Making a Will? Appointing a Professional Executor Can Save Strife and Money

28th January, 2021 By

The trouble with appointing loved ones as executors of your will is that they are likely to be grief-stricken and there can be no guarantee that they will get on. A High Court decision showed that appointing a professional to perform the task is often the best way to save money and preserve harmony. The case concerned a businessman who sadly died at a young age. He had assets worth about £920,000, principally made up of three properties and his shares in a company he ran with his life partner....

Capital Gains Tax – Couple Triumph in 'Principal Private Residence' Appeal

25th January, 2021 By

Home is where the heart is and the question of whether a property is your principal private residence for Capital Gains Tax (CGT) purposes depends, at least in part, on your intentions. An instructive case on point concerned a couple who made a house their home for only a few weeks before moving out again. For a year after buying the house, the couple lived in rented accommodation whilst substantial renovation works were carried out. Whilst working in the property's front garden, the man was approached by a stranger who...

Emergency COVID-19 Legislation – Judges Crack the Democratic Whip

20th January, 2021 By

Wide-ranging legislative changes that would normally require months, even years, of consultation were rushed through in a matter of days in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. A Court of Appeal ruling in a landmark case concerning emergency changes to the children's social care system revealed the critical role judges play in ensuring that democratic principles are observed. In the days prior to lockdown, the Government proposed sweeping changes to the system which were, at breakneck speed, enshrined in the Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020. They introduced numerous amendments...

Clubbing Together with a Friend to Buy a Home? See a Lawyer First

14th January, 2021 By

It makes sense for friends to club together so that they can buy properties they would be unable to afford by themselves. However, a cautionary High Court ruling showed that such arrangements are only wise if lawyers are consulted so that all concerned know exactly where they stand from the outset. The case concerned two work colleagues, one of whom had £50,000 to put towards the purchase of a home of her own. Her credit rating was, however, too poor for her to obtain a mortgage. She had discussions with...