Forbes Blog

Charities win appeal against a woman cut out of her mother’s Will

Yesterday, the UK Supreme Court handed down the hotly-anticipated judgment in Ilot v Mitson*and has re-affirmed the principle of ‘testamentary freedom’.  Testamentary Freedom is a long-standing principle in English Law, meaning that a person has the freedom to choose who they wish to benefit when they die  (ie. under their Will).  There is no legal obligation to provide for certain family members. Read more

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Probate fee increase confirmed – a further tax on the bereaved

Despite strong opposition from the legal profession, including bodies such as Solicitors for the Elderly and STEP, the government has announced that from May probate fees will increase significantly.

Currently, when making an application for a Grant of Probate via a solicitor, the Probate Registry charge a fixed fee of £155 regardless of the value of the estate or £215 if applied for without a solicitor. Read more

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The cost of not taking professional advice

Unfortunately in any profession or trade, there any companies and tradesman who are out to rip people off and the legal market is no exception. In my field of expertise namely wills, estate planning and probate, there are many companies out there who offer either very heavily discounted fees often with hefty drawbacks that clients are not made fully aware of, or guarantees that certain products will do certain things when often they do not. Read more

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Research shows that children in the UK’s most deprived areas are more likely to go into care

A project carried out by academics at, Sheffield, Huddersfield, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Coventry and Queen’s University Belfast and funded by the Nuffield foundation has found that children in the UK’s poorest areas are 10 times more likely to taken into care or placed on a child protection plan. Read more

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Victims of domestic violence have eligibility assistance with removal of harsh evidence tests

The Law Society have reported and welcomed the removal of a five-year time limit on evidence of abuse which prevents vulnerable victims of domestic violence from obtaining legal aid for court hearings.

When dealing with victims of domestic violence availability of legal aid is important as without this resource, often victims are unable to finance applications before the court.

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Fixed Fee Sale Package: Part 2 – Deducing Title

In order to sell a commercial property the buyer’s solicitor will request that the seller’s solicitor deduce the title to them as part of their due diligence requirements.   This is because of the “buyer beware” caveat in property transactions that it is the buyer’s responsibility to carry out satisfactory investigations at its own risk.  Read more

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Vulnerable People and Inheritance

There have been a number of claims in recent years brought by children who have been disinherited by a parent due to their benefits position. Each and every case is different but the common reasoning behind this would appear to be the testators understanding that giving their life savings to a child on benefits will only result in those savings replacing the child’s benefits. Read more

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Pimlico Plumbers Plunge into Defeat

Pimlico Plumbers’ latest attempt to establish that their workforce is self-employed has failed.

The London-based firm Pimlico Plumbers provides domestic maintenance requirements for both individual homes and businesses. Charlie Mullins, the founder, employs a workforce of over 270 skilled tradesmen which includes Gary Smith, one of the firm’s plumbers for the past six years. Read more

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Important reminder that Maintenance Orders can be varied

15 years after divorce and a sealed, binding Court Order, Mrs Mills makes an application to the Court for an increase in her spousal maintenance.  Mr Mills argued that at the time of the divorce, he had provided his Wife with £230,000 lump sum and £1,100 per month in spousal maintenance.  Unfortunately, due to poor decisions investment made by Mrs Mills and ill health, Mrs Mills found herself in debt and unable to meet her monthly outgoings.  Therefore, she made a further application to the Court for an increase on the monthly spousal maintenance that she received. Read more

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A final financial settlement order is made 10 years after divorce

There was a decision made by a Judge in the case of Glen Wiers who now has a multimillion pound fashion empire.

A final financial settlement order is made 10 years after divorce.  It is reminder to all, that once Decree Absolute is pronounced, it is important that financial matters are also resolved and formally finalised. Read more

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