Latest News

Placing Trust in a Family Member Proves Unwise (Again)

Even the most apparently trustworthy people can sometimes turn out to be anything but and that is one good reason why it is sensible to appoint a solicitor as executor of your will. In one case that proved the point, an ex-police officer took advantage of...

ISAs in Estates to be Tax Exempt

One of the issues that proves difficult for executors of deceased persons who have Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) is that the interest on them is taxable once the owner has died. Many of these accounts are small and, given that interest rates have been...

Cohabitants Entitled to Bereavement Damages

The legal implications of cohabitation are often poorly understood by those who choose to live together outside of marriage or civil partnership, and the lack of protection for cohabitants often comes as an unpleasant surprise to many, especially when a...

Victims of Crime and Compensation

It is normal for victims of crime to think that the conviction and punishment of the criminal marks the end of the process entirely. However, that is not always the case as, when appropriate, compensation can be sought from the criminal. A good example is a...

Service Standards Must Be Appropriate for Properties

Owning a share of the freehold is often cited as a selling point to flat buyers – but tenant democracy is no panacea and there is little advantage to it if residents do not get on. In one case, a dispute between wealthy apartment dwellers over cuts to...

Do You Still Believe in the 90-Day UK Tax Residency Myth? Read This!

It is an enduringly popular misconception that all you need to do in order to establish that you are not UK resident for tax purposes is spend fewer than 90 days per year in this country. However, the true position is much more nuanced than that, as one...

Family Attachment a Critical Factor in Adoption

When the Family Court was asked to consider an application for an adoption order made by a couple, two factors proved crucial in deciding whether it should be granted. The first was that the boy's natural parents could not reasonably be considered able to...

Casting Aspersions to Change Inheritance Proves Unsuccessful

Wills made or varied just before death are a frequent source of dispute and court appearances, and it was just such an occurrence that led to a High Court hearing recently . The case concerned the estate of a woman who died in 2014, two days after making a...

Ripped Off By a Rogue Trader? You Can Be Compensated!

Elderly people and those who are vulnerable are sadly prime targets for rogue traders, but the law is not powerless when it comes to helping those affected. The successful prosecution of a rogue builder promises more than £200,000 in compensation for...

Court Bypasses Wife's Attempts to Stymie Sale

One of the potential disadvantages of having more than one owner of a property is what to do when they take different views of whether it should be sold. In a recent case, a husband went to court to force the sale of a property he owned with his wife (she...

Tax Net to Loosen for Trusts, Tighten for Offshore Affairs

In the recent Budget, the Government committed itself to a review of the operation of trust taxation in the UK. Since reforms were introduced in 2006 to counter what appear to have been little-used tax avoidance schemes, trusts have been used less often...

Certain Inheritance Can Be Financial Resource in Divorce Settlement

Under English law, a person is able (within limits) to decide absolutely to whom their estate should pass. However, many countries have 'forced heirship' laws, under which a deceased person's estate must pass in specified proportions to a particular person...

Informal Wills on the Way?

We have written on numerous occasions of the danger of either failing to leave a will or of not taking professional advice when making your will. Among the difficulties that can arise with DIY wills are challenges by family members who have been excluded...

Solicitors Are Under a Lifelong Duty to Guard Client Confidentiality

One of the advantages of placing your trust in solicitors is that they owe a lifelong duty to maintain the confidentiality of any information you give them. That point was underlined by a High Court case in which a solicitor was banned from taking...

Minor Drafting Error Corrected - £1 Million Saved

Under Inheritance Tax (IHT) law, certain types of trust have a ten-yearly charge to IHT on the value of the trust assets. The legislation, which imposes IHT of 6 per cent on the 'relevant property' in the trust settlement, was introduced in 2006 and applied...

Council Must Consider Planning Application

People who seek advantage by going beyond the bounds of planning permission they are given can expect to be taught a very expensive lesson by the courts. However, the law does guarantee the right of a person to have a planning application considered, as was...

Judge Sees Through Attempt to Hide Assets

When a couple divorced in 2014, the ex-husband was ordered to pay his ex-wife periodical payments of £120,000 per year after he was found to have used a variety of stratagems to make himself appear worse off than he really was. A mere three months...

Business Tycoon's Wife Well Served by Lawyers Who Drafted Her Will

A solicitor's primary duty when drafting a will is to follow faithfully their client's instructions after giving accurate and level-headed advice. In a professional negligence case triggered by the early death of a business tycoon's wife, the High Court...

Libel by Internal Email Proves Expensive

Many people think that for a libel to occur, the statement made has to be both false and made in public, but in fact that is not so, as a recent libel case confirms . The libellous comments were made by a care worker at a hospital about a colleague in an...

Planning to Participate in a Tax Avoidance Scheme? Read This First!

Anyone tempted to participate in a tax avoidance scheme would be wise to take note of one case in which a businessman complained in vain that he had been subject to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) inquiries for almost seven years, with no end in sight. The...
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