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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Our prime concern, as personal injury lawyers, is the wellbeing and quality of life of our injured clients and their families. An important aspect of this is empowering those with a life-changing injury to feel... The post Accident compensation claims – it is vital to count the true cost of care for life after personal injury appeared first on George...
Our prime concern, as personal injury lawyers, is the wellbeing and quality of life of our injured clients and their families. An important aspect of this is empowering those with a life-changing injury to feel in charge of their own journey to rebuilding their lives through rehabilitation and with other professional help. We use the legal process, wherever possible, to secure funding from the negligent party’s insurance company to cover all reasonable needs and losses.
There is a saying that carers should be carers, and family be family. The law recognises the right of an injured person or their family to choose whether care, help and support is best provided by loved ones or by paid carers, support workers and personal assistants. For those whose lives have been turned upside-down, it is not appropriate to feel dictated to about what should best be done to maximise their quality of life. The purpose of personal injury compensation is, as far as possible, to put the injured person and their family in the same position as if the injury had not occurred.
In cases involving life-changing injury, it is vitally important to recognise and quantify all the care and help that has been provided and that will be or may be required in the future. Care costs can be an extremely valuable part of personal injury compensation. Unpaid help provided by loved ones and friends is termed gratuitous care, and can be recovered at an hourly rate of £6-£8, or by reference to loss of earnings.
In order to value care and assistance properly, the key question to ask is: What is required to meet reasonable needs for life? In respect of paid professional help, there is no need to opt for the least-cost option – provided it can be shown that the proposed care is reasonable, it does not matter that there may be cheaper alternatives.
When judges award compensation for care, they approach matters on the basis that quality of life is key; they tend to regard as reasonable an injured person’s desire to lead as normal a life as possible and to preserve an individual’s freedom of choice and autonomy. It is unreasonable to deprive someone of the ability to do things or go places. Judges understand that merely providing enough to survive is not enough. Judges tend to be sympathetic and understanding in cases of genuine need.
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The knotty subject of Japanese knotweed has been featured in this column before, from a variety of perspectives – it is a minefield for the seller of a property. If you have the plant, you... The post Selling your property? Answer Japanese knotweed enquires with care… appeared first on George...
The knotty subject of Japanese knotweed has been featured in this column before, from a variety of perspectives – it is a minefield for the seller of a property. If you have the plant, you are obliged to tell your buyer. If you do, they will more than likely pull out of the deal and your property will be blighted.
The problem is that many of us simply would not recognise what is lurking in the unkempt far corner of our garden. Could it be Japanese knotweed? Could it be giant knotweed, or another hybrid altogether? Should you check, or just keep your fingers crossed?
The Law Society Property Information Form (LSPIF) provides three options as acceptable answers to the question of whether a property is affected by Japanese knotweed: yes, no, or not known. Clearly, if you are aware of the plant’s existence, the answer you are required to give is obvious. But can you be sure? Is it safe to answer no? What happens if Japanese knotweed is later found in your garden? You may be accused of misrepresentation.
Over time, conveyancers have developed procedures, including the preamble in the LSPIF advising sellers they are not expected to have expert knowledge of legal or technical matters, and warning buyers that, while they are entitled to rely on the replies given to the enquiries in relation to the physical condition of the property, these replies should not be treated as a substitute for undertaking their own survey or making their own independent enquiries, which buyers are recommended to do.
Some solicitors even send a covering letter stating that, while all enquiries at any time during a transaction are given in good faith, it is not implied that the seller’s solicitor has carried out any investigation or made any enquiry before giving any reply. Furthermore, they state that a buyer shall, by virtue of their proceedings, not seek to claim reliance based upon such implied investigation or enquiry, and will be deemed to have checked any replies.
Overall, it is an area fraught with risk, for sellers and buyers alike. If, as a seller, you are in any doubt you would be well-advised to seek professional legal guidance as to how to answer; if you are a buyer, why not commission your own Knotweed survey?
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Anyone who has applied for a grant of probate will know the original will must be sent to the probate registry – but what happens if the original will cannot be found? If a copy... The post Applying for grant of probate – all is not lost with a lost will appeared first on George...
Anyone who has applied for a grant of probate will know the original will must be sent to the probate registry – but what happens if the original will cannot be found?
If a copy of the original will exists, providing certain criteria are met it may be possible to obtain a grant of probate using that copy. It will be necessary to obtain a court order from the probate registry granting a personal representative permission to ‘prove’ a copy of the will rather than the original document. Certain evidence will be required in order to secure the appropriate order and this will usually be provided to the court in the form of a sworn affidavit.
The person applying for the grant, usually an executor appointed in the original will, must show they have done all they can to locate the original will such as conducting extensive searches and enquiries. The evidence required will depend upon the circumstances of the particular case. The probate registry will need to be satisfied that the testator (the person who made the original will) had not intended to revoke it and wanted its terms to take effect on their death.
When someone dies without a will they are said to have died ‘intestate’ and the rules of intestacy dictate who receives their estate. Therefore, before granting an order to prove a copy will, the probate registry is likely to require the consent of individuals who stand to benefit under the intestacy rules, or under the terms of a previous will. This is because these individuals would inherit the estate if permission to prove the copy will is refused.
Once a grant of probate has been obtained on the basis of the copy will, the executor can proceed to administer the estate in accordance with its terms.
Although the potential to prove a copy will could offer a solution if a will has been lost, this may not always be the case, especially if a copy of the original will does not exist. Ensuring your will is stored securely and informing your executors of its whereabouts will hopefully mean they will not need to undertake such a procedure when administering your estate.
At George Ide we register all the wills we write free of charge on the Certainty Will Register to avoid this problem. For more information contact the team on 01243 786668 or email us at email@example.com.
Siobhan Richards. Solicitor, Private Client department.
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Prospective clients looking for a law firm may find the Legal Services Consumer Panel’s Tracker Survey of 2019 interesting reading. The report is based on findings from a YouGov survey of more than 3,500 users of... The post Legal services consumer survey shows clients prefer small local law firms appeared first on George...
Prospective clients looking for a law firm may find the Legal Services Consumer Panel’s Tracker Survey of 2019 interesting reading. The report is based on findings from a YouGov survey of more than 3,500 users of legal services over the last two years and so is a significant sample. The findings, in this time of comparison websites, that ‘shopping around’ is often a bad thing for clients, seems to be a result of the view that comparison sites are misleading. In addition, common sense suggests that, just as in any other area of life, a lawyer trying to get work by being cheap is unlikely to be very good.
This is revealed in the survey findings, given that 77 per cent of clients find it easy to understand price information from lawyers, but this drops to just 38 per cent amongst those shopping around for a law firm.
The survey also revealed that a high percentage of responders enjoy face-to-face contact, and this remains as popular as ever. In percentage terms, a firm’s reputation is rising as the most important factor for clients.
Significantly, of general areas of work, accident and injury claims rate very poorly, both in terms of perception of choice and value for money. This appears to be the case even though virtually all such work is conducted on a no-win, no-fee basis, and the client nearly always wins. Arguably, this reflects the fact that much of the work required in this area is undertaken without face-to-face contact and that injured parties often feel pushed, either through legal expense insurance, their own insurers, or claims management companies, towards particular solicitors who do not frequently engage in face-to-face discussions or who are not readily available by telephone. Whilst this appears to be a choice, it seems that many clients suffer from poor choice, poor service, and poor quality. This is certainly reported to us by prospective clients wishing to move away from ‘panel’ solicitors recommended by their insurers.
At George Ide, we have long understood the need to provide excellent customer service, particularly in our clients’ local area, and we continue to do so despite the constraints of low fixed costs allowed within the court protocol systems.
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Most commercial leases are drafted to benefit landlords, particularly regarding repair, condition and decoration. Often, leases are fully repairing, obliging a tenant to upkeep, repair, and maintain the property without contribution from the landlord. Generally,... The post Repair of commercial premises – a comprehensive Schedule of Condition is a valuable tool for tenants appeared first on George...
Most commercial leases are drafted to benefit landlords, particularly regarding repair, condition and decoration. Often, leases are fully repairing, obliging a tenant to upkeep, repair, and maintain the property without contribution from the landlord.
Generally, a lease may oblige the tenant to put and keep the property in good and tenantable repair and condition. Depending on the state of repair of the property when the lease is granted, this type of covenant may oblige the tenant to bring the premises up to that level of repair, for example if the premises are in a bad state when the lease is granted.
Tenants can use a tool called a Schedule of Condition to assist them in minimising their obligations. This document’s purpose is to limit the extent of the tenant’s repairing obligation by referencing it to the condition of the premises at the date the lease is granted. This negates the tenant’s obligation to put the premises into any better condition than is evidenced by the schedule.
Such a schedule will go on to identify visible defects in the property, and a professionally-prepared schedule will include a written description of the condition, specifically referencing each defect, with supporting photographs, so that these issues can be identified in the future.
It can be tempting for tenants to try to minimise costs by dispensing with the assistance of a qualified building surveyor in preparing their schedule but tenants should keep in mind that, if there is no schedule or the record of condition at the start of the lease is poor, they will have very little protection when a landlord enforces their repairing obligations at a later date.
As well as providing a record, a Schedule of Condition prepared at the outset can help tenants identify any defects in the premises that might impact on their ability to trade from the premises, allowing them to negotiate further with the landlord to cover the cost of any such defect so that there is no potential for it to cause problems for the tenant in the future.
Investment by a tenant at the outset to ensure there is a proper record of the condition of a property, allowing for proper negotiations by the tenant and their solicitor, can pay dividends and avoid future disputes that may impact on trading.
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When buying a property, the standard deposit expected on exchange of contracts is 10 per cent of the purchase price. Of course, the nature of a deposit is to show a buyer’s good intentions and... The post Property purchase deposits – consider your circumstances before agreeing arrangements appeared first on George...
When buying a property, the standard deposit expected on exchange of contracts is 10 per cent of the purchase price. Of course, the nature of a deposit is to show a buyer’s good intentions and allow a seller to rely on the same, as leverage, to ensure their buyer fulfils their obligations under the contract. The deposit therefore acts as adequate security to ensure a buyer will complete. Reduced deposits can be agreed, either to assist cash flow for a buyer or as a tactical tool for a buyer who may not be confident in their ability to fulfil the contract.
Deposits can be held in one of three capacities – by the agent for the buyer, the agent for the seller, or in the capacity of stakeholder.
In the first of these, upon exchange of contracts the buyer’s solicitor hands over the deposit to the seller’s solicitor, who is then able to release the deposit to the seller for use between exchange and completion. This is advantageous to the seller as it provides immediate use of the money. This type of arrangement is common with new-build purchases, especially if the builder needs to fund the building-work. However, such arrangements are not without risk – if a seller defaults without completing the sale, a buyer may face difficulty in recovering a deposit if the seller has already spent the money.
Agent for the buyer is very rarely agreed because, in this case, a deposit remains accessible to the buyer right up until completion. Such an agreement is only likely to be put in place if a seller has no legal representation and the buyer requires reassurance that their deposit will remain intact between exchange and completion.
Stakeholder capacity is the most common, and the safest. The seller’s solicitor acts as a middle-man, holding the deposit monies in a secure client account that is accessible if the buyer defaults. Buyers benefit from the reassurance their deposit is safe and unspent, although the negative for sellers is they do not have access to the money, which may be a problem if the seller has an onward purchase. However, the contract can make provision for the seller to use the stakeholder deposit on their related purchase, so long as their purchase deposit is also held on a similar basis.
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