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12 July 2018

In a recent High Court case, Rakesh Gupta claimed that his late mother’s Will, which favoured his younger brother, Naresh, was invalid due to lack of knowledge and approval. The Court found in favour of Naresh on the basis that, when considering the facts of the case, no suspicious activity had surrounded the creation or approval of the Will.

Their parents had handed over their successful business Rakesh in the 1990s, having purchased a house in which they lived with Naresh and his young family.

Their parents had ‘mirror’ Wills drawn up in 1998. Both Rakesh and Naresh were named as executors but the terms of the Wills favoured Naresh – the family home and a significant cash sum was left to him. Aside from small legacies left to their grandchildren, the rest of Mr and Mrs Gupta’s estate was to be equally divided between their two sons.

10 July 2018

England World Cup TeamWith England one game away from the World Cup Final, the country is overjoyed at the success England have had so far.

According to a survey conducted by Viking-Direct, 46% of England fans say they would call in sick on the Monday if England win the World Cup on Sunday.  How can employers minimise the number of unauthorised absences during the day of the Final, and the day afterwards?

Both Lidl and Aldi have pledged to close all their stores in England at 3pm on Sunday should England be in the final. The early closure will allow their employees to watch the game without having to call in sick or take a day’s holiday.

03 July 2018

The recent hot weather and hours of sunshine are welcomed by most, but for those who have to work during the heatwave, it is not such a welcome presence.

But what are your working rights as an employee during extremely hot weather? Can you legally walk out of the office if the mercury hits a certain temperature?

Working environment temperatures are regulated by the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, but while there is guidance, there is no maximum (or minimum) temperature at which employees can legally stop working and leave the office for the day. Employers must adhere to the current Health and Safety at Work law and make sure that they keep the working environment temperature at a comfortable level and provide clean and fresh air.

02 July 2018

Q: My ex-partner has told me that she and her new partner intend to move to New Zealand with our three children. Her partner has been offered a job there, and she sees it as an “opportunity of a lifetime". I would like the children to remain here. This is the only country they’ve lived in; they are settled here, doing well in school, enjoy lots of activities and friends, and all their extended family live here.  My ex has said that she is taking them and I can’t stop her. What can I do?

A: This is understandably a worrying time for you. You don’t say if there is already a Child Arrangements Order in place or not, or what the current arrangements for the children are. From what you have said, the children sound very settled where they are, and their entire lives are centred on the area where they live.

For a parent to move a child abroad to live, they would require the agreement of all those with Parental Responsibility (which is usually just the other parent), or they would need to obtain leave (permission) from the Family Court.

This means that if you don’t agree to your wife taking your children abroad, she will need to apply to the Family Court for a Specific issue Order, requesting leave to take the children to New Zealand. This application is commonly known as "Leave to Remove". Alternatively, you could apply for a Prohibited Steps Order that would stop your ex taking your children out of the UK – it won’t prevent her freedom of movement, so she would still be free to move to New Zealand, but not with the children.

25 June 2018

Having a Will means it will be simpler for your chosen executors to administer your estate after your death and in line with your specific wishes.

If you die without a will, your estate will be distributed in line with the Rules of Intestacy, rather than how you may have wished to have it distributed.

A well-drafted Will by a Wills solicitor can reduce the amount of Inheritance Tax (IHT) your estate may incur, for example by taking advantage of the nil-rate band transfer, charitable, agricultural or business property relief. Some professions are exempt from paying IHT, such as firefighters, members of the Armed Forces and Police officers; a specialist solicitor will be able to advise you on this and draft your Will accordingly.

If you have children and need to appoint a guardian, or if you want to leave specific items or pecuniary gifts to particular people, then a Will is especially important to make clear your wishes.

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