Legal News

Power of Attorney Fees Fall

With the recent furore over the Government's proposed increase in the cost of obtaining probate on larger estates, currently on ice owing to lack of parliamentary time in the run up to the General Election, it is nice to see that the direction of change in...

Danger of Subletting Exposed as Court Orders Flat Sale

Owning a long leasehold, particularly one in a block of flats or which is part of a larger development, can be very different from owning a freehold. Typically the obligations of tenants are more proscriptive, being based on an acknowledgement that parts of...

Uninsured Drivers and Compensation Claims

When accidents cause damage or injury and the responsible driver is uninsured, a claim can be made to the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB), an organisation financed by motor insurers with the intention of compensating those who have been involved in accidents...

Tax Law No Respecter of (Cultural) Tradition

An argument that assets which HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said belonged to a deceased man (and were thus subject to Inheritance Tax) were actually owned in whole or in part by his son was rejected by the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) recently . After the son...

High Court Encourages Social Workers to Make Use of Facebook

In the Internet era, it is wholly acceptable to use Facebook or other social media to make contact with those who have to be notified of family proceedings. The High Court made that point after being forced to abandon an adoption hearing due to a failure...

Cocktail of Drugs Not Sufficient to Overturn Will

Disputes about the validity of wills frequently centre on allegations that the deceased lacked 'mental capacity' when they created a will. In a recent case, the court had to consider whether a man who died less than two months after writing a will was...

Noise Is Not the Only Form of Disturbance - High Court Ruling

Disturbance can take many forms and noise is just one of them. Planners made that point in heeding the concerns of residents of a quiet cul-de-sac and scotching plans for a 30-flat supported living development on the edge of a seaside town. The would-be...

Indemnity Insurance Comes to the Rescue in Identity Fraud Case

On the rare occasion that a professional adviser makes a mistake or behaves improperly, clients should be able to be confident of being compensated in full. A recent case shows how a client's potential loss at the hands of identity fraudsters was met by...

Financial Advice to Become More Common?

We have often written about the dangers of taking advice from unqualified and/or unregulated advisers. A recent change in the regulations surrounding financial advice will cause some concern for those with friends or relatives who may be influenced by...

Giving Up Your Career to Get Married? Think Twice!

A person who voluntarily prioritises their marriage over their working life may not be entitled to compensation for the earnings foregone if their relationship ends in divorce. The Court of Appeal made that point in ruling on the case of a former headteacher...

Assets of Elderly Are Target of Wrongdoers

Where there is money, there is opportunity for wrongdoing and a steady stream of cases show that vigilance is needed to prevent the assets of the deceased or elderly being misappropriated. In one case, three cleaners of a deceased South Wales man claimed to...

Court Urges Simplification of 'Right to Manage' Rules

As a recent case shows , whilst there is legislation which, in certain circumstances, allows leaseholders to obtain the right to manage the buildings they occupy, the process is replete with traps and it makes sense to proceed in such cases only with the...

Bank Mistake - HMRC Still Levy Penalty

When a taxpayer named Mr Coomber sent his cheque by post to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to settle his tax demand, he thought that would be the end of the matter. He paid the tax bill on 2 February 2016 and, as late as 1 March 2016, HMRC mistakenly told...

Divorce: Asset Division Not Always Equal

In general, there is a presumption that on divorce the assets will be split more or less equally, but that is based on case law interpretation of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 , not statute. Currently, a Bill in the House of Lords (the Divorce (Financial...

Accountant Forged Mother's $50 Million Will

Will disputes can be extremely bitter and the kind of skulduggery depicted in fiction sadly sometimes reflects reality. In one case, the High Court found that a well-respected accountant had forged his mother's will in order to gain control of business...

Probate Charges Increase Likely to Be Delayed

The Government has acknowledged that the upcoming general election makes it unlikely that probate fees will increase significantly in May as planned, as there will not be time for Parliament to pass the legislation. The planned changes to the fees payable...

Charity Report Highlights Need for Trustee Vigilance

The need for charities to exercise strict controls over the disbursement of significant sums was made clear in a recent report by the Charity Commissioners into a small charity. The charity, which operated to promote active sports among the disabled,...

Definitive Plan Decides Boundary Dispute

Boundary disputes are commonplace and, unless skilfully mediated, can often spiral out of control, ending up in legal action the cost of which far exceeds the value of the land under dispute. One of the more important principles in such disputes is often a...

Tax Penalties Avoided for Those Affected by IT Glitch

With HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) pressing ahead with plans to make 'customers' deal with them only digitally, it is good to see that when a system issue with the EE network meant that some of the company's customers were unable to access the HMRC website...

Court Enforces Pre-Nuptial Agreement

When the marriage of a wealthy couple broke up, the English court had the opportunity to consider the impact of two pre-nuptial agreements the couple had made before they wed. The couple, both Swedes, married in 2000 and had had two children by the time...
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