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23 July 2021 Events

We are supporting the Ryedale Show by having a Virtual Trade Stand.   We are sorry we cannot be with you in person but we will be back next year! Call any of our team for help or advice on Malton 01653 692247. emailProtector.addCloakedMailto("ep_9c60732b", 1);
21 July 2021 Wills and estates

Have you recently inherited assets from a family member or a friend who has recently passed away? We appreciate that there are circumstances where you might not necessarily wish to receive a legacy and may wish to re-direct it elsewhere. Some of the common reasons why are as follows: You know/suspect that the deceased’s wishes had changed since they made their Will some years prior and you wish to honour what you believe to be their final wishes. You would like to help out other family members/friends/charitable organisations by passing on wealth to them. You expect that Inheritance Tax will be payable on your death due to the size of your estate before receiving the legacy. You therefore do not wish to increase your net worth further. The substitute beneficiaries on…
12 July 2021 Employment advice

The Institute for Fiscal Studies reports that currently 1 in 8 workers is furloughed, that’s 3.4 million jobs, at a cost of £2.2 billion to the government.  The furlough scheme is due to be entirely phased out by the end September 2021, and with that we anticipate a rise in the number of redundancies as businesses assess the impact of the pandemic. It is very likely this will lead to an increase in the amount of cases brought to the Employment Tribunal, particularly for claims such as unfair dismissal. Furloughed workers have the same redundancy rights as any other employee, including in relation to protection from unfair dismissal (for those with 2 or more years’ service) and discrimination and so it’s vital that employers select and dismiss for redundancy correctly in accordance with the law (that…
05 July 2021 Family Matters

Within a marriage or civil partnership, the concept of bad behaviour can cover a multitude of activities, from leaving the top off the toothpaste to serious or criminal activities.  One option when applying for a divorce is to claim that your relationship has broken down irretrievably. One way of proving this is to show that your partner has behaved ‘unreasonably’. Following the case of Owens v Owens, unreasonable behaviour must be more than the run-of-the-mill type of annoyances to be expected in a long marriage. You must show that the behaviour was such that it would be unreasonable to expect you to stay with your spouse. If you succeed with an unreasonable behaviour divorce it is normal that the courts will order your spouse to pay for the legal costs. For many, allocation of the legal…

Many people wrongly assume that buying or selling agricultural property is much the same as any other conveyance. In reality, a property transaction involving farmland can be a complicated and taxing process with many elements to consider. Philip Taylor, property law and agricultural specialist at Pearsons & Ward Solicitors in Malton outlines some of the pitfalls involved in purchasing or selling agricultural property and explains why you should engage us as your specialist conveyancer to guide you through the process. The conveyance of agricultural land requires all the usual checks and searches that are needed for non-agricultural property, such as title investigations at the Land Registry, checks for existing easements (rights of way) and planning permissions, as well as local authority, environmental, and water and drainage searches. In addition, agricultural land conveyancing often requires a whole…
05 July 2021 Residential property

If your home is leasehold, you could soon find it cheaper and easier to extend the term of your lease. This will usually make your property more valuable and, depending on how many years your lease has left, it can also make it easier to remortgage and more marketable when you come to sell. As part of its reform of the leasehold property regime, the Government plans to improve the statutory mechanism for lease extensions. Here Philip Taylor, a Head of Residential Property in the residential property team with Pearsons & Ward looks at the latest proposals and considers your options if you are a leaseholder. If you purchased a house or an apartment on a leasehold basis then, unlike with a freehold property, you do not own it outright. Instead, you have the right to…
05 July 2021 Employment advice

Despite the success of the vaccine programme, the impact of the pandemic on businesses will continue for some time. For example, when the furlough scheme ends in the autumn, it is expected that the number of employment tribunal claims will rise and case law will take even longer to filter through to policies and practice. ‘Meanwhile, we are starting to see tribunal cases relating to the Covid risk in the workplace and, so far, the outcomes are generally encouraging for employers,’ says Gillian Reid, a Solicitor in the employment team with Pearsons & Ward. ‘Although these are only tribunal decisions and other tribunals do not have to follow them, they offer some reassurance to those employers who have brought in Covid-secure measures.’ In our latest round-up of key employment law cases, Gillian Reid also looks at…
21 June 2021 Wills and estates

At present, gifts to charities in your Will are exempt from inheritance tax and would be taken off the value of your estate before inheritance tax is calculated. Leaving money to charity in your Will could also reduce the rate of inheritance tax you pay. The reduced rate of inheritance tax was introduced by the Government in 2012 in order to encourage people to leave money to charity in their Wills. If the estate qualifies, it reduces the inheritance tax rate which is charged from 40% to 36%. To qualify, at least 10% of your net estate (or baseline amount) must be left to a charity or charities. The net estate is, generally speaking, the value left after the inheritance tax nil rate band (which is currently £325,000 and frozen at that level to 2026 or…
11 June 2021 Employment advice

The official government message encouraging people to work from home is expected to end with the final step out of lockdown. For many employees though, homeworking is here to stay. According to a recent BBC survey, 43 of 50 big UK employers will not bring staff back to the office full time. Instead, employees will mix homeworking and coming into the office. For businesses considering hybrid working, Gillian Reid, Head of Employment with Pearsons & Ward explains how to build on the lessons learned during the pandemic, as well as practical and contractual issues to consider and pitfalls to avoid. Feedback and reflection A really worthwhile exercise is to find out from employees about their experience of homeworking. This can be done through an anonymous survey, team meetings or employee representative groups. Important questions include which…
08 June 2021 Family Matters

Recent research by Loughborough University shows a sharp rise in the so called ‘boomerang’ generation of young adults returning to live at home until their late twenties or early thirties.  This trend has continued as a result of the pandemic causing job losses, furlough, and university closures.  ‘With the shape of family life changing, we are seeing an increase in queries about whether adult children living at home have any rights in a divorce,’ says Robert Bellhouse, a Solicitor in the family law team with Pearsons & Ward in Malton. ‘The law makes a number of provisions to ensure minor children continue to be cared and provided for following divorce, but more recently the children living at home are older.  Unlike a tenant or lodger there is unlikely to be any legal formalities in place, such…
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