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Legal updates

21 October 2020 Wills and estates

What is a trust? A trust is a legal arrangement where individuals are chosen (known as Trustees) to look after assets for the chosen beneficiaries. Trusts can take effect during a person’s lifetime or alternatively, they can be incorporated into Wills which take effect on death. This article focuses on Will Trusts. Circumstances where a Will Trust would be beneficial Most of us are unaware of the various ways in which setting up a Trust in a Will can help safeguard assets and protect beneficiaries including existing family members and also future generations. Some key uses of Will Trusts are set out below: Vulnerable beneficiaries. This could be relevant if the beneficiaries of your estate are physically or mentally disabled, are insolvent or have issues with substance abuse, for example. Setting up a Will…
20 October 2020 Wills and estates

Farming families have had a particularly difficult period during the Covid-19 pandemic, facing increased demand from consumers with limited time and resources at their disposal. Farming is an already demanding occupation with heavy machinery, livestock, dangerous chemicals, silos, and slurry pits as daily hazards encountered as part of running the business. With so much relying on the physical health and capability of key individuals, having a contingency plan in place in case something goes wrong is a must. Lynne Smith, Private Client Specialist and part of the agricultural law team at Pearsons & Ward Solicitors in Malton advises that making a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) should be a vital part of business succession planning for farm owners, who are at increased risk of becoming physically or mentally incapacitated at any time. An LPA is a…
16 October 2020 Residential property

Programmes like Homes Under the Hammer have certainly raised the profile of property auctions. Although auctions still only account for two per cent of all property sales, some experts believe this proportion will rise. In an increasingly stagnant market, selling at auction may appear an attractive choice for sellers. However, if you are thinking about selling your property this way, there are some things you need to be aware of first.  Philip Taylor, Head of Residential Conveyancing at Pearsons & Ward in Malton, looks at the auction process, some of its advantages and disadvantages, and offers some advice. How auctions work, an outline An auction house will prepare a catalogue listing all the properties for sale, usually about a month before the auction. This catalogue gives a guide price for each property and will contain standard…
14 October 2020 Family Matters

A separation will inevitably mean a change in the family dynamic, and you may be concerned about what this will mean for your relationship with your children. New arrangements will have to be put in place in relation to where the children will reside, and what time they will spend with each parent. ‘There are no hard and fast rules about what time the children should spend with each parent,’ explains Robert Bellhouse family law expert. ‘Our laws are alive to the fact that each family is unique, and a number of factors need to be taken into account when deciding a child’s future living arrangements.  The starting point is to look at the welfare checklist’. The welfare checklist If a dispute over arrangements for children goes to court, the factors to be considered are primarily…
08 October 2020 Employment advice

As the Chancellor’s coronavirus job retention scheme enters its final phase and the prospect of a return to normal business seems distant for many companies, employers are having to contemplate redundancies if they are to keep their business afloat. ‘Getting the redundancy procedure right is crucial, as mistakes can open the door for an employee to bring a claim before an employment tribunal,’ explains Gillian Reid, a Solicitor in the employment team with Pearsons & Ward. ‘There has already been an increase in claims, particularly in regard to unfair dismissal relating to redundancy.’ Here are some common misunderstandings and mistakes for employers to avoid. Pitfall #1 - Failing to count voluntary redundancies towards the trigger for collective consultation The obligation to inform and consult with recognised trade unions or employee representatives kicks in when you are…
08 October 2020 COVID-19

This newsletter covers: Job Support Scheme Preventing the Second Wave Monitoring of Workers Working at Home Domestic Abuse and The Role of The Employer Redundancy Job Support Scheme The Flexible Furlough Scheme ends on 31 October and will be replaced by the Job Support Scheme on 1 November. This new scheme is available to all employers even if they have not previously furloughed workers. However, there’s a rule that large as opposed to SME businesses will have to show they have been adversely affected by Covid-19.    The new scheme will help where a worker is working at least one third of their usual hours but full hours aren’t available because of the current situation. The Government will help the employer pay the worker’s wages for the hours they aren’t required. But this top…
06 October 2020 Wills and estates

A health and welfare lasting power of attorney is a legal document which allows you to appoint people you trust to make decisions about health treatments and personal care for you if you lose the mental capacity to make such decisions for yourself Lynne Smith, a specialist with Pearsons & Ward in Malton explains how this document gives your attorney the power to make decisions, on your behalf and in your best interests, in regard to things like eating, washing, medical care, where you should live, or whether to continue life-sustaining treatment. The exact decisions they can take for you will depend on your instructions. For example, an attorney can only consent to or refuse life-sustaining treatment on your behalf if you specifically state this. You can give your healthcare attorney power to refuse medication or…
01 October 2020 Family Matters

The demands of children, family and work, as well as money problems, can place a huge strain on marriages and long-term relationships. People change as a relationship progresses and sadly separation sometimes becomes inevitable. Splitting up is never easy with issues such as asset division, family financial provision and childcare arrangements, which all in need of sorting out before a couple can start their new lives afresh. Matters are made even more complicated if businesses or inherited wealth are involved, but as Juliet Walker, family law specialist at Pearsons & Ward Solicitors in Malton explains, ‘much of this stress could be alleviated by couples formally agreeing how their assets should be divided before they marry or move in together.’ Nuptial agreements A nuptial agreement is a legal document, agreed by a couple either before the wedding…
17 September 2020 Farming & Agriculture

Diversification is a hot topic in this current climate. From glamping and tea rooms to experience days and selling Christmas trees, farmers are finding new ways to make ends meet.  Johanne Spittle agricultural and commercial specialist at Ware & Kay Solicitors says ‘Diversification can help to transform an agricultural business, but only if it is properly thought through, with the benefit of professional advice and a strong underlying business plan.’ 1.Type of diversification The type of diversification that will work best for you depends on your circumstances, and, if you are a tenant farmer, the type of diversified activity will depend upon what is allowed under your tenancy or permitted by your landlord. Some of the most successful diversifications are those that utilise existing farm resources and infrastructure, or which tap into a gap in the local…
11 September 2020 COVID-19

During this period of uncertainty we have seen an increase in the number of enquiries from people who want to ensure that their affairs are in order should their health fail. One of the most important ways to do this is to put a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in place. People can become unable to manage their affairs at any stage of life but our more vulnerable clients have naturally been prompted to think about this more than they usually would. A serious illness, accident or the onset of mental illness may make everyday tasks such as paying bills, managing a budget and making financial and welfare decisions difficult, stressful and, in some cases, impossible. An LPA gives a person control over who will help them manage their affairs and allows you to appoint someone you…
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