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!
From May 2017, the government is introducing a new set of Probate fees based on a banding system – the larger the value of the estate, the higher the fee. In many cases a Grant must be issued by the Probate Registry in order for personal representatives of a deceased person to access their assets. When this happens, upfront costs of around £200 are met by the representative and reclaimed later from the assets of the estate. But what if the upfront cost is £20,000?
This week is National Apprenticeship Week. What many employers don’t realise is that the term ‘apprenticeship’ can mean many things and, in legal terms, the contractual arrangements can be quite complex.
Family businesses are so important to commerce but without sensible protective steps they can easily implode and in the process destroy the family relationships on which they were founded. So how can you pre-empt these issues if they arise, and manage them effectively to avoid nuclear fallout?
As T2 – the sequel to the 1996 blockbuster film Trainspotting – hit cinema screens at the end of January, a new generation were introduced to a world of drugs and addictions. The new film is set 20 years later and with the original cast in their original roles. Despite the structure therefore being the same, it was important for the director to update it.
Choice, a common theme in both films, means that you have a choice whether to keep your affairs in order and up to date. The Trainspotting characters choose to ignore the future and possible problems they might have, and to live life for the moment. But what should you do?
As everybody returns to work and children start back at school, a sense of normality is descending upon us. The fun of a festive season is enjoyable whilst it lasts but it is important to look ahead to the forthcoming year, whether that is for you as an individual, or whether it is your business that you are planning ahead for.
There are a number of legal issues that can arise when children with disabilities move from paediatric to adult care. The transition can present challenges for families, who may need advice on how an Application to the Court of Protection for a Health and Welfare Order can give them the authority to make healthcare decisions for their child after they become a young adult. Without such an Order in place, a parent or member of the family has no legal right to interfere which that young adult’s care.
The confusion surrounding competition law has been a cause for concern for some time. With this in mind, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has recently produced some resources in an effort to improve understanding of competition law.
Generally, litigation – the process of taking a dispute through the court to a final judgment – is something that any business will want to avoid. It can be as expensive as it is time consuming, and there are often much more efficient ways to resolve your dispute out of court. That is why alternative dispute resolution, such as arbitration and mediation, is becoming increasingly popular for businesses.
More and more people are entering into second or even third marriages, civil partnerships and long-term relationships later in life. Frequently they have property, investments and savings and are concerned what will happen if the relationship breaks down.
With the right to wear religious dress having dominated the news lately, it is an issue which is also occupying employers. Increasingly, employers are facing dilemmas over religious dress when enforcing dress codes, and they are having to tread carefully.