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Promises, Promises - Always Get a Lawyer to Put Them in Writing!

The trouble with informally agreeing with your loved ones what is to happen to your assets after you are gone is that you may not have considered all eventualities, and disputes can arise as to what has and has not been promised. Exactly that lay at the root...

Family Judge Blocks Attempt at Divorce Tourism in Big Money Case

English judges are respected around the world – but they are not the sole arbiters of fairness and the decisions of foreign courts must be respected. A family judge made that point in shutting the door on divorce tourism and refusing a Russian...

Trouble With the Neighbours? See a Lawyer Before It Gets Out of Hand!

One secret of a happy life is to get on well with your neighbours and taking legal advice is often the best way of defusing rows before they get out of hand. The point was resoundingly made by a case in which escalating boundary and right of way disputes...

Cryptoassets Are Property - Judicial Authority

The legal position of 'cryptoassets' – those which exist in electronic form and are held on distributed ledgers, bitcoins being the best-known example – has not been certain in the past. However, a recent legal statement by the Chancellor of the...

Failing to Keep Accurate Accounts is Like a Red Rag to the Tax Authorities

Failing to take professional advice and keep accurate accounts is like holding a red rag up to the HM Revenue and Customs bull. In a case on point, an international businessman who claimed to keep details of his income and expenditure 'in his brain' was...

High Court Assists Husband in Drawing a Line Under His Divorce

Litigation can be long and bitter, but it is the prime objective of the justice system to eventually bring it to a satisfactory end. In a case on point, the High Court came to the aid of a husband in drawing a line under his divorce . The case concerned a...

Judge upholds Will in dementia dispute

For a Will to be valid, the testator (the one making the Will) must be ‘of sound mind’ at the time of making and signing the Will. This means that they must be capable of understanding and approving of the contents and effects of the Will. With...

Field Owner Sees Off Neighbour's Squatters' Rights Claim

Landowners who neglect or fail to make use of their properties put themselves at risk of losing them to squatters. In a recent case on this subject, a woman faced a neighbour's claim that he was entitled to her field, having cut the grass for years. The...

Employee or Contractor? Broadcast Journalist Receives £400,000 Tax Bill

Establishing a company to act as an intermediary between yourself and the clients to whom you provide your services can have substantial tax advantages. As a case involving a broadcast journalist showed, however, such arrangements are pointless if the...

Divorce is Often Bitter, But Maintaining a Sense of Proportion is Crucial

Amidst the emotional and financial destruction that can arise from divorce, keeping a sense of proportion is crucial. The Court of Appeal made that point in lamenting a former couple's expenditure of more than £500,000 in legal costs fighting over an...

Is Your Will Out of Date? Execute a New One Before It's Too Late!

Allowing your will to become out of date stores up trouble for your loved ones. That was strikingly so in one case in which a successful businessman suffered a stroke before he could make a new will taking account of his changed financial and personal...

Court Steps In to Protect Security of 370,000 Pension Annuity Holders

Millions of people who invest their pension pots in annuities can ultimately rely on the law to guarantee their financial security. In a case on point, the High Court overruled financial regulators and refused to sanction the transfer of about 370,000...

Failing to Disclose Assets Can Bite Back in Divorce

In a case illustrating the importance of candour regarding financial circumstances in divorce proceedings, a husband who failed to disclose the true extent of his wealth to family judges was subsequently ordered to pay his ex-wife a seven-figure lump sum,...

Loyalty Bonuses Taxable, Rules Upper Tribunal

Investors using the popular online financial investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown (HL) may not have heard that the 'loyalty bonuses' they receive from HL have been deemed by the Upper Tribunal (UT) to be taxable income in the hands of the recipients and...

Couple Overcome 'One House' Restriction to Build New Home in Their Garden

New homes built in the grounds of existing residences make a valuable contribution to meeting burgeoning housing demand. However, as a decision of the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) showed , restrictions lurking in antique title deeds can stand in the way of...

If a Loved One's Will Does Not Meet Your Needs, Don't Delay in Seeking Advice

If a loved one upon whom you depend financially fails to make reasonable provision for you in his or her will, judges have the power to put that right. However, there are time limits that apply to such proceedings and that is why it is vital to consult a...

Family Judge Grasps Nettle in Sending Baby Boy to Live With His Father

Family judges are always absolutely focused on the welfare of children and will not shrink from grasping nettles to give them the best chance of leading fulfilled and happy lives. That was certainly so in one case in which a judge ordered that a baby boy be...

Vulnerable Witnesses Could Be Given Greater Protection in Civil Courts

Responses to a report from the Civil Justice Council (CJC) setting out proposed measures to better support and protect vulnerable witnesses and parties in civil proceedings are due to be considered following public consultation. The CJC wants to ensure 'a...

High Court Relieves Family of Consequences of Badly Drafted Trust Deed

Trust deeds can be an effective means of managing family wealth and minimising tax liabilities but, as a High Court decision strikingly showed , any mistakes in their drafting can have serious repercussions for generations to come. The case concerned a...

Facing a Tax Investigation? Don't Bury Your Head in the Sand!

If you are facing an investigation by the tax authorities, your very first step should be to seek professional advice. One taxpayer who sadly chose not to take that course, instead burying his head in the sand, narrowly escaped a six-figure back-tax bill. ...
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