Author Archive

Cohabiting Couples Need Better Legal Protection When it Comes to Separation

May 20, 2019  |   Posted by :   |   Uncategorized

A bill to improve the legal rights of cohabitants was given a second reading in the House of Lords last month, putting forward a number of proposals that would help to provide better financial outcomes for separating unmarried couples. Under current UK family law, cohabiting couples are not protected by the same legal rights as married couples or those in civil partnerships. If they decide to split up and there is no cohabitation agreement in place, individuals have no right to assets or property unless they are held in joint names. This means that if one party has sacrificed a career to raise children, ...

Divorce & Separation: Moving On With Positivity

May 14, 2019  |   Posted by :   |   Uncategorized

When a relationship ends, the future can feel uncertain. Going through a divorce or separation – no matter how amicable – brings about huge changes. It’s natural to feel a whole host of conflicting emotions: relief, anger, confusion, hope, anxiety – perhaps sometimes all at once! It’s also completely normal to feel overwhelmed at times, or to feel as if the process will never end. But it will. And with the right approach, you can push through the difficult times and reach a point where you feel content, hopeful for the future, and back in control of your life. So how ...

When Did You Last Update Your Will?

May 10, 2019  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

Chances are, if you’ve already made a Will, it was filed away long ago and more or less forgotten about. However, every so often, circumstances change, or situations arise that mean amendments need to be made, otherwise your wishes may not be accurately represented. If you’ve been through a major life change lately – for example: moving house, getting divorced, gaining a grandchild – you may want to adjust your Will accordingly. Check the following list for general guidelines on when to consider updating your Will: A change in marital status Relationships change over time, and any new partners or changes to your marital circumstances need to be reflected in your Will if you want the right people to inherit when ...

How Long Will It Take To Sell Your Home?

April 25, 2019  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

Putting your house on the market can be a lesson in patience and preparation... Too often, homeowners rush to get their home sold, without doing the necessary work beforehand, for example, underestimating the importance of conveyancing, or unwittingly putting off buyers during viewings – and approximately 200,000 sales fall through each year in the UK. And even if you’ve ticked all the boxes, no matter how well prepared you are and well-presented your home is, sometimes you find yourself at the mercy of an immovable property market. The waiting game can be intensely frustrating, especially if you’re hoping to sell up as quickly as possible, but a new online tool ...

Don’t Put off End-of-Life Planning

April 18, 2019  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

A recent survey by Which? has revealed that 71% of people have no plans for end-of-life care, such as Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA), a ‘living will’, or advance decisions detailing their preferences for medical treatment should they find themselves unable to make these choices later in life. Over half (58%) of respondents had discussed their end-of-life care preferences with friends or family but just under a third have done anything to put these decisions into place! Writing a Will is the most common preparation for the future, but a Will is only able to provide an outline for your wishes regarding property, possessions, finances and assets, along ...

Changes to Probate Rules Delayed

April 11, 2019  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

Proposed changes to the rules around probate in England and Wales were due to come into effect on the 1st of April 2019 but have been delayed due to opposition and Brexit matters taking priority. A Ministry of Justice spokesperson has said that the reforms will come into force ‘as soon as possible’, though the proposal has been deemed controversial by many, with Labour indicating it will object to the revised fee scheme, giving the House of Commons the chance to vote. Other opponents include the Liberal Democrats and two Lords committees, who dubbed the changes as a ‘stealth tax’. Following the suggested changes, probate fees would be charged on a sliding scale ...

1 in 4 People Are In A ‘Distressed’ Relationship

April 04, 2019  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

According to Relate’s recent report on couple relationships in the UK, ‘It Takes Two’, 25% of people surveyed said they were in a ‘distressed’ relationship, but only one in five (22%) said they would seek professional support if their relationship was under strain. Over 5,000 people were polled for the report, which aimed to provide an overview of the state of relationships in the UK, and though two-thirds (66%) of people agreed that ‘everyone could benefit from support with their relationships’, it seems the reality of seeking help is far less likely. Of those surveyed, 16% said they thought about getting divorced, separated, or ending their relationship at least occasionally, and ...

Lack of Lasting Powers of Attorney May Lead To Financial Abuse

March 25, 2019  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

  Informal arrangements with relatives’ finances may seem like a sensible way to manage ageing parents’ accounts and welfare, but without proper Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) in place, these arrangements can easily be abused, or cause serious issues after death. According to research by the Co-op, 25% of people aged 45+ have access to the finances of a relative who isn’t their spouse – for example, their parents, siblings, aunt or uncle. Around 10% of these had a formal arrangement via a joint account, and a fifth had direct access to online banking accounts or a relative’s bank card. In most cases, these figures represent family members taking care of issues ...

Divorce & Separation: What Happens to the Family Home?

March 18, 2019  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

One of the main issues couples face when deciding to separate is what to do about the family home. Which of you moves out? Who gets to stay? Can you afford to find separate homes? How do you divide up property assets? And what if you rent? When it comes divorce, the rules over property can vary fairly widely depending on your unique circumstances, but here’s some basic guidance on ownership and living arrangements to help you figure out what to expect, what your rights are, and how to proceed. Living Arrangements Both partners have a legal right to remain in the family home, and neither of you can force the other to move ...

Putting Your Affairs In Order: A Guide to Wills, Probate & Lasting Powers Of Attorney

March 05, 2019  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

A shocking two-thirds of British adults do not have a Will, 40% of which are over the age of 55. We get it. No one wants to think about the worst case scenario, but there comes a time when you have to stop putting it off and start putting your affairs in order. End of life legal documentation is essential if you want to take care of your loved ones – and yourself – in the future: If you die without a Will in place, your family may be left with financial or legal difficulties when it comes to inheritance, guardianship, the distribution of your assets, and paying inheritance tax. If you fall ...

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