The cost of proving a will following the death of a relative looks set to increase following a Government announcement.   Probate fees, which must be paid before next of kin can access assets, will be removed for estates under £50,000, but everyone else will have to pay more.   Nalders solicitor Mark Buswell said: “It will penalise those with larger estates, and as such whilst it remains a court fee, it is ultimately a stealth tax.  Although some families will

Once again dismissing the idea of common law marriages and rights, the High Court has dismissed an ex-partner’s claim for a share in the sale proceeds of a farm owned by her partner.  Mr Griffey bought the farm in his sole name with a mortgage granted to him alone.  The landowner and his partner, Ms Dobson, lived together at the farm and did it up together over the course of about 4 years.  However after the relationship ended in 2011,

The rights of unmarried couples have been strengthened by the recent Supreme Court decision in favour of Siobhan McLaughlin, an unmarried mother from Northern Ireland.   Ms McLaughlin and her partner, John Adams, had been together for 23 years and had 4 children together.  However when he died from cancer in 2014, she was refused a widowed parent’s allowance for her bereaved children.  She will now receive an extra £117.00 per week as a result of her success at the

The definition of a licensable House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is changing from 1 October 2018. If you own a HMO you may need a licence from Cornwall Council and will have to make sure that you comply with various requirements.   Currently you need a HMO licence only if; there are 5 or more people in residence – who aren’t all related to each other and form 2 or more households at a property containing 3 or more storeys; and

You can change your will as many times as you want in your lifetime but ….   Can you change a Will made by someone who has died?   You can.  You can change a person’s Will after their death, as long as any beneficiaries left worse off by the changes agree.   But why would you want to do this?   It may be necessary or advisable to: Balancing up bequests made to beneficiaries – if, for example, one

In employment law, when we talk about references we aren’t talking about quips from films or the list you had to write at the end of an essay at school.  References are a statement about an individual applying for a job and because of this they are often given by previous employers or colleagues; Acas have released new guidance on providing such references today.   As an employer, being asked to give a reference could be like rubbing salt into

The Supreme Court judgment in Owens and Owens handed down on 25 July 2018 is a reminder that whilst the average marriage may be becoming shorter, the law governing marriage is not so quick to end a marriage where there is no blame.   Mrs Owens sought to divorce her husband of 40 years relying on the ‘fact’ of his unreasonable behaviour. Mr Owens denied he had behaved unreasonably and wanted to save the marriage.  At the first hearing the

Until this week, victims of abuse who lived under the “same roof” were denied the right to claim compensation against the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. Under the rules, victims who lived in the same home as their attacker before 1979 were not entitled to damages.   The Court of Appeal heard a tragic case involving a lady (simply referred to as JT) who presented evidence to establish that sadly she had been abused by her stepfather between the ages of

Death is a very difficult time not only in terms of grieving but in knowing what steps need to be taken from registering the death to dealing with the person’s assets.   Many questions are raised and it can be difficult to know where to begin.   How is the funeral paid for? What happens if there is a post mortem? Can joint accounts still be used? How are bills paid for? Who do we need to inform of the

Everyone likes a bargain and there is no better bargain than absolutely free …   However remember the old adage, “if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is”.   You may find that free will-writing services come with more than a little price to pay.   It is believed that up to 1.5 million customers used free will writing services in the late 1990s and early 2000s largely because a free Will was offered as a “perk” for

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