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24th August 2015
A recent Court of Appeal decision to award an estranged daughter £164,000 from her late mother’s estate after she was left out of the Will, has brought into question whether the principle of full testamentary freedom remains in this country.  It is a far reaching decision condemned by charities concerned that it could deter Testators from leaving legacies in their Wills to charity. In her…
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17th August 2015
Insurance companies regularly have claimants followed by private detectives to ascertain whether or not they have been telling the truth about their injuries. In one case recently a static camera was placed outside my client's house for two weeks. Unfortunately it is people who cheat that have brought this about. If you say in your claim that you are unable to work because of your…
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10th August 2015
Following a BBC report, subsequent press coverage has raised the issue of ‘gay adultery’ in the context of divorce cases. The law is clear: adultery must involve a man and a woman, not a same sex liaison, which could, of course, be unreasonable behaviour. Unsurprisingly, this has provoked a storm in the Twittersphere. It seems to me that the press and public outcry was an…
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29th July 2015
In 1987, as a recently qualified solicitor, I started work as a litigation lawyer in the courts of Chichester. In those days the city was home to a busy magistrates’ court and a crown court, as well as a county court that dealt with all manner of civil disputes and family issues. I appeared not only before these courts but also before the magistrates’ courts…
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27th July 2015
As a tenant, when you sign on the dotted line and complete a lease, independent of solicitors, you may think that is the ‘job done’ It’s signed, it’s dated however, is it registered? If the lease is for a term for seven years or more, it must be registered at the Land Registry according to statute. This mandatory registration must happen within two months of…
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27th July 2015
Help to Buy Scheme   Are you a fully paid up member of Generation Rent (© Halifax)?  Are you finding a combination of high property prices, the lenders unwillingness to lend and your boss inexplicably failing to give you that pay rise you deserve a bar to you being able to buy your first property?  Well if so, the government’s Help to Buy Scheme (HTB)…
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10th July 2015
If you take a lease of commercial premises it will usually be an”FRI”, or full repairing and insuring lease. It surprises many people to learn that a tenant entering into a FRI lease takes on complete responsibility for repairs, even though the tenant was not responsible for the disrepair, or the disrepair already existed when the lease was granted. With this in mind, tenants should…
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03rd July 2015
This past week has seen some wildly inaccurate media reporting of the legal costs involved in clinical negligence claims. The Government is proposing a fixed fee system which will heavily reduce the costs paid to solicitors who act for successful claimants following medical accidents and errors. In 2012/2013 the NHS paid £1.258 billion to settle claims for medical negligence. Of that, £258 million, or just…
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26th June 2015
As of April 2015 the 10% starting rate of tax for savings income has been simplified. Savers will now pay no income tax on their savings where their total income is below £15,600. Where the saver’s total income exceeds £15,600 but the amount from non-savings income is less than this figure part of their savings income will be tax free. A new £1,000 personal savings…
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19th June 2015
Not everything in life is straightforward and this certainly applies to the administration of deceased’s estates on occasion with some scenarios testing even the most experienced of practitioners. Aside from the usual challenge of having to diligently research the assets and liabilities of the deceased, Personal Representatives may face additional complications.  These vary in nature and can result from ambiguity in a will, discrepancies in…
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