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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 ...

Is Mediation Right For Me?

February 25, 2019  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

So, you’ve made the decision to separate and suddenly the prospect of dealing with divorce, hiring a solicitor, and going to court is feeling utterly overwhelming. This is totally normal, and rest assured – it will pass – but you should also know that you don’t have to go it alone, and court divorce is not the only way. If you’re not sure if going to court is for you, particularly if you and your ex are willing to try to work together to come to a resolution, then you may want to consider an out-of-court solution. There are several out-of-court options for separating couples, including mediation, which allows you ...

The Dos and Don’ts of Divorce

February 18, 2019  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

There’s no ‘right’ way to get divorced – every couple and every circumstance is different – however, there are certain ways to make the process easier, as well as attitudes and behaviours that make the whole thing a lot worse… Remember that you are in control of how you react to the situation, and it’s up to you how you go about resolving your disputes. Here are some dos and don’ts from our family law solicitors to help you cope with the challenges of divorce in a positive, productive way: DO: Try to stay objective We know how hard it can be to be objective when you’re going through separation – no matter ...

No-Fault Divorce Reform To Become A Reality

February 11, 2019  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

Justice Secretary David Gauke has confirmed that an option for no-fault divorce will be introduced into family law, removing the need for couples to assign blame in order to separate. Legislation to enact the reform is due to be brought to the next session of parliament, with the potential to reduce animosity between separating couples, avoid protracted court battles, and offer a faster, cheaper, and more positive method of divorce. Under current UK family law, the cause for divorce must be allocated to one party, based on a ‘fact’ such as adultery or unreasonable behaviour, or couples must live separately for two to five years. For many, however, neither of ...

There’s no such thing as ‘common-law marriage’ – the truth about cohabitation

February 11, 2019  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

Recent statistics released by NatCen suggest that almost half (46%) of British adults mistakenly believe that unmarried couples who live together have the same rights as legally married couples. Unfortunately there is no such thing as a ‘common-law marriage’ – the correct term is cohabitation, and under current UK family law, unmarried couples are at risk of slipping through the gaps when it comes to legal protection. This means that if a cohabiting couple decide to separate, or one of them dies, they may find themselves in financial difficulty due to a lack of legal protection regarding the fair division of assets and property, and inheritance laws. Even more worrying, these ...

The KonMari Method to Selling Your Home

February 04, 2019  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

In case you hadn’t noticed, there’s a de-cluttering revolution going on in the wake of organising consultant Marie Kondo’s minimalist approach to tidying up. The KonMari method detailed in her book, Spark Joy, and recent Netflix series, Tidying Up With Marie Kondo has divided the nation over just how much we’re willing to throw away for the sake of a tidy house. When it comes to preparing your home for sale and making it as appealing as possible for viewings, however, there’s certainly something to be said for Kondo’s theory, which minimises clutter, maximises space, and aims to create a calm and inviting environment. And who knows? By applying this approach to your home ...

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