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What To Do About A Dispute Over Your Holiday Timeshare

Calum Dickson
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A timeshare is a holiday home shared by numerous consumers. Within a timeshare, consumers will pay fees toward the property in return for the exclusive use of the property at a certain time. The exclusive use of the property can either be for an agreed fixed...

Annaliese Barber 'Steps' Up With A New Accreditation

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Annaliese Barber  who has worked for the firm since 1996 has become a full member of STEP (Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners), the global professional association for practitioners who specialise in family inheritance and succession...

'Nothing Is Certain But Death And Taxes'

Annaliese Barber
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The first use of this saying was by Daniel Defoe in ‘The Political History of the Devil’ way back in 1726.  However, the more familiar form is attributed to Benjamin Franklin, US President, in a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy in 1817, when he...

Challenging Wills & Inheritance Claims

Gemma Smith
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 ‘Contentious Probate’ disputes are on the rise.  However, what exactly does contentious probate mean and what scenarios does it cover?  I often get asked a number of common queries which I set out below. What Is Contentious...

Who Will Take Care Of My Children When I'm Gone?

Joanne Tillotson
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Watching our children grow into adults and them flying the nest is something that we take for granted. For others, the heart-breaking and unthinkable happens, dying when your children are young or infants. Although most will not have to deal with this heart...

Law Society Accreditation News For Our Wills & Probate Team

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Our Wills & Probate Team has been appointed as an accredited member of the Law Society’s Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme (‘WIQS’) which provides a best practice quality mark for wills and estate administration advice.  ...

Am I Too Young To Make A Will?

Joanne Tillotson
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It has been reported that the younger generation are not managing their affairs or  taking the subject of making a Will seriously. According to  Prosperitas Financial Solutions  " 87% of under 35’s do not have a...

Ilott v Mitson - Is The Principle of Testamentary Freedom Restored?

Calum Dickson
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The principle of testamentary freedom is a long standing feature of English law. Put simply, this means that a person who creates a Will has the right to leave their estate to anyone they wish to do so. Although there are many ways in which the validity of...

The Decision That Disappointed Many Cohabiting Couples

Helen Dexter
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The Court of Appeal this week disappointed many cohabiting couples. The court did not grant Rebecca Steinfield and Charles Keidan permission to obtain judicial review of the decision by the Secretary of State for Education’s decision, at this stage,...

Organ Donation: Are You Opting In Or Out?

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"We at Tilly, Bailey & Irvine Law Firm strongly believe in encouraging all our team members to be involved in not only, providing a fantastic customer service to our clients but also to be involved in writing informative blog articles that...

Landmark Ruling Against Discrimination For Unmarried Couples

Helen Dexter
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Last week five judges in the Supreme Court found in favour of Denise Brewster, a lady who claimed that she should receive the pension of her late partner who had died two days after they had got engaged. Ms Brewster’s partner, Lenny McMullan, had...

Your Digital Afterlife - Let Us Help You Get It In Order

Joanne Tillotson
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“I must put my affairs in order ” ... is a common and traditional phrase. It conjures up an image of that all important box, containing vital paperwork about one’s finances and personal affairs, all prepared safe and sound for loved ones...

Inheritance Tax: Understanding Transferable Nil Rate Band & Residential Nil Rate Band

Annaliese Barber
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As you may be aware, the Government announced way back in 2015 that there would be the introduction of the additional Residential Nil Rate Band (RNRB). This gave the headlining grabbing figure of people being able to leave £1,000,000 before...

From Paralegal To Trainee Solicitor By Rhiannon Morgan

Rhiannon Morgan
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I began working for Tilly Bailey and Irvine in 2014 and successfully applied for a position as a trainee solicitor through the firm’s internal application process. I began my training contract on 1 st September 2016. Between 2014 and 2016, I worked...

The Importance Of Choosing Your LPA Attorney Wisely

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With an ageing population and the rise of dementia related illnesses, many people worry about how they will handle their affairs in the event that they become incapable of doing so in the future. A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document...

Should A Cohabitation Agreement Feature In Your New Year's Resolutions?

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Many couples now choose to live together without getting married, yet it appears that the law governing financial disputes that arise upon their separation has failed to keep step with the changing values of society. Many cohabitants do not have a clear...

The Dangers of DIY Lasting Powers of Attorney

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To follow on with a common theme without meaning to sound too repetitive, recently  I was highlighting the dangers of DIY Wills . The dangers highlighted involved DIY Will packs and the difficulties in tailoring these to the intricacies of modern...

The Dangers Of DIY Wills

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Many people will associate the dangers of DIY with incorrectly putting up a shelf which leads to injury to yourself or your property and aside from the potential for a nasty paper cut people would not think there are any dangers in making your own Will ...

Giving A Charity Gift For Christmas

Joanne Tillotson
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It’s that time of year again -  trying to think of that special gift for that special someone, endless shopping trips and wrapping presents, that little box with a red bow. It’s an exciting time of year where we show our loved ones how much...

How To Legally End A Civil Partnership

Shamin Ali
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“Don’t say the relationship is over, say it’s complete. Some aren’t meant to last together” - The Soul School.    Any relationship breakdown is difficult and can be hard to deal with. A Civil Partnership is a...

Hartlepool Hospice Changes Name To Alice House Hospice

Annaliese Barber
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If you are a resident of Hartlepool and the surrounding areas, then you will no doubt be aware of the existence of Hartlepool & District Hospice, which has served the local communities of Hartlepool and East Durham for many years.  However, what...

Three Different Ways Of Jointly Owning A Property & Which You Should Choose

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When purchasing a property together with another person, whether it is your spouse, long-term partner or even a relative, it is important to establish how you wish to own your share of the property. The way in which you own the property will affect...

Selling Your House? Read Before You Sign ...

Ellie Gilbert
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With growing possibilities to view properties for sale and the desperation for sellers to sell, putting a house up for sale is not as straightforward as it might seem. You no longer have to go anywhere to look for your dream home, when you can take virtual...

The Grass Isn't Always Greener - A General Guide To Boundary Disputes

Gemma Smith
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An Englishman’s home is his castle…..Or so they say. But what happens if you end up in a dispute with your neighbour about the boundary between your homes? It can be an argument that is emotionally fraught and expensive. In  the case of ...

Can I Make Money Out Of My Home By Renting It Out?

Sara Garnett
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With the increasing popularity of  Airbnb and the ability to offer your home on the internet as an alternative to hotels, many of you may be wondering whether you can make money by letting your home when you are not there. In addition to the...

Protecting Your Business Assets From Divorce

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The separation of celebrity power couple, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, brings into sharp focus the turmoil that can accompany a divorce. The stress and anxiety of a separation can be exacerbated if one or both of the parties want to protect their assets...

Do I Really Need To Think About My Own Funeral?

Joanne Tillotson
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It is one of life’s taboo subjects, thinking about our own demise. Many of us prefer to put this to the back of minds which is completely normal. However, if we never discuss such things like funerals with family or close ones, how will your nearest...

Family Members, Parental Rights & What You Need To Know

Natalie Flounders
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Modern day families take many forms. There are many children living with their grandparents or other family members for a variety of reasons. Despite the fact that these family members may be full time care givers for these children and meet their daily...

Why 'Trust' Is Not A Dirty Word

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Many people sadly see the use of trusts as an underhand way of avoiding a seemingly unavoidable legal consequence when in fact it is one of the most useful ways of structuring assets in everyday circumstances. A trust is merely a way of structuring...

Motorists & Mobile Phones - Frightening Results From A Recent Survey

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A recent survey of motorists in Hartlepool has found that almost two-thirds of the town’s drivers have checked their mobile phone whilst behind the wheel of their car. The survey found that almost 50% of those asked admitted that they had seen...

The Similarities Of Brexit & Separation

Annaliese Barber
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It appears that there are quite a few similarities between Brexit and married couples or civil partners separating . It can be a long and uncertain process, with unexpected consequences, the cause of high emotion, with one party seeking to invoke ...

Domestic Violence & My Sisters Place

Christine Smith
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Domestic violence happens everywhere. Sadly, a large number of both women and men experience it.  Many victims access services to assist them across the country. Domestic violence can happen to any woman or man. Domestic...

Conveyancing Searches & Disbursements Explained

Rhiannon Morgan
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Whether you are buying or selling a property, there will be a number of disbursements involved. Though these may be mentioned to you at the outset, the reasoning behind these may not always be clear. Searches If you are buying with a mortgage, your lender...

A Cautionary Tale: Parents v Proprietary Estoppel

Gemma Smith
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A recent decision in Davies v Davies [2016], illustrates just how family relations can turn sour and how the law can step in on the grounds of ‘fairness’. Background Eirian and her two sisters grew up on the family farm in Carmarthenshire...

Making A Will On A Second Marriage - Right Of Residency

Joanne Tillotson
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Today’s society is very different to a generation or so ago and many of us have children from previous  marriages and relationships.  Have you considered how you will provide for your children when you die but also ensure that your new...

What To Do If You Don't Have A Pre-Nuptial Agreement

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An engagement, a wedding and all of the planning involved makes for an exciting time.  It is however important to consider that the financial expense of a marriage might not stop at the wedding. When a couple marry, the Family Court acquires the power...

The Thrill Of The Property Auction

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For many people, a day at the property auction is an exhilarating experience and what the outcome of the day will be is often unknown. Property auctions provide house buyers with the opportunity to purchase a property at a high discount and the house sellers...

Oxo Mum's Will Leaves Children In The Cold

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Another celebrity estate dispute has recently hit the headlines, as the children of Lynda Bellingham , the actress made famous as the “OXO mum” in the long running TV adverts, claim that Lynda’s widower is spending all her money whilst...

Prince's Death Without A Will - What Does It Mean?

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The recent death of superstar Prince has made headlines including the fact that the star’s $300 million estate will fall under the rules of intestacy as he had not made a Will before his untimely death. Whilst the rules of distribution in Minnesota do...

Can My New Partner Play A Role In My Childs Life?

Rebecca Samuels
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The team at Tilly Bailey & Irvine often get asked whether new partners can play more of a role within a child’s life. The starting point usually is to find out whether the child’s biological father has parental responsibility. Biological...

What Does 'Exchange Of Contracts' Mean?

Brian Farrell
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If you are buying or selling a property, your conveyancer will talk about “exchange of contracts”.  What does that mean and what exactly does it involve? I will explain this by reference to the sale of your property but it is just the same...

Dementia Awareness Week And How To Become A Dementia Friend

Annaliese Barber
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The topic of dementia is something close to my heart and I believe that more needs to be done to raise awareness and understanding. There are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK and the number is set to rise to 1 million by 2021. Dementia is an umbrella...

What Costs To Consider When You're Buying Your First Home

Rhiannon Morgan
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When thinking about buying your first house, it is easy to focus your attention on saving the deposit and forget about the rest of the necessary outgoings. Whilst the deposit may be the biggest sum required, it is important to look at the whole picture when...

Social Media & Divorce - A Continuing Trend

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Social Media has become increasingly popular and more widespread in its use and research suggests that it is also being used as evidence in cases involving separating couples. Recently, news that Cheryl Fernandez-Versini is reportedly set to divorce husband...

What You Need To Know About The Help To Buy Equity Loan

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The Help to Buy Scheme (“the Scheme”) was introduced in April 2013 to assist property buyers in getting a foot on to the housing ladder. The Scheme is administered by the Homes and Communities Agency (“the HCA”) which is a Government...

Revenge Porn Is A Criminal Offence - Dont Suffer In Silence

Jackie Blackwell
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Is your ex partner or someone you know threatening to reveal intimate photos or videos of you or disclose personal information either online or to your friends, family or employer? Mobile phones now make it very easy to upload photos and personal...

Advice On Honour Based Violence & Forced Marriages

Christine Smith
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Over recent years, law firms have seen an influx of clients seeking advice and assistance regarding honour based violence and forced marriages. You may have seen documentaries on TV which show the devastating effect that these particular crimes have...

The Curious Incident Of The Disinherited Daughter: The Ilott Saga Continues

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The long running case of Ilott v Mitson has taken another twist as the charity beneficiaries of the estate of the late Melita Jackson were recently granted permission to appeal the Court of Appeal’s decision to award a disinherited daughter...

Five Important Things To Do After Someone Dies

Nicola Dalzell
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The loss of a loved one is a difficult and emotional time and working out what needs to be done is overwhelming.  My five-point checklist covers the immediate steps to be taken when someone dies.    1.      If You...

Generous Inheritance Tax Laws Have A Sting In The Tail

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It is unusual – especially in times of austerity – for politicians to dish out generous tax cuts yet this is exactly what George Osborne delivered in his budget in late 2015. The law as it stands allows everyone a tax free allowance (Nil Rate...

Lights, Camera, (Court) Action! Probate Disputes Of The Rich & Famous

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Celebrities are used to being in the spotlight and a regular fixture in the media during their lifetimes. However, for some, they are still creating headlines long after their death as family members become embroiled in protracted and hostile litigation over...

What Does Administering An Insolvent Estate Mean?

Annaliese Barber
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It seems that insolvent estates are on the increase, and a Personal Representative (PR) needs to be careful to avoid personal liability.  An insolvent estate is where the liabilities of the deceased exceed his assets. As soon as the PR becomes...

Is Legal Aid Still Available?

Rebecca Samuels
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Many people think that Legal Aid is no longer available apart for criminal cases. Whilst it has been restricted considerably over recent  years, Legal Aid  is actually still available to some people especially in the area of divorce linked with...

How Does The Help To Buy ISA Work?

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Everything you need to know about the Help to Buy ISA if you are a first time buyer. In 2015’s Spring budget, George Osborne announced the introduction of a Help To Buy ISA for first time buyers. The government has recognised that one of the most...

What Is Domestic Abuse?

Rebecca Samuels
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Domestic abuse covers a large number of behaviours including physical abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, emotional abuse and psychological abuse.It is estimated that in this country alone there is 4.9 million females who are victims of domestic abuse and...

'New Year, New You' - Divorce - A Life Changing Decision

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Once Christmas is over, historically most law firms see an influx of clients in January typically for advice on separation and/or divorce.   If you have seen a divorce in a film there is always plenty of drama and it always ends in lots of...

Should Your Wedding Plans Include A Pre-Nuptial Agreement?

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In the excitement of planning your wedding it may be difficult to envisage any circumstances in which you and your intended may separate.  However, the emotional and financial cost of lengthy court proceedings to determine how assets should be...

What Is A Notary?

Annaliese Barber
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"I’m selling a property in Florida and I need the paperwork notarising, which needs to be there tomorrow." "I’m buying a property in Spain and I have a Power of Attorney that needs to be notarised and sent off for an...

Banking Changes Are Welcome But Do Hide Bigger Picture

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Some of the largest banks on our High Street have been recently announcing vast changes in the way they deal with the accounts of people who have died. It was formerly the case that if you had in excess of £5,000 in an account you would need to obtain...

What Happens To Our Digital Assets & Online Accounts When We Die?

Nicola Dalzell
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In today’s digital world how many of us have digital assets and online accounts?  We are encouraged to manage our accounts online and it is often cost effective for us to do so as many service providers charge extra for paper billing. You may...

Can Social Services Take My Child?

Rebecca Samuels
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Decisions as to where a child should live and which parent they should be cared for are made by people who have Parental Responsibility.    Most commonly this is the child’s parents.     If the Local Authority also...

Do I Have To Attend Court To Sort Out Finances On My Divorce?

Brian Farrell
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One of the most frequent questions our divorce lawyers get asked is " Do I Have To Attend Court To Sort Out Finances On My Divorce?" It is, in fact, quite unlikely that you will need to attend court for a contested final hearing against your...

"What Is A Power of Attorney?" (Part One)

Helen Dexter
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There are several types of Power of Attorney and for this reason people can easily become confused about what they need to do to ensure that their affairs are looked after if necessary. A Power of Attorney is in essence a means by which you give someone...

Can You Put Your Dog In Your Will?

Nicola Dalzell
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From 6th April next year it will be a legal requirement to have your dog micro-chipped in England.  It is expected that Wales will follow suit later in the Spring. Many animal charities have announced that micro-chipping will be offered free of charge...

New National Statistics for Divorce and Cohabitation

Brian Farrell
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On 8th July 2015 the office for National Statistics released the following details relating to marital status and living arrangements in England and Wales between 2002 and 2014:- In 2014, 51.5% of people aged 16 and over in England and Wales were married...

Why Do I Need A Lasting Power Of Attorney? Part Two

Helen Dexter
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An LPA (Lasting Power of Attorney)  can be signed at any time provided you have capacity. The attorney cannot use the power given by the LPA until such time as it is registered with the OPG(Office of the Public Guardian). I’ll explain the reason...

How To Become A Dementia Friend

Annaliese Barber
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I am sure that we all have been touched by experience of dementia in some form, whether we have had a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, brother or sister diagnosed with the disease.  It sometimes feels as though dementia is on the rise. To help put...

Can Parental Responsibility Be Restricted?

Rebecca Samuels
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Parental Responsibility is defined in law as ‘all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent has in relation to the child and the administration of his or her property’. In practical terms this means that a...

Disinherited Daughter Awarded 164K - The Law Explained

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Disinherited daughter awarded £164k from late mother’s estate: is this the end of testamentary freedom? There has been much publicity surrounding the recent Court of Appeal judgment in the case of Ilott v Mitson [2015] and the suggestion...