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The Law Society of England & Wales has produced interesting new research revealing that large amounts of people have been making or updating their wills during the pandemic.   

Statistics differ, but it is generally thought that approximately 60% of people, or possibly more, in the UK do not have a will. However, 7% of respondents in the Law Society’s survey said that they had made or updated their will during the first UK-wide Covid-19 lockdown. This represents a significant shift in behaviour. As David Greene, the Law Society president, points out, “[…]the Coronavirus Pandemic has made people reflect on how vital it is to make sure their loved ones are taken care of if they were to die”.

Despite the increase in will-making we have seen over the last year, a large percentage of people are still potentially dying without leaving a will. This is despite the laws of intestacy often not providing sufficiently for our dependants.  A will also gives you the opportunity to protect your assets for your family or to leave tailored gifts to certain individuals and charities.  The reasons respondents gave in the Law Society survey for not making a will included: not having anything of value to leave their loved ones (24%), not finding time to make a will (20%), and being too young to make a will (18%).  It is of course possible to sympathise with some of these reasons, although in our experience even people with modest estates can save a lot of difficulties for their loved ones by making clear their intentions via a will, and the time invested in putting your affairs in order, however young or old you are, is really just one way of showing your loved ones that you care for their interests. 

We accept that if people regard will-making as a chore then it is something they might want to put off. But it doesn’t have to be that way, as many of our clients, we hope, would testify: by involving an experienced solicitor, such as one of the team at Alderson Law, the process can be made much easier and can help give you clarity and peace of mind about the way you intend to leave your affairs.

For more information or advice please contact Jon Grogan at jongrogan@aldersonlaw.co.uk.

Originally from East Yorkshire, Jasmine moved to the North East to study Law at Northumbria, graduating with a First Class Honours and a Very Competent in the Bar Professional Training Course. Before joining Alderson Law Jasmine specialised in RTA Fraud in a Personal Injury firm.

She joined our team as a Family Law Paralegal in 2018, after which she undertook the Legal Practice Course at the University of Sunderland and became a Trainee Solicitor in March 2020. In her spare time Jasmine likes visiting the beach and watching live music.

Julie is a highly experienced property solicitor. Born and bred in the North East, Julie worked at national and international firms prior to joining the team at Alderson Law in 2017. She works alongside her clients, advising on residential and commercial property development, property investment, portfolio management, property finance, landlord and tenant, easements and restrictive covenants.

Fiona is a specialist private client lawyer providing advice and assistance with wills, trusts, tax planning, probate & estate administration, lasting powers of attorney, court of protection and elderly client work. Having previously worked with a number of Newcastle-based firms listed in The Legal 500, Fiona brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the role. She is a full member of STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners), the association for specialists in family inheritance and succession planning.

Fiona grew up in Northern Ireland and studied law at Durham University, and has remained in the North East ever since. She enjoys spending time with her family at their cottage in Northumberland.

Mark Hipkin, partner at Alderson Law LLP, has been involved in advising motorcyclists and motorcycle businesses for over 25 years.

Mark is a biker himself (currently riding a 1981 Triumph Bonneville) and offers full legal support for all motorcycle-related matters, including personal injury, business/employment, family/matrimonial, and child law. Mark is committed to running even the most complex cases to the end and getting the best results.

At Alderson Law we run a dedicated claims department tailored specifically for bikers who have been involved in an accident. We deal with your legal expenses cover (and can be appointed as a panel solicitor on your case, providing you call us first before contacting your insurer) and offer a sympathetic, responsive, and informed legal advice line for bikers, scooterists and cyclists.

Having worked in family law for over 25 years, Julie is a highly accomplished specialist in her field. She has a vast body of experience in dealing with family law, from divorce and related financial issues to complex child-related cases. Julie was the first person in North Tyneside to achieve the status of an accredited advanced family law specialist, and is a member of the Law Society Advanced Family Panel, which demonstrates her experience in complex contested family cases and other subject-specific matters.

Though multi-talented and highly experienced, Julie’s particular speciality is in complex ancillary relief (financial settlement) claims and complex residence and contact disputes.

In her spare time Julie enjoys relaxing and spending time with her family and three grandchildren. She attends clients at our Whitley Bay and Blythe offices.

Tracey is one of our Partners and qualified as a solicitor in 1997. Throughout her career she has had a varied caseload undertaking matters in most areas of civil and private client law. Tracey can assist clients in a wide range of matters including: Wills, Probate, Powers of Attorney, Debt Recovery, Residential and Commercial Conveyancing as well as Licensing and Landlord and Tenant matters.

Tracey is one of our most senior practitioners with over 20 years of local experience, having graduated from both Newcastle University and Northumbria University. When not in the office she enjoys walking, cycling, and cooking with her family.