Caveat on a will

CAVEAT ON A WILL: WHAT IS IT AND HOW CAN IT BE AVOIDED?

What is a Caveat?

Although a valid will is not easy to contest when a person dies, there are situations where someone who believes they should be receiving under a will (but do not) can contest the validity of the will. This will only be in circumstances where that person has evidence to the fact that the will was not validly created, especially if the person who died lacked sufficient mental capacity or was unduly influenced at the time the will was signed.

If this is the case, the person who believes they have been wronged can begin a caveat proceeding. This is a legal notice to suspend a specific proceeding until whatever issue has been called into question is resolved. After this has been filed, all actions under the will will cease. There is no set time for the duration of a caveat proceeding

Buying online – beware the legal and practical risks

Irresponsible google adwords ?

The internet remains largely unpoliced and we are always amazed that there aren’t more problems with the amount of money spent on the internet daily in situations where it is impossible to properly check who you are dealing with, whether on e-bay or millions of other sites. This is not to say we are not big fans of the internet, we are, it’s just that there are risks, and it’s all too easy to make assumptions. One such assumption which is very wide of the mark, would be that advertisers on google results are necessarily legitimate, that’s simply not the case. Google has very rudimentary checks on it’s advertisers and doesn’t prioritise rooting out the bad guys either.

A recent example of the above, perhaps inevitable, is the trade in Olympics tickets. In an investigation by the BBC, this found that google pay per click ads include unauthorised 2012 Olympics tickets together with ads selling illegal drugs and fake ID’s, notwithstanding that all of these constitute criminal offences.

Part of the difficulty with these sites is that many are not hosted in the UK or aren’t UK companies, and this creates jurisdictional havoc in terms of whether any action can be taken legally.

Google does have some techniques which can find obvious attempts to sell unlawful products, but the individuals or businesses who want to try and sell these items will use all available tactics to get past google’s automated techniques.

All in all not ideal, and remember, that the best way of protecting yourself if you are buying online is to use your credit card, which gives you some comfort, although this comes with it’s own risks, in terms of giving out your confidential information and card details.

Litigation funding developments

With the squeeze on legal aid and clampdown on conditional fee arrangements, options for pursuing potentially good legal cases but where the opponent is much larger and with bigger resources have never been more narrow, and that’s without the woeful economic conditions that face both individuals and businesses.

One option for sharing the risk of litigation increasingly required by clients, especially from solicitors for business, which has been steadily gaining ground and popularity is litigation funding, where a third party funder puts up the money for legal fees and other expenses, and possibly pays for the crucial after the event insurance to cover the contingency of losing and being ordered to pay the opponent’s costs.

The only problem for the average small business or individual is that litigation funding, save for one existing funder, First Class Legal, has only generally been available for big litigation cases, typically over

How to react to a county court judgment

I have received a Judgment from the Court. What shall I do?

1. Check that it is genuine. It should show your name as a Defendant, with your proper address, or the full and proper name of your Limited Company. There should be a Claim number and the name of a Court in the top right corner. Slightly below on the right hand side, is the word ‘seal’, and there should be a round seal with the name of the Court and a Crown at the top of that seal usually in red. Telephone the Court from which the Judgment is sealed to ensure that the Judgment is real.

2. If it is genuine, do not ignore the Judgment. On Judgment debts more than

Twitter … stop and think before you tweet

More evidence that twitter can be bad as well as good for business

Like many things in life, there are pros and cons to social media generally and twitter specifically. On the positive side, it’s a great, fast and easy way of making contacts and communicating rapidly and effectively with a potentially big audience of people who share something in common with you.

On the other hand, in a world where everything gets faster and faster and where there are competing demands for time and attention, and a sub-conscious if not conscious feeling that you have to keep tweeting regularly, it is all too easy to act in haste and repent at leisure. Compose a quick tweet, don’t think, press return and boom, trouble .

Here is a recent example PR agency Redner Group has had it’s contract terminated in the last week when it’s Managing Director, acting on behalf of a major games publishing company, slapped down some complaints from customers

Fiduciary duties – what are they ?

What is a fiduciary relationship ?

A fiduciary relationship arises under common law where A and B agree that A will act on behalf of or for the benefit of B in circumstances which give rise to a relationship of trust and confidence. A has some discretion or power which affects B’s interests. B in turn relies on A for information or advice.

In determining whether a relationship is fiduciary, the substance of the relationship must be examined in light of its commercial context and the entirety of the obligations undertaken (and not just the label given to the relationship).

Fiduciary duties are owed by:

  • Partners (to their fellow partners).
  • Solicitorsand other professional advisers (to their client).
  • Trustees (to beneficiaries).
  • Agents (to principals).
  • Directors

In company law, directors owe fiduciary duties to their companies under the Companies Act 2006 which codifies certain duties. The relevant statutory duties under the 2006 Act are:

  • To act within powers.
  • To promote the success of the company.
  • To exercise independent judgment.
  • To avoid conflicts of interest.
  • Not to accept benefits from third parties.
  • To declare an interest in a proposed transaction or arrangement.

Remedies

The remedies for breach of fiduciary duty vary in accordance with the severity of the breach. Possible remedies include:

  • Injunction. This is a discretionary remedy. It may be granted for breach of confidence, no conflicts or undivided loyalty. If the fiduciary misuses information by taking notes or drawings then the courts may make an order for delivery up
  • Setting aside of the transaction, restitution and account of profits.
  • Voidable transactions. A voidable transaction may be set aside by the beneficiary, for example if the fiduciary buys or sells the beneficiary’s property on his own account or if the fiduciary breaches the duty of no conflicts or undivided loyalty and the beneficiary is unaware of the conflict or is misleadingly informed of it. Where the transaction is set aside, the fiduciary may still be able to claim reasonable remuneration for work he has completed
  • Account of profits. This is relevant when the fiduciary has been unjustly enriched at the expense of the claimant, for example, where he has received money belonging to the claimant.
  • Damages. Where a fiduciary fails to discharge fully his duties, he will be liable to his beneficiaries if they suffer loss as a result. If there is a contractual link between the fiduciary and the beneficiary then damages may be available for breach of fiduciary duties.

Age discrimination survey

Age UK research shows age discrimination is rife in Europe

Some fascinating opinions are revealed by some research from Age UK which indicates the view that age discrimination is the most prevalent form of discrimination in Europe. Headline data from the survey is :-

  • 64% of those asked in Britain consider that age discrimination is a serious issue in the Uk
  • 44%. of those asked in Europe consider that age discrimination is a serious issue in the Uk
  • in the UK we believe that youth ends early at 35 and old age starts at 59
  • In Greece they consider that people stay young until 52 and are not thought of as old until their 68th birthday.
  • The majority of those interviewed said they would find it easier to accept a suitably qualified 30 year old as a boss than a 70 year old with the same qualifications.
  • People over 50 feel extremely concerned that employers will always favour an applicant in their 20’s rather than an older person. In the UK 49.7% believe this is a problem.

Additional help can be obtained from these employment law experts.

Child custody faqs

Child Custody FAQs

Is the law in favour of mothers when deciding which parent to grant a residence order to ?

Whilst officially there is no bias, mothers are more often than not granted custody of very young children.  However, for older children, there is less of a bias in favour of mothers.

What can fathers do to help their application for a residence order ?

You need to keep accurate records which detail your contact with the child.

Financial disclosure and divorce

FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE vs. SELF HELP

BY SIMON WOLMAN, LLOYD PLATT & COMPANY

When the family courts deal with the separation of assets applying the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 the first step in every case is financial disclosure. Divorce lawyers are always looking for both parties to give full and frank disclosure so that a client can be advised as to an appropriate outcome of the financial proceedings between them. The duty of disclosure is a full and frank one which both parties have on an ongoing basis. Until the recent case of Immerman the idea that a spouse could rifle through the other parties financial documents and serve the originals on the other party retaining a copy of the same used to be heard regularly in the family courts. In recent years information technology has replaced paper sources of financial information so that almost anyone can access their banking records on line or via their mobile phone. Emails are now used to convey either short bursts of information or more detailed matters about a variety of topics. So as to preserve a client’s confidentiality at the point of separation it is always advisable for a client to open either a new email account or to ensure that their existing one is secure. Divorce lawyers have to be able to give clients practical advice about maintaining security for both sensitive and non sensitive information. Continue reading

What is a Notice of Assignment ?

A Notice of Assignment is needed to record transfer of legal rights. It is generally a reasonably straightforward procedure, but all parties involved need to be aware of the assignment.

The most common example of when a Notice of Assignment is necessary regards the lease of a property. When a leaseholder sells their interest in a property to someone else, it is vital that the landlord and management company are aware of the transfer. A Notice of Assignment must be served to the landlord or management company under the Law of Property Act 1925.

There are various implications if appropriate notice is not served. The landlord or management company would be aware of a proposed transfer because a Licensed Conveyancer would be raising enquiries regarding the lease relating to a particular property. It is important, however, that they are informed of the exact date of the transfer. Until Notice of Assignment has been submitted, the previous lessee is responsible for ensuring that the terms of the lease are complied with. This may be with regard to cleanliness and maintenance of the premises. More importantly, they will be responsible for any ground rent and service charge payments. This is in accordance with Section 136(1) of the Law of Property Act 1925. If a management company are in charge of a block of flats, each tenant is likely to hold a share in that company. The Notice of Assignment will assign the existing shares to the new tenant. Landlords and management companies also need to be made aware of any charges over the premises. This is usually in the form of the tenant obtaining a mortgage in order to purchase the lease.

In respect of shares of a property, the new tenant or their Conveyancer will need to submit a Companies Form 128(4). This is pursuant to Section 128(4) of the Companies Act 1985. Once completed, this form should be sent to the Registrar of Companies in Cardiff.

Another example of when a Notice of Assignment is necessary is when a mortgage lender merges or is taken over by another company. The mortgagee may not be informed of the change straightaway. As a result, the mortgagee will be continuing to pay their original mortgagor. Once the Notice of Assignment has been received by the mortgagee, they have a responsibility to pay the new lender. Until appropriate notice has been served, it is the responsibility of the old lender to ensure that the new lender receives payment. For this reason, Notices of Assignment should be carefully thought out, taking into account every possible eventuality. They should be written in such a way that every party is clear as to their obligations.

An example of a typical Notice of Assignment in this respect may read: “Dear