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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 06 August 2007

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How wills could help improve family bonds

FOLLOWING the renewed political interest in good old fashioned family values, legal experts are advising people to make and review their wills.  In recent weeks, marriage and families have featured highly on Gordon Brown and David Cameron's political agendas as the opposing parties debate improving social stability. According to Government statistics, it is estimated that family breakdowns cost £24 billion every year.

Wills and probate expert Leon Swerling, from national law firm Lewis Hymanson Small (LHS), comments:- "Family ties and values have slowly eroded over the last few decades, having an adverse affect on society. This has led to a rise in family breakdowns and disputes, especially after death over people's estates.  Political parties are placing a new emphasis on strengthening family units with proposals of tax breaks and more financial benefits for both married and cohabiting couples and families. If more people marry or cohabit, and start a family, it is vital that they protect their interests in the event of death.  A well drafted will ensures that an individual's estate is shared among the beneficiaries of their choice and can minimise the risk of disputes and litigation."

According to Swerling, the vast majority of people are deterred from making wills as they believe them to be expensive and confusing. He says:- "A straightforward will can be made for less than £150 and can save a great deal of emotional distress after death.  Good solicitors will simplify the will making process for their clients by running them through a simple questionnaire. The questionnaire helps to eliminate legal jargon, identify any issues and ultimately, provides individuals with a will that meets their wishes.  People should take heed of Government and political moves to reform family values and take their own steps to protect themselves, family and friends. Making a will should not be considered a morbid task, as it can provide security and peace of mind."


5 YEARS into the Sefton Coast Woodlands Forest Plan, members of the public are being encouraged to have their say on the progress made so far. The review is focusing on gauging people’s opinions about work carried out towards the Short-Term Objectives for managing the area’s woodlands set out in 2002. Woodland tours, guided nature walks and more are planned as part of the review.

Organised by the Sefton Coast Partnership, as part of this series of events The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside invite you to a guided walk on Freshfield Dune Heath, meeting at the Fishermans Path entrance at 2pm on Thursday 9th August. To book a place or get further information please contact Fiona Whitfield on 0151 9203769 or e-mail:

To get further information regarding the Forest Plan review and look at the programmes of events please visit   

The British Red Cross appeal for Abseilers

Are you looking for a new and exciting challenge this summer? Maybe you want to conquer a fear of heights? If so, the British Red Cross want to hear from you! The Red Cross is looking for abseilers to descend the 195ft Baitings Dam in Ripponden near Halifax. With only three weeks left to register and places filling fast, dare devils wishing to take up the challenge will have to be quick! The abseil is taking place on the 18 and 19 August, it costs just £10 to enter and the Red Cross are challenging abseilers to raise £75 or more.

For more information please contact Jo on 0161 888 8915 or 07710 733 796.

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