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News

21 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…
16 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 Trust…
16 October 2020 Residential property

Record numbers of homeowners are choosing to unlock the money tied up in their homes through equity release schemes.  The promise of access to cash without having to move is an attractive proposition but taking out money from your home to enjoy your retirement or provide financial help to family members comes at a cost. Holly Stevens, Head of Residential Property with Ware & Kay in York outlines the risks and answers some frequently asked questions. What is equity release? To understand what equity release is, you first need to understand what ‘equity’ in the context of homeownership means.  Put simply, equity represents the difference between what your property is valued at and any money you owe on it. For example: Property valuation £300,000 minus mortgage £100,000 = equity £200,000 Equity release provides a way for…
15 October 2020 Commercial property

Susan Poole – Commercial Property Solicitor What are the prospects for the property sector in Yorkshire and Humber? Had I been asked this question at the start of the year I would have said that they were generally good, but then Covid 19 struck! We currently have a second wave and further restrictions in parts of West Yorkshire so it is a very different picture now. The retail, hospitality and leisure sectors have been hit particularly hard with city centres such as Leeds suffering from the lack of footfall, resulting in a number of store closures. Tenants have struggled to pay rents and many Landlords in turn are facing pressure from lenders. For some this second wave may be the final straw. For local High Streets the position is slightly different. Whilst some businesses are still…
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 at Ware & Kay in York. ‘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…
08 October 2020 Residential property

In most places, the property market appears buoyant with prices continuing to rise. Although good news for many, this could make it more difficult if you are looking to get onto the property ladder. If affordability is an issue, one possible solution is to pool resources and to buy with friends or a partner and research suggests this is a growing trend, especially with younger buyers. If you are thinking about buying a home with others, there are things you should consider first. Here Holly Stevens, the Head of Residential Property at Ware & Kay in York looks at the issues involved and offers some advice. Joint ownership, the legal basis Joint ownership is a little more complicated than owning a property outright, as the legal structure must take account of the relationship between you and…
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 Ware & Kay. ‘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…
01 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 Sian Foster, a specialist with Ware & Kay in York 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…
29 September 2020 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…
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