Latest News

Court Visit Required to Give Clarity to Will

Many wills contain clauses which alter the distribution of assets in the event of changing...

UK Fairness Test Mitigates Italian Pre-Nuptial Agreement

The law relating to the division of family assets on divorce varies widely across the world and...

Agriculture & Estates Solicitor promoted to Associate

Katie Gibson-Green, a member of the Agriculture & Estates team at Essex law firm Birkett Long,...

Transfer of Pension Fund Does Not Escape IHT Charge

Inheritance Tax (IHT) is not only payable on the value of the estate of a deceased person, but can...

Hedge Cutting Proves Costly

You might think that where the boundaries of property lie should be clear, but boundary disputes...

Wronged by a State Authority?

It is a mark of a civilised society that anyone who suffers a wrong at the hands of state...

Misled Mother to Lose Home

It may sound overcautious to say so, but it is always worth taking legal advice before entering...

CGT Net Tightens for Homeowners

The recent Budget contained an announcement that will be unwelcome news for some property owners. ...

Probate Charges to be Increased for Larger Estates

Proposals to link the cost of being granted probate over an estate valued at more than...

Leasehold Reform Consultation Ends

The leasehold system in the UK has been crying out for reform for years, and the Government has...

If HMRC Don't Get it Right

You may be forgiven for thinking that the authorities always follow proper procedures, but that is...

Lack of Will Leads to Family Dispute in Court

When a man's first wife died, he inherited her share of the property they had owned jointly. At...

The Sky Above and the Earth Below

A recent case may raise alarm bells for anyone thinking about adding a basement to a property...

Ombudsman Acts Against Slipshod Council

When people need to go into care, the local councils that end up supporting the care costs are...

Vaccinations Protect Child's Welfare

There has been a massive amount of disinformation put about over the years (and, apparently,...

Leaving Your ISA to Your Family

Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) have many advantages over normal savings accounts –...

Capital and Income Losses Mean Different Things for Tax

When an investment is made in a capital asset that subsequently becomes valueless, the loss can...

Keep Your Records Safe

The High Court of Justice is a very expensive place to resolve a family dispute, as is evidenced...

Credibility of Witness Defeats Adverse Possession Claim

The law allows people who occupy land over a long period and use it as their own, without anyone...

Lasting powers of attorney

What can I do if I am not able to manage my affairs? You may be worried about what happens to...

Moving into care and your property

Moving into care can sometimes mean selling your home. We can help you through every stage of the...

Don't Be Caught in a Pension Scam

Scams of all shapes and sizes are becoming depressingly frequent and the Financial Conduct...

Navigating the care system

Navigating the care system As life expectancy increases, so does the impact on ourselves and...

What happens if you don't have a power of attorney?

If you no longer have the capacity to make decisions for yourself and you do not have a power of...

Planning for long term care - Tom's story

Tom is 81 and a widower. A few years ago Tom was diagnosed with dementia, and although initially...

What happens if you don't make a will?

The law does not require you to make a will but if you die without having made one, your estate,...

Wife Must Pay for Her Own Mistakes

The Supreme Court recently decided a case which made clear some of the limits that apply when...

Court Accepts £6 Million Distribution to Attorney

When a person's affairs are being managed by someone else under a lasting power of attorney (LPA),...

Care Not a Deprivation of Liberty

Care orders for children that result in them being taken away from their parents are not made...

Grand Design Couple Triumph in Capital Gains Tax Test Case

Those who make a profit on the sale of their principal private residence do not have to pay...

Agriculture Bill 2018

As we enter the last quarter of the year, the uncertainties and questions surrounding Brexit are...

Lillie Ryan celebrates becoming a solicitor

We asked Lillie, who began her career as a paralegal, about qualifying into Birkett Long’s...

Long-Term Partner Wins Right to Stay in House

Those who doubt the legal advantages of getting married should take note of a case in which an...

Law Overrides Will That Excludes Partner

The law that allows someone who was dependent on a deceased person during their lifetime to make a...

Specialist Family Solicitor joins Birkett Long in Colchester

Experienced solicitor, Karen Johnson, has joined the Divorce and Family team at leading Essex law...

Court Agrees to Correct Trust Error

We all make mistakes…and when a contract is set up the terms of which clearly do not...

Time to Review Your Discretionary Trust?

When the Finance Act 2006 came into force, it introduced a ten-year charge on discretionary...

Building Works Next Door Making Your Life a Misery?

Construction works on neighbouring properties can make your life a misery but, with the right...

Supreme Court Rules in 'Gay Cake' Case

In a unanimous judgment, the Supreme Court has ruled that a bakery in Northern Ireland's refusal...

Pension Pot Holders Fail to Take Advice

If you are approaching pension age, unless you are one of the increasingly few with a...

Motive Not Sufficient Reason to Deny Subject Access Request

One of the dilemmas the courts face from time to time is how to achieve the right balance between...

Failure to Control Knotweed Proves Costly for Landowner

Japanese knotweed is a very considerable pest – 'indisputably the UK's most aggressive,...

Can a Will Be Valid if You Can't Read it?

One of the requirements for a will to be accepted as valid is that the person who makes it must...

Inconsistent Residential Planning Permission Overturned

If you are faced with an unwelcome proposal for development nearby, a recent case shows how...

Wife Seeking Divorce Fails to Prove English Domicile

London has gained a reputation as 'the divorce capital of the world' because settlements reached...

Attorney Pays for Lack of Attention

If you accept appointment under a power of attorney, it is essential to understand the...

New Guidance on Care Home Charges After Death

It is a stressful and unhappy enough time when a loved one dies, but the anguish of those mourning...

Planning Application Restricted to Preserve View

On our densely populated island, there is a pressing need for available land to be put to sensible...

Financial Claim Based on Support After Divorce Fails

The usual course of events on divorce is that there is a financial settlement which divides up the...

Farmer Acts to Protect Family Promise

Farming families appear regularly in the courts these days, as more and more cases arise that...

Tenants Must Bear Cost of Safety Improvements

Following the Grenfell disaster in 2017, cladding has come under close scrutiny with surveys being...

Possible Separation From Mother Intolerable, Rules Court

Relationships that start on the Internet are already leading to some interesting situations. A ...

An end to Fake News?

The EU has published its first draft Code of Practice on Disinformation (the Code), or as Mr Trump...

Cheaper electronics?

On 24 July 2018, the EU Commission handed out fines totalling €111m to 4 electronic...

Disappointed Children Fail to Overturn Will

When a will is made late in life which materially changes how an estate is to be distributed...

Pre-Nup Upheld When Implications Understood

Family judges will approach pre-nuptial agreements with greater respect following a landmark...

What Seems Reasonable to You...

It is a common term in a lease for the tenants to have to seek permission from the landlord if...

A Little Too Much Knowledge Can Be a Dangerous Thing

There are special rules for people working in the UK on short-term secondment from employers based...

Witnesses Save the Day for Widow in Will Argument

A divorced man who remarried in his late 50s made a new will in 1998, one year after the marriage,...

Jail for Husband Who Flouted Court Ruling

Court orders have to be obeyed and those who defy them can ultimately be sent to prison. Exactly...

Do you have a DIY will?

  Every year, 1 in 3 people dies without having a legally valid will. In that year,...

A call for change - government's view on conveyancing

  In April 2018, The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government...

The myth of common law marriage

  The term “common law marriage” is frequently used within society to refer...

Will Wishes Rescinded by Court

One powerful reason why you should always seek legal advice before making your will is to ensure...

Future Earning Capacity Not a Matrimonial Asset

The Court of Appeal has made an important decision in a divorce case in which the main argument...

Essex law firm promotes family law specialist to Associate

Francesca Cozens, a member of Birkett Long’s South Essex Divorce and Family Team based in...

Council Tax to Bite on Empty Property

In 2017, 205,293 dwellings in England were left empty for six months or more. With the housing...

Confidentiality - Don't Give In to Threats

If you are facing menacing demands for money, you should take legal advice straight away. In a...

Trust Variation for Minors - High Court Holds Sway

Setting up family trusts with minors or those with mental incapacities as beneficiaries is by no...

Pre-Nuptial Agreement Receives Court Backing

The validity of pre-nuptial agreements depends on legal advice being taken on both sides, equal...

Harassment Order Given Against Unknown Abuser

Harassment is very unpleasant and, when a person is subject to a campaign of abuse, it can prove...

Be Careful Who You Trust With Your Finances

Giving someone else power of attorney over your finances can be a useful means of ensuring that...

Changing Circumstances Lead to Divorce Settlement Dispute

When a wealthy construction business owner and his wife divorced in 2011, a 'clean break'...

Working From Home? Do You Have the Right?

Although they may not know it, many householders are banned by restrictions in their title deeds...