Legal articles

Court deadlines – if you file a defence late you can still avoid judgment being entered in default

Professional negligence claims against solicitors often involve missed Court deadlines. The courts used to be fairly sympathetic to litigants who could give good reasons for any lapse, but a significant change took place in 2014. Alongside new costs rules the Courts suddenly became much more rigid in their requirement for the Court’s Rules to be complied with.

Wills and simultaneous deaths

John and Anne Scarle died at home from hypothermia in October 2016 but were not found until worried neighbours telephoned the police. Mr and Mrs Scarle both had children from previous relationships who sought to argue that they were respectively entitled to receive the estate.

Keeping it in the Family: Pre-Nuptial Agreements and Farming Families

Despite a recent case where a pre-nuptial agreement was not taken into account when considering the final financial award, pre-nuptial agreements continue to serve a very useful purpose for many families. For farming businesses in particular, these agreements, despite not being legally binding, can provide greater certainty about maintaining the integrity of the farm in the event of divorce. However, although judges will give them weight when determining financial settlements, they must have been drafted and signed correctly otherwise they will not hold water.

Are powers of attorney under attack again?

Powers of Attorney (PoA) (particularly Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs)) are, once again, receiving bad publicity in the press. Previously criticised in 2017 for being too open to abuse by a former Court of Protection Judge, Denzil Lush, LPAs have come in for further criticism in a recent report by the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute (MMHPI). MMHPI was established by Martin Lewis in 2016.
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