The George Ide LLP Blog specialises in providing a host of information regarding personal injury claims, what to do in the event of medical negligence, personal grievances and a wide range of other legal matters. From wills and probate to why you should consider an insurance policy, the George Ide blog is designed to provide helpful advice and insight into a number of legal situations.
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If you have been gifted a property or have acquired one at a significantly reduced price, you may wonder at your good fortune. What you may not have considered, however, are the potential implications of... The post Bargain property seekers beware – skipping due diligence could cost you dearly appeared first on George...
If you have been gifted a property or have acquired one at a significantly reduced price, you may wonder at your good fortune. What you may not have considered, however, are the potential implications of the Insolvency Act 1986 (as amended by the Insolvency Act (No 2) Act 1994) and its long-reaching impact.
If at some point in the chain of title, which includes all previous sales, the property has been sold for a sum significantly below its market value – or for nothing – the transaction could be set aside. If the seller was an individual declared bankrupt under Section 339 of the Act, the transaction can be set aside at any time within the five years immediately preceding the current transaction. If the property was sold by a company, on the firm’s insolvency the sale can be set aside within the two years preceding the date of the current transaction.
The Insolvency Act not only has implications for the beneficiary of gifted property or the purchaser of bargain-priced property – future owners of such property can be caught out as well. However, if you should find yourself in such a situation, all is not lost. A buyer who buys from a seller other than the insolvent donor, for value and in good faith, is generally protected under the Act – so to protect yourself you should always instruct full due diligence.
One of the tests in establishing whether a buyer has acted in good faith is whether they had notice of the bankruptcy or insolvency. To reduce the risk, the buyer’s solicitors should carry out a bankruptcy search against the seller to ensure no bankruptcy notices are registered.
It is useful when assessing potential undervaluation to refer to Land Registry register of title that may note the purchase price originally paid by the seller – thought should be given to any disparity that cannot be explained extraneous factors such as market trends.
If lenders are involved in your purchase, you may find they are reluctant to lend if the property’s history includes an undervalued transaction. Risk can be mitigated to some degree, both for you and for your lender, by obtaining indemnity insurance to cover a donor’s potential insolvency, although whether this is acceptable to your lender will depend on the specific conditions of your lender.
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An amputee faces many challenges. The loss of a limb can be devastating and will affect all aspects of an individual’s life. The most obvious impact is on their physical life, however losing a limb... The post Holistic rehabilitation goals are essential to combat the effects of an amputation appeared first on George...
An amputee faces many challenges. The loss of a limb can be devastating and will affect all aspects of an individual’s life. The most obvious impact is on their physical life, however losing a limb will also have a psychological and emotional effect, as well as making a real difference to a patient’s social life and surroundings.
Anyone undergoing an amputation will not only need to adapt physically but is likely also to experience grief and depression – not uncommonly, amputees go through a period of grieving while they adjust to life under new circumstances and attempt to come to terms with sudden physical changes. Another common problem is phantom limb pain and phantom limb sensation; patients may also feel socially isolated, fearing what other people will think of them and worrying they may be a hindrance to others in a social setting.
Early intervention is essential, both from a physical and a psychological point of view, in order to overcome any of the many problems a patient might be facing after an amputation, especially if their amputation is the result of a traumatic accident.
Early referral to a rehabilitation service that sets clear pre-prosthetic goals is vital – this will help ensure an appropriate prosthesis is chosen to suit an amputee’s needs. Expectations differ, and the success of an individual’s rehabilitation can vary according to their age. An understanding of a patient’s general level of physical ability, such as their tolerance of sitting or standing and their ability to balance, is important. Their hobbies should also be taken into account with a view to understanding how the prosthesis will be used, and timing is crucial. The individual’s general condition is an important factor – the initial prosthetic fitting should not take place until the wound has healed sufficiently, as a poorly-fitted prosthetic can cause long-term structural change in the body and may result in potentially permanent muscular pain.
An amputee’s recovery is a long and often slow process. Many issues will arise as their stump heals and undergoes change, and an amputee must adjust to a new gait and balance. Setting effective, individual goals is essential as this will help them adjust, and early prosthetic rehabilitation including counselling is key – putting the right professional team in place will make a big difference to an amputee’s future.
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When did you last review your investments and wider finances? In today’s climate of persistently low interest rates many investments, particularly those providing instant access on cash deposits, pay interest rates well below current inflation... The post Review your portfolio regularly to ensure your investment strategy remains current appeared first on George...
When did you last review your investments and wider finances?
In today’s climate of persistently low interest rates many investments, particularly those providing instant access on cash deposits, pay interest rates well below current inflation that measures 2.4 per cent according to the Retail Price Index. Even long-term and fixed-rate investments are paying interest rates much lower than their historic averages. As a result, allowing for inflation, savers are being offered negative returns.
Although many share indices are at a respectable level, equity markets in general are benefitting to various degrees from central bank support and low-level interest rates as well as quantitative easing, which is roughly equivalent to printing money in order to support economic recovery.
So it is crucial to review your portfolio regularly, paying particular attention to any investments that have been held for many years. It is important to review not only the performance over time of investments, whether they are held in cash or in stocks and shares, but also the value of any dividends you are receiving. You should also take care not hold too large a proportion of your overall portfolio in any one investment but to manage your exposure to the risk of underperformance – in other words, do not place all your eggs in one basket.
It is also worth considering any lifestyle changes that may be on the horizon. If you plan to retire within a short space of time, a lower-risk investment strategy may be more suitable for you. Alternatively, if you are young and earning a good salary, an emphasis on capital growth may be more appropriate.
Investment decisions rest on the question of suitability for individual investors – no two people are the same. For example, are you using to the full all your tax allowances?
It is wise to conduct a detailed portfolio review at least every few years and the more complex your investments are, the more often frequently you should review them. If you require professional help, it is also important that you seek reputable and impartial advice for a fee rather than relying on financial salesmen looking to sell you investment products on commission.
If you would like to discuss developing a strategic investment portfolio with financial professionals who are committed to promoting your best interests, the George Ide wealth management department is on your side. Contact our team on 01243 786668 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Atkinson. Chartered Wealth Manager
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Acting as an attorney or a deputy for a loved one can bring with it some very difficult decision-making. How do you know you are making the correct decisions for a person who is no... The post Doing the right thing – making gifts as an attorney or deputy appeared first on George...
Acting as an attorney or a deputy for a loved one can bring with it some very difficult decision-making. How do you know you are making the correct decisions for a person who is no longer able to decide for themselves? What guidance is available to support you in your role so that you do not fall foul of the rules?
The rules for attorneys and deputies differ, but they follow a similar pattern. The extent of a deputy’s power is determined by court order, while attorneys are authorised under a power of attorney that usually gives them general authority to act as they see fit.
However, it can be very easy unwittingly to exceed your authority, which could compromise your appointment to the extent that you could be discharged from your responsibilities. An example of this could relate to the approach you might take when making a gift on behalf of a person who is neither able to do so nor able to convey their wishes or feelings.
The Office of the Public Guardian has issued general guidance that applies to attorneys and deputies when gifting from a person’s assets. The value of the gift must be ‘reasonable’ and ‘proportionate’ to the person’s estate, and may replicate past gifts made by that person during their lifetime. You should consider the person’s income and capital as well as the likely level of their expenditure now and in the future including whether they are likely to require future residential care. The gift must only be made to recipients related to or connected with the person, or perhaps a charity that the person supports. Finally, the gift must be given on a customary occasion, such as a birthday, wedding or at Christmas.
Outside these general rules you will need to apply to the court for approval and, for an application to succeed, you will be required to produce evidence that the gift is in the person’s best interest. If an attorney or deputy makes a large unauthorised gift ignoring the rules the Public Guardian may refer the matter to the police for investigation so, if you are unsure about any aspect of your role, it is wise to seek professional legal advice.
Stephen Shine. Chartered Legal Executive. Private Client department
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Many of us have forsaken high street stores and now shop online from the comfort of our homes or the convenience of our workplaces – and we have come to accept that it is our... The post Online retail rights – a victory for internet shoppers appeared first on George...
Many of us have forsaken high street stores and now shop online from the comfort of our homes or the convenience of our workplaces – and we have come to accept that it is our right to return goods purchased via the internet if they do not meet our expectations, even if there is nothing intrinsically wrong with them.
Until now online retailers have been able to refuse the return of goods not in perfect condition with their original packaging undamaged. However, a recent case heard by the European Court of Justice has clarified this Europe-wide legislation. German resident Sascha Ledowski purchased a mattress online. It arrived in a sealed protective cover and Mr Ledowski, after unpacking it to determine whether he was satisfied with it, decided to return it. The retailer refused to accept it – because its packaging had been removed the mattress was considered no longer to be hygienic. Mr Ledowski took his case to the German Federal Court of Justice, which found in his favour; the retailer then appealed to the European Court, which ruled Mr Ledowski could return the mattress based on its conclusion that a product is not rendered unfit for resale solely because it has lost its protective film.
During its deliberations, the court noted that people buying clothes would usually try them on before deciding whether to return them and these clothes would have been in contact with the human body. The court ruling stated that even in the case of goods that have been in direct contact with the human body: “it may be presumed that the trader is in a position to make those goods, after they have been returned by the consumer, by means of a treatment such as cleaning or disinfection, suitable for use by a third party and, accordingly a new sale, without prejudice to the requirements of health protection or hygiene.”
The court ruled that consumers should not be deprived of their rights just because they have handled the goods enough to establish whether they are happy with their “nature, characteristics and functioning”.
This is clearly a victory for consumers but potentially a significant issue for online retailers for whom the obligation to accept returns is an expensive burden. One online clothing retailer has already amended its policy to state that it will investigate any unusual sale and return patterns.
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Doctors themselves commonly refer to pain being whatever their patient says it is, showing just how subjective ‘pain’ can be. The matter is further complicated when it comes to considering the causes of pain, which... The post Painful confusion – understanding a sufferer’s pain is the key to unlocking effective treatment appeared first on George...
Doctors themselves commonly refer to pain being whatever their patient says it is, showing just how subjective ‘pain’ can be. The matter is further complicated when it comes to considering the causes of pain, which themselves are often as multifaceted as the pain itself.
Medical parlance splits ‘pain’ into two headings: acute pain and chronic pain. Acute pain is described as pain lasting no longer than 30 days, whereas chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts more than 12 or 24 weeks – and this is where confusion can set in.
Acute pain seems easy to understand as any pain that is short-lived. Chronic pain, however, brings with it a whole host of connotations and can fill many claimants, patients, doctors and lawyers alike with a sense of foreboding.
In the context of personal injury chronic pain is even more complex as it brings with it many questions as to the longevity and the cause – and chronic pain can incorporate many complex conditions including but not limited to fibromyalgia, complex regional pain syndrome (CPRS), chronic pain syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, conversion disorders, and somatoform disorders.
Undoubtedly the labels attributed to chronic pain conditions are there to assist but, with such negative connotations, are they helpful? In my experience it is always beneficial for an injured party to be given a diagnosis but, if that diagnosis does not fully explain the cause of the pain, will it prevent them from being able either to live with or to treat the pain?
The treatment of many pain conditions is based on a multi-disciplinary approach that incorporates treatment from the bio-psychosocial model, which combines biological, psychological, and social factors when determining someone’s physical and mental health. Pain is not necessarily always physical, especially following a traumatic accident, and it can often have a significant psychological component.
When dealing with personal injury cases involving chronic pain it is important not to become fixated on the phraseology but instead to focus on how an individual’s pain can be treated, and on finding a way for them to live with any residual pain. This is when pain management rehabilitation comes into its own as it helps injured parties learn to manage their pain and better cope with any difficulties they may experience along the way.
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