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A loved one has died and I have their Will

Giles Scott
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Do I need to instruct a Solicitor to administer the wishes of the deceased? Not necessarily. However it always pays to take professional advice to ensure you are correctly dealing with the terms of the will and more importantly you are taking advantage of...

What do I need to think about in regard to Inheritance Tax Planning?

Giles Scott
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When it comes to Inheritance planning there are a number of approaches you can take, but you first need to establish a starting point which is what is your net worth and the type of assets that comprise your asset base.  Another important factor is who...

When should I put a Power of Attorney in place? Do I need one?

Giles Scott
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A Power of Attorney or Lasting Power of Attorney as they are known, is incredibly important and can only be entered into whilst you still have the metal capacity to do so.  Should you lose your capacity through illness or an accident, it will be too...

Why should I write a Will and what happens if I die without one?

Giles Scott
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If you die without leaving a valid will, your estate (being your property, money and personal possessions) will be divided up in accordance with the intestacy rules.  Dying without a Will is known as dying “intestate” which means without...

Office of Tax Simplification (OTS)

Giles Scott
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Those of us with an interest in tax, or a concern for the impact of tax on our estate, will remember a report published by the OTS a few years ago on suggested changes to Inheritance Tax (IHT). I will not repeat the terms of that report here, but suffice to...

Changes to Capital Gains Tax in the 2022 Autumn Statement

Giles Scott
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It can be difficult to stay up to date on the current tax situation given the number of statements and “mini-budgets” that have occurred recently, all of which have changed rates and allowances. Let us hope that things settle down into something...

Increase in the Minimum Age to enter Marriage or a Civil Partnership

Katie Banks
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Changes to the laws on Marriage and Civil Partnerships are due to be implemented in England and Wales on Monday 27 February 2023. After receiving Royal Assent in April 2022, the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Act 2022 ensures that 16- to...

Generate Energy and Income

Phil Hunt
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If you own an underused brownfield site which you do not know what to do with, why not consider turning your property into an energy generation and storage facility? The energy crisis is all over the news, and the recent mini-budget and resulting turmoil...

What is a prepack?

Clare Lang
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Clare Lang heads up mfg’s Corporate Division which deals with M&A and other corporate matters; and is also part of the firm’s Restructuring and Insolvency Team, which has been set up across the firm’s teams. In this note, Clare ...

The Rights of Fathers in relation to unborn children

Kennedy Langley
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Parental Responsibility and Unborn Children In the UK, an unborn foetus does not have any rights and an unborn baby is not recognised as a ‘legal person’ until birth. This makes attaching parental rights to unborn children difficult. Due to the...

Public Rights of Way - an update for landowners and occupiers

Hannah Taylor
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The issue of Public Rights of Way (PROW) has, and always will be, a hugely complex area. Highlighted on what is known as the Definitive Map and Statement (DMS), which was produced by local authorities following the National Parks and Access to the...

When can an insolvency practitioner investigate a company's transactions?

Samuel Pedley
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There are several “reviewable transactions” which following a company’s insolvency, the insolvency practitioner can investigate and look to set aside which include but are not limited to the following:- Preference payments; Transactions...

The role of a Professional Deputy

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Explained - Court of Protection and Deputyship Here in the latest of our Q&A series, Cheryl Styles , a Legal Casework Manager within our Private Client Department, takes time to help explain the role of the Court of Protection, the concept of...

DIY Wills and Probate: what are the after effects?

Lucy Allen
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The UK Wills, Probate and Trusts Market Report 2022, produced by IRN Research highlighted a rise in the number of contentious probate, wills, and trusts. The report confirmed that there are now 646 law firms in England and Wales offering advice on...

Hybrid working - what you really need to know

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It’s two years since the world was shaken and we saw the start of the COVID pandemic which gripped all parts of our daily life. Now well and truly into 2022, we are seeing infection rates falling following a sustained and successful vaccination...

End of Coronavirus Restrictions on Insolvency Procedures

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Current restrictions on insolvency procedures are due to come to an end on 31 March 2022. Prior to the introduction of the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 you could present a winding up petition against a company for an undisputed debt of over...

Mental Capacity Act: Small Payments Scheme

Lucy Allen
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Proposals for third party access to limited funds belonging to individuals who lack mental capacity: The Ministry of Justice has launched a consultation, proposing to allow third party access to funds belonging to individuals who lack mental capacity,...

Making Loans to Family and Friends

Melinda Rice
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There is a saying that you shouldn’t loan money to your friends, and there are times when this could be extended to loaning money to your family.  What happens to that loan after you pass away? If significant amounts of money are being loaned,...

Can a privately owned way be a 'road' for the purposes of the Traffic Regulation Act 1984?

Hannah Taylor
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According to the High Court in the recent case of Bowen and others v Isle of Wight Council (Rev1) [2021] EWHC 3254, yes it can .   The highway status of privately owned accessways can be of vital importance for a number of reasons.  In this...

The regulatory importance of the UK's energy sector

Clare Regan
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Underlined by the fact that almost 50% of the UK’s electricity now comes from renewable sources, the energy sector is moving at rapid pace - with advances in technology and renewables prompting the need for scrupulous regulatory requirements. With a...

Contentious Probate - Mediation

Andrew Chandler
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The potential benefits of resolving even the most heated of disputes through effective communication are obvious but often under-utilised. The litigation of disputes is inherently contentious and can have potentially disastrous financial consequences for...

November 2021 Employment Law Bulletin

Sally Morris
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November 2021 Employment Law Bulletin Welcome to our Employment Law Bulletin for November 2021. This month’s bulletin focuses on a number of key developments and of course the ever changing landscape in relation to COVID vaccinations. Increase in...

Introduction of the Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Bill

Rachel Chambers
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The Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Bill – what landlords and tenants need to know It has been reported that commercial property landlords are owed more than £7 billion in rent arrears which was built up during the coronavirus pandemic. To...

Contentious Probate update: recoverability of success fees

Victoria Wall
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Contentious Probate update: recoverability of success fees – what’s happened? The Court of Appeal has confirmed in the recent case of Hirachand v Hirachand [2021] EWCA Civ 1498 that a person bringing a claim under the Inheritance (Provision...

Commercial landlords and electric car charging

Lucy George
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The recent fuel crisis here in the UK has created a massive surge in interest for electric cars and with increasing demand, now is the time for commercial landlords to consider their opportunities to capitalise on rising demand for EV charging points. ...

Possession - an update on notice periods

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Following the enactment of the Coronavirus Act 2020, the Government extended the required notice period when seeking possession of a property. You can evict a tenant who has an assured shorthold tenancy by way of what is known as a Section 21 notice or...

Can children receive the COVID-19 vaccination without parental consent?

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With the Government announcing its autumn/winter plan to control the on-going Covid 19 pandemic, it has been announced that vaccinations will be offered to 12–15-year-olds in England. Chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty has confirmed that the...

The end of the insolvency restrictions is in sight

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The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 sets out that you cannot present a winding-up petition against a company based on a statutory demand that was served between 01 March 2020 and 30 September 2021 , nor present a winding-up petition between 01...

Could Covid vaccinations become compulsory for frontline NHS?

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Could Covid-19 vaccinations become compulsory for frontline NHS workers? Six weeks of consultation has now commenced to see whether frontline NHS workers will be required to have received both Covid-19 vaccinations in the same manner as care home workers...

Employer's failure to consider flexible working

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The recent case of Mrs Thompson v Scancrown Limited t/a Manors, has hit the headlines as estate agent, Mrs Thompson won a sex discrimination claim with an award of in excess of £180,000. Mrs Thompson was employed as a London estate agent from 2016. In...

Commercial rent debts and COVID-19 - what can I do?

Stephanie Rushfirth
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We have had several enquiries over the last year or so from both commercial landlords and tenants in relation to the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on commercial rent arrears. So far the Government has sought to assist commercial tenants by...

Dealing with dilapidations - how do I make a claim?

Rachel Chambers
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A claim for dilapidations is a useful remedy for landlords who are concerned about the state and condition of their rented commercial property.  This often comes to light shortly before, or immediately after, an outgoing tenant has vacated. What...

Compulsory vaccinations for workers

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Back in April 2021, the Government started a consultation on the possibility of making COVID-19 vaccinations compulsory for those who work in certain workplaces, including care homes. Although there is some difference in opinion amongst scientists, SAGE...

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is coming to an end

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The Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been in place since March 2020. Although the amount of money contributed by the Government and employers has changed throughout, it has enabled millions of people to keep their jobs. To date, the...

The heat is on - what happens if it gets too hot at the workplace?

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With temperatures hitting new record-breaking highs, members of staff could legitimately ask whether they can be kept at work as things get uncomfortable. When the workplace gets too hot, it is more than just an issue about comfort. If the temperature goes...

COVID-19 Response for Summer 2021

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On 5 th July 2021, the Government published its COVID-19 Response for Summer 2021. We have summarised the key points which arise from an employment law perspective and how this may impact employers during the next couple of months. This is up to date at the...

Breathing Space for those with problem debts

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Breathing Space protects debtors from any action taken by creditors for up to 60 days, a welcomed reform for those who are struggling to manage their debts as they will be able to seek much needed advice without facing increased interest and charges as a...

COVID-19 - Remote Hearings are here to stay

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The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the civil justice system. Lockdown played havoc with court listings resulting in many hearings being vacated. At this time, with no alternative, virtual hearings were welcomed by parties and their...

How to enforce a County Court Judgment during a pandemic

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Enforcing a County Court Judgment which has been obtained against an individual may seem to be unfeasible during the pandemic however, there are several enforcement methods which remain available to include; 1) Warrant of Execution, 2) Attachment of Earnings...

What is Contentious Probate?

Rob Weston
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People often ask on what "Contentious Probate" means. A brief summary is set out below: a) Concerns over the validity of the Will. For example, that the Deceased did not have the mental capacity to make a Will, wasn't aware of the contents,...

Vento Bands

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Discrimination compensation awards increased Under the Equality Act 2010, it is unlawful to discriminate an individual due to a protected characteristic. This includes age, sex, disability, race, gender reassignment, marriage/civil partnership,...

Is expert determination an alternative to Court Proceedings?

Rebecca Rogers
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What are the alternatives to Court proceedings in order to resolve disputes? There are various ways to resolve disputes rather than simply issuing a claim through the Courts.  Litigating through the Courts is not a quick process. There are lots of...

The wheels of civil justice are still turning!

Rebecca Rogers
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Disputes continue to arise in business. Here at mfg Solicitors LLP, we are working remotely to resolve disputes for our clients. The Civil Courts are continuing to operate remotely (and are working hard to keep the justice system working) during the outbreak...

Williams (Deceased) [2012[ EWHC 586 (Ch) (16th of March 2021)

Rob Weston
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In the recent case of Re Williams (Deceased) [2012[ EWHC 586 (Ch) (16 th of March 2021) it was determined that the lack of knowledge and approval by the Testator justified the Court upholding the validity of the Will with deletions. The Judge found that...

Minimum wage for on call and sleep in shifts

Sally Morris
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Several businesses rely upon members of staff to be on call, with many organisations paying these individuals a flat rate or sometimes no pay at all for simply being on call. This presents a number of problems: Is the individual an employee or worker? ...

Public footpaths and farmers - a new direction?

Hannah Taylor
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In her latest blog on rural issues, associate Hannah Taylor covers the options open to farmers and landowners to protect their crops from walkers veering off public footpaths – and why it’s important for everyone to work together. Last year I...

BRUNT - DECEASED [2021]

Rob Weston
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In the recent case of Re: BRUNT – DECEASED [2021] the High Court have ordered a re-trial where it was alleged that a Will had been forged. The High Court found that the Judge had not dealt properly with the evidence before him when he made an Order...

COVID-19 Advice for Company Directors - What to do and not to do!

Samuel Pedley
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Directors of many companies are struggling with the financial uncertainty caused by the Covid 19 pandemic. With the threat of insolvency ever present many companies are simply trying to “hold on” and make it through the pandemic with as little...

Employment law issues arising from the March 2021 Budget

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The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has delivered his second Budget on  3 rd March 2021, which contained a number of important announcements for UK businesses. In this blog, we summarise the key employment aspects of the Budget. As stated in our recent blog ,...

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme extended for businesses

Sally Morris
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The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be extended by a further 5 months from 30 th April to 30 th September 2021. The key points are as follows: The scheme has been extended from 30 th ...

Implications of extending workplace testing

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As part of the Government’s response to COVID-19, there has been an expansion of workplace testing for businesses. Employers who employ more than 50 essential frontline staff, who cannot work from home, will be able to access lateral flow tests, free...

Lockdown 3.0 - Cash flow has never been so important

Rebecca Rogers
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Effective and efficient debt recovery is vital to the continuation of any business, even more so in these continued unprecedented times. Businesses need to ensure that they have sufficient cash flow to allow them to continue to weather the storm. Can I...

Caveats - key facts you need to know

Rob Weston
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In our latest online Q&A, partner and head of our contentious probate department Robert Weston covers the often-complex issues of caveats around a deceased person’s estate and the key facts you need to know. First and foremost, a caveat should...

BEWARE! Crown Preference IS BACK!

Samuel Pedley
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The reintroduction of Crown Preference is an unfortunate development at a time of unprecedented uncertainty, when many businesses are struggling with the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic. The Enterprise Act 2002 abolished Crown Preference, meaning that HMRC...

Are you prepared for a restructure or redundancy?

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A Freedom of Information request to the Insolvency Service by the BBC shows that 10,000 employers plan to cut 795,000 jobs. By comparison, 530,000 jobs were proposed to be cut during the last economic crisis, namely the recession in 2010. It is important...

Updates to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

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The Government have issued a new Treasury Direction in relation to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. There has been a series of Treasury Directions since the introduction of the furlough scheme in March 2020. These Treasury Directions set out the legal...

Can members of staff be forced to take the COVID-19 vaccine?

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It has been recently reported in the media that Pimlico Plumbers is to rewrite all of its contracts to require its workers to take the COVID-19 vaccine. This “no jab no job” policy raises an important question for businesses in the coming months...

Christmas and Workplace Issues (Part 3)

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Q7: What happens if an employer decides to close the business for the day due to adverse weather? Employers owe a duty of care to their employees. As such, if the authorities are telling people to stay at home unless their journey is essential, they may...

Christmas and Workplace Issues (Part 2)

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Q4: How should an employer address issues about an employee’s wellbeing? Over the Christmas period, an employee’s wellbeing may be affected by the exacerbation of stress and/or depression. This may be for a number of reasons, including but not...

Christmas and Workplace Issues (Part 1)

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Q1: Does an employee have the right to take Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year’s Day as holiday? A: Over the winter months, there are three bank holidays, which are Christmas Day (Friday 25 th December 2020), Boxing Day (Monday 28 th December...

Wedding Cancellations

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Like many other industries, the wedding industry has been hit hard by the Government restrictions which have been brought into effect to tackle COVID-19. With large gatherings being prohibited it is no surprise that there has been a significant downturn in...

What is Family Dispute Resolution/Mediation?

Katherine Tippetts
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Mediation is an alternative means by which the two parties can try and resolve issues. These may be issues regarding contact arrangements for the children, or alternatively financial matters as part of divorce proceedings or following separation. The...

What are basic rights of workers?

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In the UK, there are different types of employment status, with the main ones being an employee, worker and self-employed. Determining someone’s employment status helps to define their employment rights and the responsibilities of their employer. A...

COVID-19 Winter Plan

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On 23 rd November 2020, the Government published its COVID-19 Winter Plan. We have summarised the key points which arise from an employment law perspective and how this may impact employers during the next couple of months. This is up to date at the time of...

How do I apply for a Parental Responsibility Order?

Katherine Tippetts
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Parental Responsibility is a term which describes all the rights and responsibilities that parents have in relation to their children. This includes for example, being responsible for consenting to medical treatment for a child, making decisions such as...

How do I dispute an application to change a child's name?

Katherine Tippetts
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In order to change a child’s name any party who has parental responsibility for the child must agree to the change of child’s name. If all parties who have parental responsibility agree to the change of the child’s name then a Change of...

New lockdown restrictions and how they will affect employers

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Due to the rapid rise of new COVID-19 cases, England will be entering into a second nationwide lockdown initially between Thursday 5th November 2020 and Wednesday 2nd December 2020. This means people will be required to stay at home (except for specific...

What is Private Client law?

Samantha Davis
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Private Client Law covers a wide range of disciplines such as Wills and Lifetime Planning, Mental Capacity, Trusts and Estates. Private Client Practitioners can also handle a range of charity work advising on specific legal issues. Wills and Lifetime...

Business Interruption Insurance: COVID-19

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If your business has been adversely affected by the restrictions brought about as a result of COVID-19 and you hold a business interruption insurance policy you may be able to make a claim in respect of your losses. The success of any such claim will depend...

Do I need a Pre-Nuptial Agreement?

Katherine Tippetts
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It is always advisable for the parties to enter into a Pre-Nuptial Agreement prior to marriage. The purpose of a Pre-Nuptial Agreement is to record what both parties would wish to happen to the finances in the event of the unfortunate breakdown of the...

The Government has recently announced a number of key changes to existing coronavirus legislation and further introduced new legislation, The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020.

Darryll Thomas
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The Government has recently announced a number of key changes to existing coronavirus legislation and further introduced new legislation, The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020. Taking firstly the newly...

Do I need to make a Will?

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There are a number of reasons why making a Will is a good idea: Regardless of your circumstances, a Will provides a clear statement of how you want your estate to be divided when you die. It is more personal than leaving it to chance. If you do not make...

The compulsory company strike off process to be resumed

Suzannah Strickland
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As of 10 October 2020, Companies House is to resume the compulsory strike off process for companies.  This procedure was temporarily suspended in April 2020, in response to Covid-19.  On a recent review it has been decided that this suspension is...

How to respond to Larke v Nugus requests

Victoria Wall
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Private client practitioners prepare potentially thousands of Wills in their career. However, it can be unnerving to receive a letter from another firm requesting information in connection with specific Wills made in accordance with the case of Larke v...

Did you set up a new business during the pandemic?

Clare Lang
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The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has recently reported, perhaps unsurprisingly, that the number of new business incorporations were lower in the Quarter 2 period of April - June 2020 than they were in the same period last year.  However, the ONS...

Maintenance under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 - could COVID-19 increase claims?

Victoria Wall
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Anyone looking to claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (“the Act”) must fall under a category of applicant to be able to request “reasonable financial provision”. Most of the categories of...

Can I claim for personal injury?

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A personal injury refers to a physical or psychological injury that is caused by the negligence of another party. Examples of circumstances that can give rise to a personal injury claim are: An accident at work. A road traffic accident. A...

Caveats - a practical guide

Victoria Wall
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One of the first pieces of advice we tend to provide when we have an initial enquiry either contesting the validity of a Will, looking to claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 or have concerns over an executor is to enter...

What happens during mediation?

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Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution and can be described as a process where a neutral party known as a mediator assists parties in a dispute to reach an amicable resolution to their dispute. Prior to the mediation date, the mediator tends...

How far is too far? Intermeddling in an estate

Victoria Wall
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It can be difficult to deal with family members who tend to take control when a loved-one dies. Alternatively, you may wish to remove the burden from a family member who you believe could not administer the deceased’s estate. However, any person...

Recovering Bad Debts

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The late payment of commercial invoices will have an adverse effect on creditor companies now more than ever as the pandemic has caused a strain on the economic standing of many businesses. It is vital that unpaid invoices are collected in swiftly to ensure...