Longridge: 01772 783 314 | Garstang: 01995 602 129 | Lancaster: 01524 581 306 
Longridge: 01772 783 314 
Garstang: 01995 602 129 
Lancaster: 01524 581 306 

Posts tagged “Wills and Probate”

Libel and slander are forms of defamation in English law.  
Libel is the publication of a defamatory statement in permanent form (for example, in an email, tweet, text, online review, Facebook posting or news article).  
Slander is concerned with the spoken word, conduct or other non-permanent expression. 
A statement will be defamatory in English law if it is:- 
(a) published to a person other than the victim,  
(b) identifies the victim and  
(c) lowers the reputation of the victim in the estimation of right-thinking members of society.  
Solicitors who deal with personal injury note that Libel is actionable ‘on the face of it’ which means that so long as you can prove you have been defamed, you will automatically be able to claim at least nominal damages for injury to your feelings and distress caused by the libellous statement. However, due to changes brought about by the Defamation Act 2013, in order to establish a cause of action for defamation, you (as the victim) have to be able to prove on balance of probabilities that the publication has caused or is likely to cause serious harm to your reputation. 
When our team of Probate solicitors in Preston ask our clients if they want the short answer or the longer answer to their questions, we get a mixed response. So, for those who want to read the first line then gloss over the rest, the short answer is: no, you don’t have to leave your estate to your family. At the end of the day, you should be able to leave money to whoever you want to leave it to. 
However, for those of you who want the long answer, here goes… 
As our Probate Solicitors in Preston have explained, you do not have to leave everything to family. However, people who chose not to, may leave themselves open to a claim by their spouse, or partner, or relatives. 
In a recent case, a taxi passenger, who found it hard to find a taxi driver willing to drive him to his favourite place – local pubs – left his entire estate, including his home worth £160,000.00, to the only driver who was willing. 
Usually, when our team of solicitors in Preston assists with your application for a grant of probate, we will advise you that it can take a number of weeks to receive the grant back once the application has been submitted. 
However, if you’ve been unlucky enough to submit an application in recent months, you may be aware that the current wait on applications seems to be around 12 weeks, although at this stage the timescale is only an estimate. 
The Law Society Gazette explains that applications for probate saw an increase in March of this year (by a massive 22%), due to the Probate Registry’s announcement that they would be increasing fees on a tiered system, which you can read about on our blog, here. 
On top of the increased number of applications, the Registries also had to deal with a rollout of a new software, which malfunctioned, causing problems for four days for staff. 
Where there’s a Will, there’s a way! At your local solicitors for Wills, we are familiar with advising clients who find themselves in the midst of a separation or divorce on the best way to ensure that their ex-spouse does not benefit from their estate. Sometimes, a Will itself is not enough, and it can be prudent to include a bit more information for your executors so that, if necessary, the Court can see your intentions behind your final wishes. 
However, for one Surrey man, Mr Hendry, this was not necessary. Following the breakdown of their relationship, Mrs Hendry filed for a divorce in November 2016, however these proceedings were brought to an end when Mr Hendry died in February the following year. 
If you have a good relationship with your parents, you might hope that they would leave you an equal share of their estate. However, for some, this isn’t a reality and, for whatever reason, they get left either a higher share or a lower share of their parent’s estate. 
As every Personal Injury Law specialist knows the Mental Capacity Act 2005 sets out five principles to help protect Clients who may struggle to make decisions: 
A person must be assumed to have capacity unless it is established that he or she lacks capacity 
A person is not to be treated as unable to make a decision unless all practicable steps to help him or her to do so have been taken without success 
A person is not to be treated as unable to make a decision merely because he or she makes an unwise decision 
An action taken or decision made under this Act for, or on behalf of, a person who lacks capacity must be in his or her best interests 
Before an action is taken or a decision made, regard must be had as to whether the purpose for which it is needed can be as effectively achieved in a way that is less restrictive of the person’s rights and freedom of action 
It’s an odd expression, which you most-likely will have never heard in your day-to-day life, however the Cab Rank Rule applies to barristers, and is a professional obligation to accept instructions from every client, regardless of their personal opinion of the client, or their views of the case that they would be dealing with. According to the Bar Standards Board, it originates from the principles instilled in Cab drivers – no Licensed Hackney Carriage driver can refuse to carry a passenger, save from some limited exceptions. 
It’s always nice to get good feedback from a happy client, so with our expert team of Solicitors in Garstang, Solicitors in Longridge and Solicitors in Lancaster receiving more and more nice reviews and thank you gifts, we thought that we would share our successes. 
Whilst some law firms like to put their trainees in one department for a set period of time and then move them to the next department for a set period of time, here at MG Legal we find it works better to combine seats so that you do not forget the processes and information you have learnt. 
My days are often long but they are most certainly never the same! Whilst Conveyancing can sometimes be somewhat transactional, and Family Law more emotional, it is often found that some Conveyancing transactions become frustrating: when there is a chain, affecting your client’s property transaction, and you have no control over Mrs Smith’s property sale, that is three houses down the chain to your client’s purchase, as a property solicitor who liked to be in control of literally everything, then, well, you start to understand the situation!  
On the other hand, Family matters are dealt with in an almost business-like manner, in cases where couples have remained quite amicable and both know what they want the outcome to be. Currently, I spend my Mondays and Thursdays within the Family Department, and the remainder of the week with the Conveyancing Department; however, these days will often be swapped if there is a Family matter in Court. 
When your loved one passes away, there can be so many services that you have to cancel: the TV services, their gas or electric, their mobile ‘phone – the list goes on and on. A common thing that people do not think they need to cancel is their families’ Lasting Power of Attorney documents. 
But, how do you cancel the documents? Can you get a refund? 


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