• Second time lucky?

    Last week, John Torode and Lisa Faulkner had a beautiful wedding ceremony and legally married. John said that he has ‘officially married the girl of his dreams’. For both of them, this was not the first time they have been married. Circumstances around a second marriage are almost always more complicated than the first. There are often children from previous relationships to consider – John has 4 children from previous relationships and Lisa adopted a child with her ex-husband. Not only this, but you would have acquired assets such as property, savings, investments, pensions and businesses. So do second marriages …

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  • What is a Lasting Power of Attorney and why should I make one?

    A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets you (the ‘Donor’) appoint and give legal authority to one or more people (known as ‘Attorneys’) to make decisions on your behalf. You can choose when you would like the LPA to take effect – this could be immediately, or only if you lack mental capacity. An LPA gives you more control over what happens to you if you lack mental capacity in the future and can no longer make your own decisions. Research shows that the number of people in the UK with dementia is set to …

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  • A Will is for everyone, not just the elderly

    This common misconception means that sometimes people who really should make a Will do not. If you die without a Will, this is called dying intestate. This means that the Intestacy Rules determine who inherits what, which means your loved ones could miss out and a large chunk of your estate could go to HMRC. In order to avoid this situation and to ensure that your estate passes to people of your choice, it is highly recommended that you have a valid Will.          If you live with a partner but are not married or in a civil partnership, and …

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  • Will your child maintenance be taken into account when you are applying for a mortgage?

    In January 2016 the Ipswich Building Society announced that they would consider 100% of income from child maintenance when assessing mortgage affordability.  They join a list of other mortgage lenders, including NatWest and Virgin Money.  However, there are some other banks and building societies that will not take child maintenance into account, or only take a certain proportion of that income into account.   This new approach by Ipswich Building Society will make it easier for separated parents to obtain a mortgage but the child maintenance does need to be supported by the Child Maintenance Service (the successor of the …

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  • When to go to back to court regarding maintenance

    A maintenance order is part of the outcome in many divorce cases. These maintenance orders can be time limited, or they can continue during the joint lives of the former spouses until an event, such as the receiving party’s remarriage, terminates the payments.   Whilst these payments are initially ordered on a “joint lives” basis, maintenance orders are always capable of being reviewed and varied. Over the past two years, there has been a significant shift in judicial thinking when it comes to maintenance orders. A joint lives order was almost a certainty for an economically weaker party divorcing in …

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  • How the changes in pension drawdown rules might affect you

    The changes in the pension drawdown rules earlier this year have been well-publicised.  As from April 2015 a person aged 55 or over has the option to draw a tax free lump sum of up to 25% of the value of their pension. While this gives the person holding the pension more flexibility it can have adverse consequences for their spouse in divorce.   There is now a risk that a spouse who reaches the age of 55, prior to a final Financial Order being made, could withdraw 25% of the value of their pension in an attempt to dissipate …

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  • The danger of not having a financial order on divorce

    One of the main concerns of couples who are getting divorced, is the finances. Typically both parties will want to make sure that an agreement is in place that is fair and workable and that gives each of them a degree of financial security.   Where the assets are straightforward couples can sometimes reach an agreement between themselves, but problems can occur much further down the line if their agreement has not been approved by the Court at the time of the divorce. This problem can also arise where the parties have reached no agreement at all but have just …

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