink and who can visit you.

In contrast, a property and financial affairs LPA covers decisions and actions around things like your home and assets.

Another difference is when they can be used. A health and welfare LPA can only be used when you no longer have the mental capacity to make such decisions for yourself. In contrast, a property and financial affairs LPA can be used at any point you need help making decisions relating such matters.

Until you change or end it yourself, or upon your death, at which point your will, if you have one, would come into effect.

You can only change or end an LPA if you’re deemed to have the mental capacity to make such a decision.

It depends on the type of LPA you have.

If you have a health and welfare LPA, your chosen attorney or attorneys can make decisions about your medical treatment and care, your daily routine, where you live, what you eat and drink and who can visit you.

If you have a property and financial affairs LPA, your chosen attorney or attorneys can make decisions and take actions like paying your mortgage, dealing with other bills and debts, selling your property, buying a new property to meet your needs, managing your pensions and investments, managing your bank account, and collecting benefits.

When you create your LPA, you will be able to give both instructions and directions to your chosen attorneys, covering actions or decisions that you insist must be taken, as well as indicating preferences but leaving the final decision to your attorney or attorneys. You can also indicate advance decisions in your lasting power of attorney, such as a desire not to be resuscitated in certain situations.

It can be a good idea to have both.

It is worth noting that you do not have to appoint the same attorney or attorneys if you have both LPAs. As such, if you have different family members who you feel would be better at dealing with financial or health matters, or you want to avoid loved ones being put in difficult situations, you can tailor each LPA and the attorneys you appoint accordingly.

If you lose the mental capacity to make a lasting power of attorney, and you do not already have an LPA in place, then a loved one will need to apply for a deputyship order from the Court of Protection in order to manage your financial affairs or make decisions about your health and welfare.

If you lose the capacity to make decisions for yourself without having an LPA in place, your loved ones can apply for a deputyship order from the Court of Protection, under which they would be able to make decisions on your behalf.

Applying for and maintaining a deputyship order can be costly and time consuming. In addition, it also means you would have no say in who is appointed as your deputy, or the power granted to them. The Court of Protection can also reject a loved one’s application to be your deputy, which could mean your local authority, doctor or a social worker is put in charge of making decisions on your behalf, even if these go against your or your family’s wishes.

If you are married and lose the capacity to make decisions for yourself without having a lasting power of attorney, your spouse may not be able to manage or deal with joint assets, including joint bank accounts and your home, until a deputy is appointed.

It depends on the type of LPA you are looking to create, what you want to include, and whether you are undertaking any other form of estate planning at the same time.
Contact LawPlus now to discuss your needs and get a quote.

Depending on the type of lasting power of attorney you have, and the circumstances under which it comes into effect, your attorney could have responsibility for making decisions relating to your health and welfare or your property and financial affairs.

When you create your lasting power of attorney, you will have the opportunity to specify particular elements of your life for which you wish to grant power to your attorney if necessary, so their role is whatever you want it to be.

Nobody needs a lasting power of attorney.

However, having an LPA is the only way to ensure that someone you trust is placed in charge of your affairs should you lose the capacity to make decisions for yourself.

If you do not have an LPA, your family can apply for a deputyship order, but its possible that your local authority or medical team could be given responsibility for making decisions on your behalf.

A lasting power of attorney can cover either your health and welfare or your property and financial affairs.

If you have a health and welfare LPA, your chosen attorney or attorneys will make decisions about things like your medical treatment and care, your daily routine, where you live, who can visit you, and what you eat and drink.

If you have a property and financial affairs LPA, your chosen attorney or attorneys will manage all your financial affairs, assets and property. Their responsibilities can include making sure your mortgage and other bills are paid, handling any debts, selling property or assets, managing your pensions and other investments, and collecting benefits.

A lasting power of attorney, or LPA, is a legal document in which you appoint one or more people to make decisions on your behalf when you are no longer capable of doing so. An LPA is a means of making proper arrangements for someone you trust to take care of your affairs, usually later in life, but whenever they are called upon to do so.

Funeral Plan FAQs

Yes. Funeral providers put your cash in an insurance policy or trust fund that will pay out upon your death. Both are covered by the Financial Conduct Authority, which will also take over full regulation of the funeral plans market in July 2022.

If you pay for some or all of your funeral plan with a credit card, you will also have protection under the Consumer Credit Act.

Yes, in so far as that you are protected against inflation and other price rises.

As such, the earlier in your life you take out a funeral plan, the better, and the longer you live, the better value your plan will become!

You do not need a funeral plan, but it is a good idea to have one all the same.

If you do have a funeral plan, you can finalise and pay for your funeral arrangements while you are alive, lock in your arrangements at today’s prices, and save your family the stress of dealing with it while they are mourning your loss.

It depends on what you are looking for.

Contact LawPlus today to find the best funeral plan for your needs.

The specifics depend on the provider, but funeral plans typically cover all funeral costs except for flowers and those associated with your wake. If you wish to be buried, some plans will also cover the cost of your burial plot, although this differs between providers.

Yes. Having a funeral plan can save your family the stress of making arrangements themselves after your passing, as well as locking in your funeral at today’s prices, which could save your loved ones a significant amount of cash in the long run.

From a personal perspective, having a funeral plan is your opportunity to ensure you get the funeral you want.

Funeral plans enable you to pay upfront for your funeral while protecting both you and your family against future price rises.

The specifics of your funeral plan will depend on the chosen plan and provider, but they generally allow you to arrange all aspects of your funeral and minimise what your loved ones have to pay. If you choose to pay for your funeral plan in instalments, some providers will even cover your full funeral costs if you die before making your final payment.

A funeral plan is a means of allowing you to arrange your own funeral and pay for it in advance. Best of all, what you pay is fixed at today’s prices, and depending on your plan and provider your family may not have to pay any additional expenses at all when you pass away.

The cost of your funeral plan will depend on several factors, including whether you want a simple or more elaborate funeral, and whether you are looking to pay for your plan in full or in instalments.

For the simplest of funerals, you may pay as little as £1,500, with what most people would consider a “traditional” funeral typically costing between £3,000 and £5,000.

Will Writing FAQs

It depends on the complexity of your estate, if you are writing a single or joint will, and whether you need to undertake any other elements of estate planning alongside writing your will, such as a trust. We can also securely store your will if you wish. Contact LawPlus to discuss your needs and get a tailored quote to write your will.

Your will can include various instructions to ensure your final wishes are fulfilled. As a minimum, it should include instructions on who should inherit your assets, such as your money and property, upon your death.

In addition, you may include other elements including your funeral wishes.

If you have children under 18, you may wish to include instructions on who should become their guardian should the other parent already have died, or in case you were to both die at the same time. You can also include details of trusts so that you can provide financially for your children and wider family when you are gone.

On top of this, you can also leave instructions for charitable donations, what should happen to any pets, and even who should take over your social media accounts!

No. However, if you do not have a will, your estate will divided in accordance with the rules of intestacy. Even if the rules of intestacy would result in your estate being divided how you would instruct anyway, it is still a good idea to have a will, as doing so can also help to reduce complexities with your estate and may enable you to reduce any inheritance tax liabilities.

It is a good idea to write a will as soon as you start to acquire assets; some people even recommend writing a will as soon as you turn 18 and then ensuring it is up to date every few years.

 

Mis-Sold Pensions FAQs

The length of time between making a claim and receiving your compensation depends on several factors, not least the cooperation and responsiveness of the firm you are claiming against.

The first thing to do is contact LawPlus Solicitors today.

We will discuss your potential mis-selling case, gather your details, and then conduct a free, no-obligation review of your pension. If we believe pension mis-selling compensation is due, you can instruct us to bring a claim on your behalf. You are under no obligation to do this and can make a claim yourself should you wish.

If you do instruct us to proceed with a claim, we will start the process straight away.

This depends on several factors, including how you were mis-sold, the scale of your financial losses, and whether the financial adviser or pension provider that mis-sold your product are still in business.

If your financial adviser is no longer trading, you could claim up to £85,000 via the FSCS.

If your financial adviser is still trading but disagrees that they mis-sold your pension product, your case will be progressed via the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). Depending on when the mis-selling took place, the FOS could award up to £350,000 for a mis-sold pension.

It depends on what was in your pension in the first place and how you were mis-sold.

Some people are lucky and suffer minimal cash loss but are still able to claim on the basis of receiving bad or misleading advice. Sadly, many others suffer significant losses, in some cases seeing the value of their entire pension pot reduced to nil.

Irrespective of your specific circumstances, we can help you get the compensation you deserve if your pension was mis-sold.