How to choose an executor to administer your estate when you die

By | Legal Updates, Probate and Trusts, Wills | No Comments

When making your will you need to appoint at least one executor who will be responsible for the important task of dealing with your estate on your death.  Deciding who to appoint is one of the most important decisions you will ever have to make so you need to consider your options carefully.  James Sawers, wills, probate  and trusts lawyer with MacDonald Oates LLP Solicitors in Midhurst, explains what you need to think about. ‘Administering an estate can be a…

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Beware B&B

By | Legal Updates, Litigation | No Comments

The recent case of Bermondsey Exchange Freeholders Ltd v Koumetto (unreported) in the Central London County Court  serves as a useful reminder of the potential risks of certain leasehold properties being listed on Airbnb and other similar sites. In this particular case the Court decided that a long leaseholder had breached the terms of his 999-year lease by underletting his flat for holiday lets via online sites such as Airbnb and granted an injunction preventing him from doing so.  The…

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Disability discrimination: knowledge of the employer

By | Employment, Legal Updates | No Comments

Treating someone less favourably because of their disability is prohibited under the Equality Act 2010. Under the Equality Act “discrimination arising from disability” occurs where both: A treats B unfavourably because of something arising in consequence of B’s disability. A cannot show that the treatment is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. With this type of disability discrimination claim, it will not succeed if the employer had no knowledge of the disability itself. As to what the consequences…

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Show a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T for your loved ones by making a Will.

By | Legal Updates, Wills | No Comments

You may have seen in the press recently that Aretha Franklin died without leaving a Will.  One can only speculate as to the problems this may cause for those she leaves behind as they seek to distribute her estate, estimated to be in the region of £60 million. Her lawyer has commented that “She never told me, “No, I don’t want to do one.  She understood the need.  It just didn’t seem to be something she got around to”. It…

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Philosophical belief under the Equality Act

By | Employment, Legal Updates | No Comments

Under the Equality Act it is unlawful to discriminate, harass or victimise workers or job applicants on the grounds of their religion, religious belief or philosophical belief. “Religion or belief” is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act, just like for example age or race, and is defined as follows: “Religion” means any religion, and a reference to religion includes a reference to a lack of religion. “Belief” means any religious or philosophical belief and a reference to belief includes…

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Got a new employee and need a contract of employment? Use our Starter Pack

By | Announcements, Employment | No Comments

Our Starter Pack is ideal if you are employing your first employee or you want to update your contracts of employment. The pack gives you the basic HR and legal documentation you will need for employing your first employee and all at a fixed reasonable price. You will have the following precedents: a junior employment contract disciplinary procedure grievance procedure health & safety policy It is important to have a contract of employment in place to ensure both parties expectations…

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Has Japanese knotweed from neighbouring land spread to your property?  If so, you could be entitled to compensation

By | Legal Updates, Litigation | No Comments

Japanese knotweed is a fast-growing, invasive plant that spreads easily and requires careful management to control.  The root of the plant can cause significant property damage if it takes hold and can be difficult to eradicate.  If your home is affected by Japanese knotweed it can be harder to sell or remortgage and any plans you had to develop your property may have to be shelved if the presence of the plant means they are no longer financially viable. Where…

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Can you be forced to remain married when you want to be divorced?

By | family | No Comments

By Tim Melville-Walker  – Head of Family Department The Supreme Court has just decided the case of Mr and Mrs Owens – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hereford-worcester-44949856 and press reports are suggesting that means you can be forced to remain married. However that is not actually what the court said and the official press summary is http://www.familylawweek.co.uk/site.aspx?i=ed191133 and reads rather differently. The short answer really is “no”: nobody can force you to remain married or in a civil partnership if you do not wish…

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End of “Meal Tickets for Life” in Divorce

By | family, Legal Updates | No Comments

The press are very much focusing upon the “meal ticket” headline but the case of Mills -v- Mills does show that a party paying maintenance (often the husband) is not expected to compensate for poor financial decisions by the recipient. In this case the ex-wife got herself into significant financial difficulty, and 13 years after the original Order, applied to increase the maintenance to pay her rent, having lost the £230,000 she was awarded to buy a house. The case…

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Inheritance Tax & Your Home – Could you be paying too much?

By | Legal Updates, Probate and Trusts, Will and probate team, Wills | No Comments

In 2017 new rules were introduced to allow home owners to a claim an additional allowance to reduce their Inheritance Tax (or IHT) liability.  This news came as a welcome relief to many homeowners wishing to pass their most prized asset to their loved ones. “Claiming this allowance may not be straightforward” says Ben Holden Associate Solicitor of MacDonald Oates Wills, Probate & Trusts Team “many people may losing out by failing to meet the various conditions set by law”….

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