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17 February 2021 Wills and estates

Pearsons & Ward is delighted to support the Saint Catherine’s Hospice Make a Will Week. We have agreed to give our time and expertise for free to support Saint Catherine’s Hospice Make a Will Week. We will happily speak with you to take your instructions for a simple Will during this week and draft a professional Will in accordance with those instructions. We will also arrange with you for your Will to be signed by the end of May 2021. In return, you will make a donation to Saint Catherine’s. Our suggested minimum is £125* per single Will and £200* per matching pair. This is payable at the time you sign your Will with us and we will forward the donation to Saint Catherine’s. * If your Will requires advice of a complex nature, or…
17 February 2021 Farming & Agriculture

Farmers across the country breathed a huge sigh of relief on Christmas Eve when the UK and European Union reached a last-gasp post-Brexit trade deal after nine torturous months of negotiations. The long-awaited trade deal, which came into force when the Brexit transition period ended on 31 December 2020, averted a no-deal Brexit – which most agreed would have been a catastrophic development for the agricultural sector. Although the tariffs are no longer a threat, trade will still not be completely frictionless and farmers who deal with the EU or traditionally used EU workers still have much to consider. Jacqueline Barr, agricultural law specialist at Pearsons & Ward Solicitors in Malton explains. Movement of labour Free movement of labour ended on 31 December 2020, leaving food and farming sectors exposed to a potentially huge shortage of…
16 February 2021 Wills and estates

Will disputes are becoming increasingly common due to an increase in the elderly population, a rise in dementia and Alzheimer’s sufferers, changes in family structures and the increasing value of estates.  A Will needs to satisfy a number of criteria to be valid. The presence of any of the factors below may invalidate a Will: Lack of mental capacity when the Will was made. Lack of knowledge and approval of the terms of a Will. Undue influence. This needs to be more than mere persuasion but something that overpowers the will of the person making the Will. Fraud and forgery. Will not properly executed. There are certain formalities set out by the Wills Act 1837 which must be satisfied. This includes a Will being in writing, signed and witnessed. Although there is technically no…
16 February 2021 Wills and estates

This is known as dying Intestate. The Intestacy rules make provision for spouses and certain blood relatives to inherit your assets when you die.  However, the division between your family can be very complicated and it isn’t usually as expected or as you would have intended.  Where there is no Will, a surviving spouse might not be sufficiently provided for financially.  In addition, young children may have access to wealth before they are financially mature.   Any unmarried partners, friends, charitable organisations, step-children and step-grandchildren would not inherit your estate if you didn’t make a Will.  Instead, only spouses, blood relatives and persons adopted into your family would be included.  This could include distant or estranged blood relatives.  If you had no surviving relatives, your estate would pass to the Crown.  If you make a Will, you…
11 February 2021 Financial advice

The average household in the UK now has debts of around £58,000 according to The Money Charity.  Trying to keep on top of this can be a major source of stress and according to the relationship counselling service, Relate, debt is cited as the reason one in ten couples decide to separate, divorce or dissolve their civil partnership. Disagreements over who is responsible for the debts are common in separating couples. One of you may have a loan or a credit card in your name even though you both benefited from the expenditure which might have been a big item such as repairs to the house, or a holiday, or just to keep on top of everyday bills. After separation, it is not uncommon for one half of the couple to claim that this debt was…
03 February 2021 Residential property

According to recent news stories, some owners are struggling to sell their homes because they live in an apartment block with exterior cladding. Coupled with mounting criticism of the leasehold system, you may worry that selling your flat will prove more difficult than you had hoped. ‘Leasehold flats are a long-established feature of this country’s property market. They can be an efficient way to Philip Taylor, a residential property expert with Pearsons & Ward in Malton. In most cases, selling your leasehold apartment should not be too different from selling a freehold house, although there may be additional issues to address and the process may take a little longer. Recently, there has been widespread coverage of some of the problems associated with leasehold properties. These have ranged from escalating ground rents to exorbitant service charges. If…
02 February 2021 Firm updates

What are the prospects for the property sector in Yorkshire and Humber? There will inevitably be some readjustment in the property sector post Covid as individuals and businesses make permanent changes to the way they live and work. As the property sector adapts to these changes, I am optimistic that our region is ideally placed to take advantage of new opportunities that will emerge such as the growth in online shopping and the demand in the logistics sector. What is the best project you have been involved in? As a property litigator my projects tend to be based on things going wrong for other people, I think ‘best project’ might be a misdescription! I have been involved in some fascinating cases; one of the most rewarding was a dispute over the design of a landmark sustainable…
02 February 2021 COVID-19

The rollout of the vaccination programme has been welcomed as the beginning of the end for the Covid-19 pandemic. For many employers, ensuring their workforce is vaccinated is an important step in getting their business back to operating as usual. However, the effects of ‘vaccine hesitancy’ and the anti-vaccine movement may mean that some employees refuse to be vaccinated. ‘How employers respond to choices around vaccinations brings into play employment law, data protection law and human rights,’ says Gillian Reid, Head of Employment with Pearsons & Ward, and who answers some of the key questions for employers. Can we require employees to be vaccinated? In short, probably not, although there may be a stronger case for workers in health and care settings. In the UK, it is not compulsory to have the Covid-19 vaccine and the…
01 February 2021 Firm updates

Johanne Spittle is the Head of Dispute Resolution. She graduated in law from the University of Sheffield in 1983 and became a solicitor in 1986. She has lived in North Yorkshire since 1990 joining the firm in 2019. What job would you like to have other than your own? I am fascinated by the property related disputes that I deal with, particularly having to piece together what happened to land hundreds of years ago; it is a bit like having to solve a historical whodunit and so maybe in another life I would be a historical detective or a crime writer!   Greatest achievement? Combining being a partner in a law firm with three children and retaining a sense of humour was definitely an achievement. But most recently it was sitting and passing an exam in…
26 January 2021 Wills and estates

Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPAs) were replaced by Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) on 1 October 2007. Although new EPAs cannot be created, or existing ones amended, EPAs are still valid. EPAs only cover decisions regarding your finances and property, they do not cover health and welfare decisions. If you wish for your attorneys to be able to make decisions regarding your health and welfare, you would be advised to make a new LPA for health and welfare decisions. This would then allow your attorneys to make decisions on your behalf regarding issues such as your daily routine, medical care and where you live. An LPA for health and care decisions can also allow your attorneys to refuse or consent to life sustaining treatment. Not only does an LPA have more options, it also gives more…
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