Financial & Legal News

Getting your ducks in a row by future planning

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It’s the time of year when many of us review our home life, finances and look to plan ahead and get our affairs in order.

On a legal front, Family Solicitor Lucinda McWatt reports that the Divorce and Family Law department tends to see a spike in instructions for those wishing to start divorce proceedings at the beginning of the year.

“Many separating couples choose to wait to start the ball rolling in the new year and since the introduction of ‘No Fault Divorce,’ the process has become much simpler, much cheaper and much more efficient.”

“There are of course important deadlines to meet and financial and child arrangements to consider which is why I would recommend getting legal advice before finalising any matters so that you are protected further down the line.”

One of the key areas to address is your financial matters and a family blog by Emma Kendall entitled ‘What is a Financial Clean Break in Divorce?’ explains the importance of a financial clean break which is definitely worth a read,” added Lucinda.

As a multi-disciplined law firm, our Family Solicitors will often refer clients to the Wills, Trusts, Tax and Probate department who also see an increase in enquiries from people wishing to make or update their Will and put a Lasting Power of Attorney in place.  Similarly, our Commercial Litigation department are seeing this time of year as a catalyst for clients wanting to tackle issues relating to finances such as CCJs and commercial debts which is why we put together a checklist that we hope you will find useful when planning for the future and our legal experts are on hand to assist.

Future Planning Checklist

Financial Arrangements

If you are divorced or are going through the process, any financial arrangements fall outside the divorce process. It is therefore crucial that you instruct a family solicitor to negotiate and finalise a financial order so that your finances such as pensions and assets are protected.

Making a Will

This is essential and keeping it up to date is important. A Will makes sure your wishes are met as a surviving spouse will not necessarily inherit everything and an unmarried partner has no automatic entitlement. If you have no Will and die ‘intestate’ your estate is distributed in accordance with the law and the State steps in.

Get a Lasting Power of Attorney

A Lasting Power of Attorney details the kind of decisions which are made on your behalf. If you are deemed mentally incapable of running your finances, your assets will effectively be frozen.  It will be up to a court to decide who manages your affairs which can be a lengthy and costly process.

Make a Business Will

Whether you are a business owner, director, partner, or sole trader, it makes sense to protect the future of your business. If you’re planning for retirement, passing on the mantle or contemplating your future, you need an up-to-date Business Will otherwise, everything you have worked so hard for could be at risk.

Tackling Personal Debt

Have you received a court claim form document or a County Court judgment (CCJ)? If yes, take action this year and don’t ignore matters as having a CCJ will impact your financial life. These can potentially be removed and our solicitors have a 92% success rate.

Recovering Commercial Debts

Using a proven combination of letters, telephone calls, court proceedings and common sense, we can recover payment from your business debtors. As a client, you can trust us to act in your best interests leaving you to get on with running your business.

For help and legal advice on any of the above matters contact our legal experts at 0161 785 3500 or email

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.

Written by Lucinda McWatt


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