Latest News

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A recent case shows the importance of involving a solicitor in the preparation of a will, especially where it is considered that an attempt to invalidate it on the grounds of lack of mental capacity may be made. It involved an elderly man who changed his...
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A recent case in which a litigant who waited more than a year to file its final defence against a claim had its late submissions rejected by the court is a reminder that tardiness in legal proceedings can have serious consequences. After receiving the...
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Disputes between neighbours can be agonising, both emotionally and financially, but taking advice at an early stage can swiftly draw the sting. In one case where matters were allowed to get out of hand, a pensioner was left at risk of losing his home after...
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Probate fees, which rose sharply only three years ago, are about to rise again. Under the present scheme an application for probate by an individual costs £215 and by a solicitor £155, but from May 2017 a new tariff is being introduced which...
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The problem of making family financial settlements or court rulings in divorce 'stick' is well known. Following an extensive consultation process, the Law Commission has made proposals designed to improve the situation for those affected when payments are...
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A surprising Court of Appeal decision that a daughter was a 'dependant' of her estranged mother and thus entitled to benefit from her estate has now been overturned by the Supreme Court. Heather Ilott had been deliberately excluded from the will of her...
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When an elderly man died owning both a house and a half share in an attached property with his sister, whose financial affairs were already being administered by a cousin under a power of attorney, the scene was set for the cousin to seize ownership of the...
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Social housing tenants are not normally permitted to sublet their properties. Where it is discovered that they have, an Unlawful Profits Order (UPO) can be made to recover any profit made by the tenant. This is normally based on the difference between the...
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Bankruptcy gives debtors the chance to wipe the slate clean and make a fresh start – but such opportunities are only open to those who cooperate with creditors: the law is tireless in its pursuit of those who do not. That point was made by one High...
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Disobeying court orders is ultimately punishable by imprisonment – but only as a last resort. In the context of a family case, the Court of Appeal has ruled that a woman in her 70s, who honestly believed that she was doing her best for a vulnerable...
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Trusts are relatively common and the death of a trustee is by no means rare. A trust deed normally contains a clause stipulating how new trustees are to be appointed in the event of the death, incapacity or inability to serve of a trustee, and normally it is...
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Neighbours engaged in boundary disputes would generally be wise to submit their differences to an independent expert for resolution, rather than fighting it out in court. However, as one High Court case underlined , it is important to remember that the...
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Can individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs) be valid if debtors who enter into them lack the mental capacity to make rational decisions? In an important test case that has clarified the law, the High Court answered that question in the affirmative . The...
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Financial problems are frequently connected with marital problems, and the interplay between family law and insolvency law can produce legal complications. In a recent instance, the court had to decide what to do about a claim from the receiver in...
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House buyers often regard any inspection of a property beyond that undertaken by the surveyor acting for their mortgage provider as unnecessary. A recent case shows why this is a risky approach to take. Under British law, the purchaser of a property takes...
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Arguments over the division of estates are unfortunately common where the value of the assets they contain is substantial, especially if family relationships are fractious. In such circumstances, the distribution of an estate can be delayed by legal...
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Press releases circulated by public authorities enjoy a high level of credence and are widely published across the media. However, their accuracy is not guaranteed and, in one case, a man who was wrongly accused of causing the death of rare breed cattle in...
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The conversion of agricultural buildings for residential use is commonplace and a special planning regime exists to simplify the procedure for farm owners wishing to convert buildings into residential property. If the conversion meets the criteria defining a...
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There is an established legal principle that where people have wills benefiting each other (as is normal with the wills of a husband and wife) and the order in which they died cannot be ascertained, it is considered that the older of the two will have been...
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Divorce is normally a difficult time for all concerned and the financial arrangements can be very contentious. Normally, problems revolve around the failure to provide accurate disclosure of assets, but on some occasions there is a total failure to...