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Legal Advice with Russell & Russell

Russell and Russell Solicitors can deal with all the legal aspects of your new life together. Whether you’re buying or selling a property, looking to protect your assets, thinking about starting a family or want to leave your possessions to those you care about, we can help.

We’ve nine offices across the North West; in Bolton, Atherton, Bury, Chester, Farnworth, Horwich and Middleton. And, because anything can happen at any time, we’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Call us on 0800 103 2600 or visit

Things to think about when making your will

A number of high profile cases have put the need to make a will firmly back in the spotlight recently. Yet, despite the growing number of inheritance disputes, many of us still don’t bother until we absolutely have to.

While writing a will is all too often seen as one of those jobs you’ll get round to ‘tomorrow’, the benefits of planning ahead can be invaluable. It’s usually a straightforward process, but if it’s not done properly it can have repercussions. Here’s some things to think about:

·It’s an unfortunate truth; money changes people. Making a will helps prevent family disputes over your estate

·It’s irrelevant whether you’ve promised certain possessions, property or money to specific people, if you have no will, the law decides who benefits from your legacy, not you

·Using an online website to do it yourself can backfire as they don’t take into account the complexities of the law, so your loved ones could end up having to pay to rectify things retrospectively

·Will writers aren’t regulated. This means they can promote themselves as experts without actually having any qualifications or accreditations at all

·Getting married automatically invalidates your existing will

·If you’re estranged from your partner and have entered into a new relationship with someone else, it doesn’t matter if you live together; if you’re not married or in a civil partnership, you’re new partner isn’t legally entitled to anything if you die

·If you’ve split from your ex acrimoniously and you die without having changed your will, your ex stands to inherit everything as, technically, you’re still married

·Dying without a will can leave an estate liable for inheritance tax

·Leaving money to charity in your will is just one of the ways to help reduce the amount of tax payable on your estate. This is something a solicitor can advise you on

·Make sure you sign it. Without your signature at the bottom, your will isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on

·It’s not as expensive as you might think, especially if you’re planning to draft a joint will (also known as a mirror will) as they’re often discounted

 If you’re thinking about making, or changing, your will, Russell and Russell can help. We’re bound by the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s code of conduct and are legally obliged to maintain high levels of service. As well as being regulated, we’re required to have insurance to protect the public. We can also provide guidance on more complex financial issues, such as inheritance tax and trust planning. We offer a free consultation where we can talk through your circumstances and advise on what’s best for you. for details and contact.

Published on - Wed, 31 May 2017

The UK isn’t the whiplash capital of Europe

A recent claim by insurance companies that the UK is the whiplash capital of Europe has been found to be based on unreliable data cherry picked to support the government’s reform agendas.

 Ken Oliphant, professor of tort law at Bristol University, said the evidence has been misleadingly presented, with main evidence coming from a flawed study by the Comité Européen des Assurances (CEA) in 2004.  

Professor Oliphant said the data actually showed that Italy had nearly 50% more whiplash claims than England and Wales in the period assessed, and that it had paid out almost twice as much in compensation.  Claims in Switzerland cost 10 times as much as those in the UK, while the Netherlands, almost six times as much.

 Professor Oliphant said that though there have been specific instances in which fraudulent whiplash claims have been exposed in the UK, “there is a lack of reliable evidence as to extent of the problems of fraud and exaggeration, and a corresponding concern that – as with the whiplash capital claim – unreliable data will be used as the basis of tendentious interventions in the public debate…..the majority of injured persons whose claims for compensation are entirely genuine.”

Russell and Russell specialises in road traffic accident claims and whiplash injuries.  Our solicitors are experts in personal injury compensation claims and offer legal advice on a no win no fee basis so we can take on the insurance companies on your behalf.

For more information please visit

Published on - Thu, 18 May 2017

Russell and Russell raises cash for Will Aid

Russell and Russell is celebrating after raising money for charity by taking part in the annual Will Aid drive.

The firm raised £665 by writing wills for clients across Greater Manchester in return for a donation to charity. This is the seventh year the firm has taken part in the scheme, raising over £3,000 to date.

Probate solicitor, Rachel Kelly said: “The firm has embraced the Will Aid initiative with huge enthusiasm. We’re able to provide a service to clients and they are more than happy to donate to a good cause. Making a will means loved ones you leave behind know that you’ve given your affairs some thought.”

Will Aid has raised more than £17 million for charity since it launched more than 25 years ago.
Campaign director, Peter de Vena Franks added: “One in three people die in the UK without making a will, potentially leaving their family and friends nothing but confusion and costly legal battles. Will Aid is a wonderful opportunity to not just make a will, but do it with the help of a professional. The added bonus is that you are helping nine charities in the UK at the same time.”

The scheme takes place across the country throughout November and supports nine of the UK’s best-loved charities; ActionAid, Age UK, British Red Cross, Christian Aid, NSPCC, Save the Children, Sightsavers, SCIAF (Scotland) and Trocaire (N. Ireland).

The recommended donation for a basic Will Aid will is £95 for a single will and £150 for a pair of mirror wills. For more information about making an appointment to write a will, visit

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Published on - Thu, 11 May 2017

Government faces revolt over probate fee hike..Read why below..

Plans to introduce a new fee structure for probate applications have suffered a setback after a parliamentary panel of experts claimed they are unlawful.

Applications for granting probate are currently charged at £215 on estates valued over £5,000, but lord chancellor, Liz Truss recently announced a new model that could see executors, and ultimately beneficiaries, being charged up to £20,000 from the beginning of May. For more details about this, see our news article from 21st March 2017 at

The findings of the report adds further pressure on Liz Truss to review the charges following overwhelming opposition from respondents of the initial consultation carried out by the Ministry of Justice. An online petition against the charges has already reached 300,000 signatures. The report also calls for the fees to “have the attention of both houses”, raising the possibility of them being delayed if not scrapped altogether.

The MoJ believes the new fee structure will raise £300m towards the cost of running the courts and tribunals service. The parliamentary joint committee on statutory instruments, however, questioned whether “the lord chancellor may use the power to prescribe non-contentious probate fees for the purpose of funding services (the courts) which executors do not seek to use”.

Judith Bromley, head of wills and probate at Russell and Russell and a member of Solicitors for the Elderly, said: “We’re delighted to see the Select Committee has confirmed what was clear from the offset – the Government’s probate fee hikes are nothing more than a backdoor tax and the MOJ has acted beyond its powers in enforcing these changes.

“Our hope now is that the Government re-evaluates these fees, and at the very least, finds a fairer way of structuring them”.


Published on - Tue, 18 Apr 2017