Services
People
News and Events
Other
Blogs

The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law Firms  The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law Firms 

Lisa Cox
 

COVID-19: the first Court of Protection trial via Skype

  • Posted

Last week the Court of Protection set a precedent conducting the first all-Skype trial in response to the outbreak of Coronavirus. If successful this could be a model for how the Court of Protection could continue to operate through this global health...

Who manages someone's affairs when a person goes missing?

  • Posted

In July last year, the Guardianship (Missing Persons) Act 2017 finally came into force. This act has been long-awaited for families with missing loved ones. Birkett Long represented the claimant in the first claim of this kind in the Chancery Division of...

Compensation Orders against banned directors

  • Posted

In the first case of its kind, a director of a limited company has been ordered to pay compensation of over £500,000 to creditors of that company who suffered loss due to his conduct. Such conduct has already resulted in a disqualification order being...

The new Guardian (Missing Persons) Act

  • Posted

Last year I wrote that the Guardian (Missing Persons) Act 2017 would hopefully come into force by the end of July this year. Thankfully, that hope has just become a reality as the Act comes into force today. The Act will enable the court to appoint a...

Making a will: take advice before a river becomes an ocean!

  • Posted

I was saddened to read last month that there is doubt as to whether George Michael had sufficient capacity to make his last will. He made the will in 2013, and it has been called into question on the basis of his possible consumption of drugs and alcohol....

What happens to your online accounts after you die?

  • Posted

In May, Rachel Thompson was victorious in her legal battle with Apple. The process was costly and lasted three years. Mrs Thompson requested access to her late husband’s Apple account that contained 4,500 photos and 900 videos. Apple refused Mrs...

Finn's Law receives Royal Assent

  • Posted

Last month I was overjoyed to learn the news that Finn’s Law has received Royal Assent and will soon come into force. The new law, formally known as the Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Act 2019, means that causing unnecessary suffering to a service...

Pets in wills: A dog is for life - and after!

  • Posted

We’ve all heard the famous slogan “a dog is for life, not just for Christmas” but what happens if your dog’s life is longer than yours? Pets are undeniably considered a member of their owner’s family, with recent reports...

Why it is important to have a will - even in your twenties

  • Posted

I have to admit that until recently I haven’t considered making a will for another 10 to 15 years, which is why I wasn’t surprised to read that according to Prosperitas Financial Solutions, 87% of under 35s do not have a will in place. When...

Women in law: Inspired by Brockovich

  • Posted

My career in law formally started when I joined Birkett Long in 2016 in the Court of Protection and Inheritance Disputes team. However, if you ask my mum, she would tell you that it started the day I watched the film about Erin Brockovich. Like many young...

The new Guardian (Missing Persons) Act 2017

  • Posted

Approximately 250,000 people go missing each year in England and Wales. Around 1% of those are missing for over a year. In this time, the person’s assets may dissipate, their property may fall into disrepair and any dependents of the missing person...

Leasehold scandal... Leasehold V Freehold

  • Posted

The “leasehold scandal” continues, as the BBC reported recently that, according to a new survey, almost half the people who bought a leasehold house in the past decade did not know what they were signing up to, and 62% of respondents feel they...

Attorneys and deputies should be aware

  • Posted

You can appoint attorneys to manage your property and financial affairs if you lose capacity, or to assist you whilst you have capacity. When making a Lasting Power of Attorney you are referred to as the donor and, typically, it would be family member or...

Will disputes: Mind your manners!

  • Posted

The late wife of Lord Lucan left her entire £575,626 estate to the homeless charity Shelter, leaving nothing to her three children whom she had not spoken to for more than 35 years. Lady Lucan went so far as to explicitly exclude the children,...

Will forgery

  • Posted

Paul Coppola of Edinburgh, Scotland was sentenced to two years in prison for forging the will of his late cousin, Desiderio Coppola, days before his death in 2011. Desiderio Coppola made a will in 2010 leaving specific gifts to family and...

Challenging a will - the weird and wonderful world of wills

  • Posted

In order for a will to be valid, it must comply with the formalities laid out under s.9 of the Wills Act 1837. These conditions include that it must be in writing, signed by the testator or on their behalf in their presence by their direction, it must appear...

Mirror, mirror on the wall, not so clear after all!

  • Posted

Mirror wills, quite simply, are two separate wills which reflect each other’s terms. However, each person remains free to change their will without recourse to the other. Commonly, a couple making mirror wills would leave everything to each other and,...

Should you make or defend a claim against an estate?

  • Posted

This morning the head of our private client department at Birkett Long, Claire Read, spoke on BBC Essex radio about inheritance issues that can arise due to second marriages. Claire was joined on the show by Mr Herd, who recently lost his...

Dealing with the body of a deceased loved one

  • Posted

It is not uncommon for disputes to arise between families when someone passes away. These disputes can be over inheritance, what happens to certain items and even the burial and funeral. Often people leave instructions in their will regarding their...

Gordon Ramsay and his inheritance

  • Posted

Anyone who has watched one of Gordon Ramsay’s popular television shows knows that the famous chef does not shy away from speaking his mind. The tabloids buzzed yesterday when he confirmed in an interview with the Telegraph that his four children will...

What happens with a will when a loved one loses capacity?

  • Posted

The last thing you may want to think about when a loved one loses capacity is what will happen to their estate when they die. However, once a person loses mental capacity, this often goes hand in hand with a loss of testamentary capacity, which means that...

Emmerdale reminds us of dementia sufferers this Christmas

  • Posted

Last night’s special episode of Emmerdale showed us the world through the eyes of a dementia sufferer. Since the start of the year viewers have witnessed the heart-breaking decline in capacity of former Vicar Ashley, after being diagnosed with...

Dementia leading cause of death across England and Wales

  • Posted

According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics, dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease) is now the leading cause of death in England and Wales. Last year 11.6% of recorded deaths were caused by the disease and the...

Fifth Beatle inheritance dispute

  • Posted

The dispute over the will of the late Sir George Martin dubbed the “Fifth Beatle” reignited in the press on Wednesday following his daughter’s comments on breakfast show “This Morning”. Alexis Stratford branded her late...

Complicated second marriages

  • Posted

The late magician, Paul Daniels, appeared in the headlines again this week as his widow Debbie McGee was branded “a jumped-up dancer with no talent” and a “witch” by his son. Mr Daniels, who tragically passed away less than a...

Grown-up children should "look after themselves"

  • Posted

The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 hit the headlines again last week as Judge David Halpern QC in his judgement told Danielle Ames to “get a job” and ordered her to pay £35,000 in legal costs to her...

A double edged sword

  • Posted

As the controversial Ilot v Mitson goes to the Supreme Court, another adult child claim under The Inheritance (Provision for Families and Dependants) Act 1975 has hit the headlines. Danielle Ames is asking a judge to overturn her...

Court of Protection orders increase

  • Posted

We currently live in a time of an aging population, with Age UK recently estimating that the number of people over the age of 60 will surpass 20 million by 2030. Sadly with old age comes new health problems, especially with mental capacity. Rarely a day goes...