If you’ve made your Will, the chances are that you thought about your precious personal possessions, and set out what should happen to them on your death. But what about your virtual life such as your photos, emails, music downloads and the content stored in your social media accounts? With more and more people regularly using services like online banking, PayPal, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and YouTube, it’s becoming increasingly important to consider what happens to these too.
The divorce process has terms and phrases that can be unfamiliar, and a ‘clean break’ can be one of them. Put simply, this is a break between the parties in a divorce and means that from then on, neither party has any continuing financial claim on the other. Whilst getting a divorce ends the contract of marriage, it does not sort out the financial aspects of the relationship. In order to settle the couple’s finances, there needs to be a formal agreement, known as a Financial Remedy Order, in place.
It’s quite common for couples each to appoint their partner as their attorney under a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) for property and financial affairs. Although it’s obviously a very sensible move to put an LPA in place when people still have the necessary mental capacity to do so, there can be issues for husbands and wives and civil partners when it comes to operating under the powers contained in an LPA and disposing of jointly-owned property.
Buying your first home can be both an exciting and nerve-racking experience. The exciting part is having a front door and space to call your own; the nerve-racking bit can be finding somewhere you can afford, saving enough for the deposit, and getting a mortgage deal in place. The good news is that since the November 2017 Budget, first-time buyers no longer pay stamp duty on properties bought for less than £300,000.
With as many as 42% of all marriages in the UK ending in divorce, the break-up can be a traumatic time for all concerned. It brings with it the need to make financial arrangements that can have ramifications for both parties years after the settlement is made.
We are thrilled to have been awarded the Lawyer International Legal 100 Award for ‘Law Firm of the Year, Trust and Estate’ for the second year running.
Following changes introduced by the Government to registration fees charged by the Office of the Public Guardian, from 1st February 2018 refunds are being offered to those who may have been charged more than was necessary to apply to register a Lasting or Enduring Power of Attorney between 1st April 2013 and 31st March 2017.
Tony Brownlie, Solicitor within our Wills, Trusts and Probate department will tackle the London Marathon this April, in aid of Cardiomyopathy UK. For many who participate in the London Marathon, the charity they represent means a great deal to them, due to personal experiences and a passion for the cause – this too is the case for Tony.
This year, we are proud to announce that 11 of our staff have reached milestone anniversaries which, when combined, total a staggering 125 years of service with our firm.
We are delighted to have Michelle Nicoll back within our Conveyancing Department for the start of an optimistic 2018.
Michelle is now back working within our Loughton office and is looking forward to building her own client base in the desirable Essex town.