You’ve worked hard all year, done all that preparation and packing and been looking forward to sunning yourself on a beach, a spot of sightseeing or even a more active holiday , so it’s extremely aggravating when that holiday does not live up to your expectations for one reason or another. Where a holiday has not lived up to the standards you anticipated because of a fault on the part of for example the travel company, airline or accommodation provider, it may be possible to claim not only for the cost of the holiday, but compensation for the loss of enjoyment. Continue reading ““The best-laid plans of mice and men oft(en) go astray…”” »
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights can occasionally be seen as giving rise to controversial discussions particularly once the basic tenets are interpreted and re-interpreted, especially with regard to unique circumstances. One such matter is the emotive debate considering the ‘right to die’ which regularly appears in the media today. It may surprise some to know that this is not a new or modern debate; views on the right of an individual to end their own life have been recorded from at least the classical era, and the views and reasoning expressed are not dissimilar to those of today.
Continue reading “The ‘right to die’ debate: an update on the legal position” »
A bucket list of 50 things to do before you die might include sky diving and swimming with dolphins but bearing in mind the above musings one of the items on the list should probably be making a Will. A Will is much more than a means of distributing your property when you’re gone especially if you have children. Even if you already have a Will you should make sure it is kept up to date, for example if you remarry then an existing Will is revoked. Continue reading ““We live we die and the wheels on the bus go round and round”” »
Summer is (finally!) here and it’s time to slip on your holiday shoes and get away from the rat race for a short time. Your bags are packed and the sunscreen’s on but when your feet set down at your perfect holiday destination your bags don’t!
Your airline has lost them and so begins the merry go round. You’ve waited patiently by the carousel for your luggage only to realise that it is not there, then you queue up to a desk to speak to a member of staff to report the loss. There may be forms to fill and you may have to ring them every day to see where they are and your perfect break is ruined. Continue reading “Lost Luggage – Your Rights” »
However in both instances you can do some forward planning by drawing up a Will and consulting an accountant. In a digital world though, a Will may not be enough to safeguard your treasured digital possessions. There are numerous legal, cultural, and technical issues that could prevent access to these records, and if you don’t take steps to make them available to your nearest and dearest, your digital legacy could be lost forever.
Currently, your personal representatives (executors appointed under your Will or administrators appointed by the court if you were to die intestate) have the legal authority to deal with your affairs. They are obliged amongst other things to collect in and protect any assets including any digital assets you may have, settling any debts and expenses and distributing in accordance with your Will or under the intestacy rules. Digital assets have value, sometimes sentimental, and sometimes an intrinsic monetary one, just like a boxful of jewellery.
Continue reading ““In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”” »
Family lawyers have been watching the case of Prest v. Prest with keen interest over the last five years but particularly this month when the Supreme Court was asked to intercede between Mrs Prest and Petrodel Resources Limited. This case was unusual, not just because it was a high profile big money case but because it was not the actual division of the marital assets which was in dispute but rather how it was to be paid and from whose assets.
The husband was a man of substantial means, estimated by the court to be in the region of £37.5 million although his wife suggested to the court that he was worth considerably more. On divorce the wife was awarded £17.5 million in addition to £24,000 per annum plus the children’s school fees. As Mr Prest was not co-operative the original judge, Moylan J, concluded that it was unlikely that he would comply with the courts decision, an order was made requiring that several different offshore companies transfer the properties into the ex wife’s name as part payment. This was based on the wife successfully arguing that the properties were in effect wholly owned and controlled by Mr Prest.
Continue reading “What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine… or is it?” »
Unfortunately even though a couple may have been living together for many years as husband and wife and perhaps even had children together, the law still treats co-habiting couples differently to married ones and no rights are acquired based on the length of the relationship. As such there is no express legislation that separating couples can refer to if their relationship breaks down; instead they have to rely upon a mixture of trust, property and contract law. Continue reading “Are property laws for unmarried couples unfair? The myth of the common law wife” »
Researchers at The University of Leicester published a paper on the association between sedentary time in adults and the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and death. They collected data from 18 individual studies and concluded there was a 112% increase in the relative risk of diabetes, a 147% increase in cardiovascular events and a 90% increase in the risk of cardiovascular mortality.
The risk seemed independent of how much activity you were doing outside the sedentary time. Even if an individual went to the gym for 1 hour, it’s what they did with the other 23 hours that seemed to count as well.
Continue reading “Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin…” »
The Legal Services Board (LSB) (which is responsible for overseeing the UK’s legal regulators and ensuring they act in consumers’ interests) recently concluded a two-year investigation including a series of mystery shopping exercises, which revealed nearly 10 per cent of Wills produced by unqualified will writers would fail to due to invalid execution as well as one-in-five Wills being full of mistakes. Those who used unregulated will writers have no possible redress at all. However, if people had used regulated solicitors they would have redress through compulsory professional insurance indemnity schemes and the Legal Ombudsman.
The Government and in particular the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Chris Grayling MP has chosen not to accept the recommendations by the LSB to regulate the industry under the terms of the Legal Services Act 2007.
LSB chair David Edmonds said ‘Naturally we are disappointed by the government’s decision. However, it is their decision alone to make and we will study the details and respond in due course’ he added ‘The LSB will work with MoJ officials, consumer groups, providers and other stakeholders to ensure that the issues are tackled and that consumers’ confidence in the market for will-writing services is increased.’
Continue reading “Consumers to remain at risk from non-regulated will writers – Caveat Emptor!” »
Most people know what a Will is. They also know that at some point in their lives they will need to make one, but many put it off in the belief that it is something they can deal with later on in life. However, there are several points during a lifetime when a Will should seriously be considered. Below we provide a list of these life-stages and explain why getting a Will is so important.
Getting married or entering a civil partnership:
Perhaps the last thing on most newly-weds’ minds is getting a Will, but what many people are unaware of is the fact that when you get married, any Will you had before you got married will usually become invalid. This means if you died after your marriage or civil partnership before making a new Will, you would be deemed to have died ‘intestate’. Dying intestate means the State decides how your estate (belongings, property and money) is distributed, regardless of your or your spouse’s wishes. Getting a ‘Will for a married person/civil partner’ or a ‘mirror Will’ is easy to do and lets you and your spouse specify exactly how you want your assets to be distributed amongst your family.
Continue reading “Making a Will: when and why should you do it” »