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Court Honours Woman's Intentions by Correcting Clerical Error in Her Will

Even the most carefully drafted will can contain inadvertent clerical errors that leave room for doubt as to the document's true meaning. As a High Court ruling showed , however, judges happily have the power to correct such mistakes so as to ensure that...

Divorce - Intransigence and Dogmatism Will Only Increase Your Pain

An intransigent and dogmatic approach to divorce is an infallible way of making the process far more painful and costly. A man who insisted that his ex-wife's financial entitlements should be reduced to reflect the poor quality of their short, childless...

COVID-19 - Court Authorises Cessation of Father's Life-Sustaining Treatment

It often falls to judges to address the most dreadful consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. That was certainly so in a case where the Court of Protection found that keeping a much-loved husband and father on life support would merely serve to prolong his...

Making a Will? This is Why You Should Appoint a Professional Executor

Family relationships can be red in tooth and claw and appointing relatives, rather than a professional, as executors of your will can prove a costly mistake. That was certainly so in one case, where bitter litigation between siblings resulted in legal costs...

Inaccuracies In Your Tax Return Are Serious - Seek Professional Advice

Any inaccuracy when filling in your tax return can have severe consequences, so it really does make sense to seek professional assistance. The point was powerfully made by the case of a financier who narrowly escaped a stiff financial penalty after failing...

Exonerated Parents of Bruised Baby Boy Receive Judicial Apology

When children suffer unexplained injuries, few would quarrel with social workers and medical professionals taking a precautionary approach. However, as a family judge's ruling showed , the cloud of suspicion that often hangs over parents in such cases is...

Refusal to Restore Car Used in Cross-Channel Smuggling Trip 'Unreasonable'

UK Border Force officers wield a battery of powers designed to combat smuggling – but they must not be exercised unreasonably. The First-tier Tribunal (FTT) made that point in coming to the aid of a woman whose family car was loaded with over 300...

Embarking on a Property Development? Consulting a Solicitor is Step One

Before embarking on any form of property development it is absolutely vital to seek a lawyer's confirmation that you are entitled to proceed. The point was underlined by the case of a couple who knocked down their home and replaced it with a block of flats...

Don't Delay Making a Will Until You Feel the Hand of Mortality Upon You

Far too many people put off making a will until ill health strikes and reminds them of their mortality. In a striking case on point, the High Court ruled that a will signed by a prosperous farmer when he was in his 80s and suffering from dementia was not...

What Is a 'Couple'? Landmark Adoption Ruling Answers the Question

A 'couple' is defined in law as two people living as partners in an enduring family relationship – but what exactly does that mean in a world that has witnessed a metamorphosis in human relationships during the last few decades? The High Court...

HMRC in Bid to 'Help Taxpayers Get Their Offshore Tax Right'

The government is currently reviewing responses to its public consultation on helping taxpayers get their offshore tax right before it progresses to drafting new legislation on the issue. The consultation, which closed on 15 June, focused on how HM...

Family Judges Won't Let Children Be Used as Pawns in Divorce Proceedings

Concerns that children may be used as pawns amidst the cut and thrust of divorce proceedings are often expressed by one side or the other. However, a High Court ruling in the context of a big money case showed that family judges are aware of such risks and...

Wealthy Father Under No Obligation to Maintain His Healthy Adult Daughters

Parents generally owe no legal duty financially to maintain their adult children. That principle proved decisive in the case of a businessman who was worth almost £2.2 million when he died, but who left not a penny to his daughters. Having enjoyed a...

Insurer Entitled to Refuse Cover Following Loss of £190,000 Rolex Watch

Failing to accurately respond to insurers' questions when taking out a policy is highly likely to render your cover worthless. A businessman found that out to his cost after losing a £190,000 Rolex watch whilst on a skiing trip. The man launched...

Changes in the Tax Regime - Public Information Campaigns Have Limitations

The tax regime is subject to constant change and it is generally up to taxpayers to keep their knowledge up to date in a fluid landscape. However, as a case concerning tax charged on high-income recipients of Child Benefit showed , HM Revenue and Customs...

Restrictions on Property Use Can Be Limited by Human Lifespans

Restrictions on the use to which properties can be put often lurk in old title deeds. As one case showed , however, some of them only endure as long as a human lifetime whilst others have no such shelf life and continue to have effect indefinitely. The...

COVID-19 - Do Diving Asset Values Justify Unwinding Divorce Settlements?

The value of many assets has been devastated by COVID-19 – but is that a good enough reason for setting aside divorce settlements agreed before the pandemic struck? A family judge considered that issue in a guideline case . The case concerned a...

'Both' or 'Each'? - One Mistranscribed Word Triggers £6.4 Million Will Dispute

Will drafting is an exact science, requiring years of professional training, and a single mischosen or out-of-place word can have very serious consequences. Exactly that happened in a High Court case concerning the mistaken use of the word 'both' –...

Judge Declines to Authorise COVID-19 Vaccination of Dementia Sufferer

Whether or not to be vaccinated against COVID-19 is a matter of personal choice. A family judge robustly made that point in declining to authorise vaccination of a care home resident suffering from acute dementia who had fiercely objected to the procedure....

You Are Entitled to Rely on Professional Tax Advice - Even If it is Wrong

Professional tax advice, however carefully considered, cannot always be correct, but you are generally entitled to rely on it. A tribunal made that point in relieving a retired executive of a tax bill that would have had a devastating impact on his...
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