Legacies and Entitlement to Means-Tested Benefits – High Court Ruling

12th January, 2021 By

When making a will, most people would wish to provide for loved ones in need. As a High Court case showed, however, means testing of many state benefits creates a very real risk of such good intentions coming to nought and that is one very good reason why professional will drafting is so important. The case concerned a woman aged 21 with autism and learning disabilities, who was left about £170,000 in her grandfather's will, subject to her attaining the age of 25. On her receipt of that capital sum,...

Parents Who Simply Cannot Cope Don't Deserve Condemnation

8th January, 2021 By

Through no fault of their own, some parents are simply incapable of providing the care and stability that all children need whilst growing up. As one case showed, however, the approach of family judges is not to condemn but to seek solutions that enable children to continue living in the bosom of their families. The case concerned two children, aged four and five, whose mother suffered mental health difficulties, in part due to her own unhappy childhood. Unable to cope, she tended to smack and shout at them. They suffered...

High Court Acts to Free Mentally Ill Woman from Corrosive Relationship

6th January, 2021 By

Family lawyers work hand in hand with local authorities and medical professionals to protect vulnerable people from the controlling and coercive behaviour of others. In a striking case on point, the High Court authorised effective steps to be taken to free a mentally ill woman from the bonds of a cruel and corrosive relationship. The 60-year-old woman, who suffers from bipolar affective disorder, was in a parlous and emaciated state when she was detained in hospital under the Mental Health Act 1983. Inquiries established that she had been living with...

Couple Overturn Capital Gains Tax Demands Raised on Sale of Their Home

4th January, 2021 By

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are big battalions by anyone's standards, but their word is not law and, with expert legal assistance, they can sometimes be proved wrong. In one case, a couple succeeded in overturning six-figure Capital Gains Tax (CGT) demands raised against them following the sale of their home to a developer. The couple reluctantly sold their substantial home when faced with the prospect of new houses being built all around them. On the basis that the property was their principal private residence (PPR) and thus exempt from...