Since 1925 when the Land Registry was first established it has been trying to extend the number of properties and amount of land registered with the eventual aim of covering the entire country.
They are still working on it but these days, if it is not already registered at the Land Registry, whenever a property or land changes hands or any “legal” dealing takes place registration will be triggered.
Enduring Powers of Attorney (‘EPA’) and Lasting Powers of Attorney (‘LPA’) are both documents which you can sign in order to give authority for your ‘Attorneys’ to make decisions on your behalf. The EPA is restricted to financial and property decisions, whereas the LPA can also include health and welfare decisions (there are two types of LPA; one for financial and property affairs and one for health and welfare).
The term “chattels” invokes the language of a time when Britain still had an Empire and people were concerned with what would happen to things such as their carriages and horses. The statutory definition of personal chattels was updated in 2014 from such delightful but archaic language but the principle remains the same. Any personal goods other than “money, securities for money or property used solely or mainly for business purposes” falls into the definition of chattels.
Heads of terms is a document that records the main terms of a lease agreement between a landlord and a tenant. The terms are usually prepared and negotiated by the landlord’s agent. Although heads of terms are not legally binding, it is important for the tenant to take time to understand the terms and the financial implications behind those terms before they start lease negotiations.
When applying for a divorce in England and Wales you have to prove that your marriage has irretrievably broken down. It is quite common for couples who have decided to separate to be under the misconception that the only way they can get a divorce amicably is to wait until they have been separated for more than 2 years. The reason for this is that to get a divorce before then involves one party having to place the blame for the breakdown of the marriage squarely on the other party as a result of their adultery or unreasonable behaviour.
When anyone decides they want to move or buy their first house, the exciting bit is searching through the online listings or estate agents details trying to find their ideal property, going round to have a look at it and deciding which bits of the decor or layout of the property they would never have chosen and would need to be changed immediately when they move in!
But there are some more boring and mundane tasks which everyone should also think about and which will help ease the process of selling and buying.
If you have recently made the step to start up a new business, you are not alone. Last year more than 650,000 new businesses and start ups were established in the UK. Here are three essential legal considerations should you have in mind before you start trading in earnest.
The methodology for calculating the premium to be paid to the freeholder in exchange for an extension to the lease under the Leasehold Reform Housing Development Act 1993 was, until fairly recently, a simple calculation. Recent changes mean that the valuation process is likely to become more complex and protracted, and it is therefore important that you obtain expert legal and valuation advice at an early stage.
Letters of Wishes are not a legally binding document. They are not part of a Will, nor a Trust Deed, and they have no legal status when prepared. However, such letters, sometimes known as side letters, do help to exert a sense of moral obligation on those left behind to help administer the estate, or trust.
The right to request flexible working has been with us since 6 April 2003 and from 30 June 2014 was extended so that employees could effectively make requests for any reason (rather than just for childcare reasons as was the position previously). Clients often call me concerned as to the damage flexible working might do to their business.
When individuals are looking at preparing Wills they should discuss such matters with their family. Whilst a Will is, of course, a private document if one is prepared to discuss the issues with the family that will be left behind after their own demise, it can be hugely helpful in maintaining harmonious family relationships.
On World Alzheimer’s Day, make sure that all your affairs are in order before it’s too late. Preparing and registering a Lasting Power of Attorney comes at a fraction of the cost of applying for a Deputyship once capacity is diminished.
When you’re involved in a dispute, your business will benefit enormously from the advice of an experienced dispute resolution solicitor who has seen disputes of that kind before and who is very familiar with the process. Businesses are keen to avoid cost and there is no doubt that professional services are costly. Here are some suggestions for maximising the value you receive.
Lasting Powers of Attorney (‘LPAs’) allow you to appoint someone to assist you with your affairs. There are two types of LPA; Health and Welfare and Property and Financial Affairs. As the names suggest, one is used to appoint someone to assist you with health matters such as care, medical treatment, etc, and one is to appoint someone to assist you with matters relating to your finances and property such as selling your property, making payments on your behalf, accessing your bank accounts for you, etc.
The preparation of Wills is governed by many pieces of legislation, but the primary statute is the Wills Act 1837, which still details the principal requirements for preparing a valid Will. Time has moved on significantly over the course of the last 180 years and whilst other Acts of Parliament, such as the Trustee Act 1925 and Trustee Act 2000, have updated parts of the legislation, there are many principles that endure from 1837. The Law Commission has began a consultation on significant reforms to this.
So you own a house and your partner moves in. They spend money making improvements and on repairs. You live happily together for some years and you tell them not to worry because half the house is theirs. Unfortunately, you die before you have updated your Will to make provision for them. What next?
On 7 August 2017, we posted a blog regarding the Court of Appeal’s judgement in the case of Owens v Owens. By way of recap, the case concerned a petition for divorce issued by Mrs Owens based on her husband’s unreasonable behaviour, which he [Mr Owens] defended.
In light of figures released by HMRC recently on the amount of Inheritance tax being paid, I am sure more people could do more to avoid or reduce their tax bill. In the 2016/17 tax year the amount of Inheritance Tax (IHT) paid to HMRC exceeded £5 Billion for the first time. Information published by HMRC shows the increasing amount of revenue received for, what many consider, to be one of the most unfair taxes payable.
Anyone considering building a new property or extending their existing property needs to give consideration to the possible impact of their proposals on neighbouring properties, and the "right to light".
To obtain a divorce in the UK, there is one ground which must be satisfied – that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. We do not have a no-fault system and hence it is necessary to prove to the court that this ground has been met.
Have you heard the phrase ‘90% perspiration, 10% inspiration’? It applies to many things in business and negotiating your next deal is no exception. For some reason, many business people believe that skill in negotiation is down to natural personality, charm or ‘gift of the gab’. Those things can help but the fact is that negotiation skills can be learned. A well prepared but inexperienced negotiator can achieve a better outcome than a more experienced counterpart who is ill prepared.
This is the fourth blog that I have written on the subject of how to save Inheritance Tax. In the first blog I explained that everybody has a Nil-Rate Band allowance of £325,000. Many of you will be aware that in April 2017 the Residence Nil-Rate Band Allowance was introduced.
So far in this series of blogs on Inheritance Tax I have talked about gifts being made, and making use of the annual allowance, small gifts exemption, gifts in contemplation of marriage or potentially exempt transfers. The common factor linking all of these types of gifts is that they are gifts of capital.
The long awaited Taylor review on working practices in the UK was published on Monday 11 July. It looked closely at the much talked about "gig economy" comprised of some 1.1 million workers such as Amazon and Hermes couriers and Uber taxi drivers. Such workers are currently classified as self employed and therefore do not enjoy the employment rights of employees and workers and have no guarantee of any work.
Business guidance has been issued by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) relating to the Intellectual Property (Unjustified Threats) Act 2017, which was passed in April this year and is aimed at making life easier for businesses and individuals by clarifying what is and isn’t acceptable when threatening IP infringement against a third party.
Clients often ask this question. The facts seem clear. The law seems clear. The other side have no case. But they carry on oblivious and all efforts to show them that they are on a hiding to nothing, fall on deaf ears. And that can mean that a court case that should settle early drags on and costs more.
It is now one year since the UK voted to leave the EU and the issue of how this will affect international divorce cases in England and Wales remains uncertain. Until we have clarity, it is important to bear in mind two main issues that arise regarding the issuing of divorce proceedings.
The hung parliament result we have all been talking about means that it is difficult to assess the extent to which the Conservatives' plans for employment law reform will come to fruition. However, the manifesto was full of promises, some of which would have left employers a little concerned.
With Father’s Day approaching this Sunday, this is undoubtedly a good time to consider just what rights a father has towards a child. A recent court ruling saw a British woman go to jail after supplying an ex-partner with fake paternity test results in order to convince him that her daughter was his child.
For so long Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) were little more than coloured paperwork forming part of a conveyancing transaction. This is all set to change from 1 April 2018 with regulations that require commercial properties being leased to have a minimum EPC rating of E. Landlords that rent out properties with lower ratings could face fines of up to £150,000.
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and in recent days there have been numerous reports, articles and news items on the subject. Footballer Aaron Lennon has been detained under the Mental Health Act, whilst cricketer Andrew Flintoff has talked about the word “stigma” not being used when discussing mental health issues.
Intellectual property rights can easily be forgotten about when preparing Wills. However, if you are an author, musician, artist or have any other protected rights, then you will need to consider this at the time of preparing a Will.
Until recently, no one had an automatic right to see your Will, even if you had lost capacity to make a financial decision. If you wanted to allow your Attorney to see your Will, you would have to have included a specific condition in your Lasting Power of Attorney for Property & Financial Affairs or signed a separate letter to go with your Enduring Power of Attorney.
If you are an animal lover like me you would have been outraged when you heard about the case of Illot v Mitson. This was the case where the mother, Mrs Jackson, left her estate of £486,000 to three charities; The Blue Cross, the RSPB and the RSPCA. Her daughter, Heather Illott, took the matter to court arguing that she had not received “reasonable financial provision”. This was despite being estranged from her mother for some 26 years. If the court disregarded the Will, where does that leave... well, basically everyone with a Will!