Latest Legal News

LPA - Bank Practice

A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a document that may be used so that the finances or other issues of a person who cannot deal with them themselves may be attended to by a trusted third party – normally a solicitor or a family member. When an LPA...

Raising Cash on the Security of Your Home? Always See a Lawyer First

Many vulnerable people who fall into debt are tempted to raise cash on the security of their homes. However, a case in which an elderly couple came within an ace of losing the roof over their heads stands as a warning to all that such arrangements should...

No Going Back on Gift Freely Made

A recent case decided by the Scottish Courts shows the wisdom of not making irrevocable decisions that you may later come to regret. It involved a woman who gifted her house to her daughter and son-in-law, retaining a tenancy for life over the property....

Mental Capacity - Court of Protection Authorises Non-Consensual Caesarean Birth

Where people lack the mental capacity to make important decisions for themselves, judges will step in to ensure that their best interests are served, as was demonstrated by an unusual case in which the Court of Protection (CoP) authorised the planned...

Stamp Duty Land Tax Dodge Backfires

When a couple wished to avoid paying Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on the purchase of a property, they hit on what looked to them like a great idea. Instead of buying the property outright, they paid for it in two stages…a deposit, plus the purchase of...

Widow Pays for Delay in Seeking Provision From Her Husband's Estate

If you feel that you have suffered a wrong of any kind, a delay in taking legal action can put paid to your chances of obtaining justice. A widow who was left nothing in her deceased husband's will found that out to her cost when her hopes of obtaining...

Don't Even Think About Doing a Property Deal Without Legal Advice

Property purchases are, for the majority of people, the highest-value deals they ever enter into and that is why they should never be undertaken in haste or without expert legal advice. A case in which an amateurish, home-made agreement led to years of...

Pension Scheme That Failed to Consider Wife's Claim Called to Account

It is usual for occupational pension schemes to allow the spouse or partner of a scheme member to receive a reduced pension in the event that the member predeceases them. Normally, the appropriate beneficiary is set out in the scheme rules. With defined...

Estate and Dependants Receive Damages for Fatal Crash

When there is a fatal accident involving a person with dependants, a claim for compensation may be able to be made not only by the estate of the deceased person but also by their dependants, whether children or adults. In a recent case , the estate and...

Restrictive Covenants Can Go Undetected - Use an Expert Conveyancer!

Covenants that restrict the use to which properties can be put lurk undetected within many title deeds and can have a dramatic impact on a property's value. That was certainly so in the case of one unfortunate couple who said that tight restrictions applying...

Informal Agreement Leads Family to Court of Appeal

Disputes within families are very common indeed and one of the issues the courts see over and over again is where there is a family 'understanding' that ends in a disagreement. In a recent case , the result of one such dispute is that an 82-year-old woman...

Tax Investigations - Judge Authorises Disclosure of Credit Card Bills

To what extent are the tax authorities entitled to delve into what would otherwise be your private financial information? The High Court tackled that issue in authorising disclosure of a wealthy businessman's credit card statements to HM Revenue and...

Be Careful What You Post

Although the final result was not financial ruin for the defendant, a recent case illustrates how unwise it is to vent one's spleen on social media. It involved a firm of solicitors that had been involved in the sale of 'off plan' properties in Cyprus. This...

Wealthy Online Investor in Bitcoin Futures a 'Consumer'

Can someone who trades in cryptocurrency futures or other sophisticated products via an online platform be viewed as a consumer? In a crucial decision for the investment sector, the High Court has answered that question in the affirmative . The case...

Instruction Sufficient to Allow Third Party Reliance on Arrangements

The purchase of properties abroad is a process that can be replete with disputes and financial losses for the unwary or unadvised. Whilst some foreign countries have presented few issues, others have had more chequered histories. Recently, investors went...

LPA Error Means Court Appearance

It is normally essential when creating a legal document to get the procedures right, and failure to do so can cause unnecessary complications. A recent case dealt with the problem of what happens if a person creates a document that contains an error but...

Breach of Trust Brings Jail for Fraudulent Trustee

Yet another sad case reported recently shows the wisdom of appointing only those who are absolutely trustworthy and/or insured professionals as trustees over your assets. The court heard how a trustee appointed to safeguard the assets of a 17-year-old boy...

Tree Felling Without Permission Proves Expensive

Ignoring tree preservation orders can prove to be a very expensive mistake and if your property has a protected tree on it, you should make sure any order is understood and followed and any necessary permissions obtained. Felling a protected tree without...

CGT Loss Occurs When Payment Made, Not Before

When a personal guarantee has to be given in order to give a lender the security it needs, the guarantor hopes that the guarantee will never be called in. However, when it is, the loss suffered by the guarantor will normally qualify as a loss for Capital...

Rules are Rules

A recent case should serve as a reminder that rules are rules and 'close enough' often isn't! The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 states that 'the enlargement, improvement or other alteration of a dwelling...

Court Allows Trust Error to Be Corrected

Mistakes do happen, and in some circumstances they can be rectified by the courts. In a recent case, the wife of a man who died in 2015 went to court after a mistake in dealing with a trust created under his will left a substantial potential Inheritance Tax...

Half of Estate Value Goes in Fees When Will Lost and Family in Dispute

When a person is appointed executor of an estate, they are given a reasonable period to progress the estate administration but cannot procrastinate without adverse consequences being likely. When a woman died intestate in 2012, she left behind a house and...

Motor Insurers Not Liable for £2 Million Fire Damage

The law requires that the driver of any vehicle has a valid insurance policy that covers injury or damage to third parties caused by or arising out of the use of the vehicle on a road or in a public place. The Supreme Court has given authoritative guidance...

Failure to Challenge Repaving Results in Loss of Title

Failing to take active steps to protect your land from use by another can produce unfortunate effects, as a couple from York discovered recently. The couple own a bungalow which has a front driveway adjacent to that of the next-door bungalow – a...

Just Because You Agree Doesn't Mean the Court Will

It is common in legal disputes for the two sides to agree to suspend the court proceedings for a period so that they can get as much agreed between them as possible, and gather their evidence and prepare their arguments over what remains in dispute without...