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GDPR - Data Subject Access Requests

 Would your organisation know what to do if, and when, it receives a Data Subject Access Request (“DSAR”) and are your staff trained to recognise a DSAR when one is made?

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GDPR  Litigation & Dispute Resolution 

Data Protection

The Information Commissioner’s Office has recently issued new guidelines on calculating the period within which data controllers must comply with a  subject access request. 

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Litigation & Dispute Resolution  GDPR 

Ending Assured Shorthold Tenancies

Despite its title the Deregulation Act has introduced greater regulation into the residential letting market. Typically a landlord when granting an AST to a tenant would at the same time serve on the tenant a section 21 notice enabling the landlord to take back possession at the end of the tenancy. The law now says that a valid section 21 notice cannot be served within the first 4 months of the tenancy and, once served, the landlord must act on it within 6 months or serve a fresh section 21 notice.

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Litigation & Dispute Resolution 

Wills for Unmarried Couples

The most obvious problem that unmarried couples face when making Wills is that spouse exemption for Inheritance Tax (IHT) purposes will not apply on the first death in the way that it would for a married couple or civil partners.  Instead the only allowance that will be available on first death is the individual IHT Nil Rate band (currently £325,000).  The value of any assets in excess of that amount will be chargeable to IHT at the rate of 40% subject to any reliefs that might be claimed for business or agricultural assets eg shares in a trading business or agricultural land.

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Wills, Probate & Taxation 

Resolving Disputes

Most people are familiar with the term litigation which involves two or more parties asking a judge to determine the outcome of their dispute. It is however the case that litigation is not only lengthy and costly but the outcome is often unpredictable. Litigants hand control of their dispute to the court which dictates the pace of the litigation, the evidence that each side is permitted to rely upon and the amount of legal costs that the successful litigant can recover from the other party which, invariably, is substantially less than the actual legal costs incurred.

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Litigation & Dispute Resolution 

Wills for Couples with Young Children

When couples have young children ie teenagers and pre-teens it is always better to be safe rather than sorry when it comes to their Wills. This is because it is simply impossible to know at that age whether children are likely to be sensible with money when they get to 18, 21 or 25, the common trigger ages of inheritance. Certainly 25 is a much more sensible age for inheritance than 18 but it may still not be the right age, especially if either a lot of money is involved or the child is still pursuing the follies of youth.

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Wills, Probate & Taxation 

Farmers and Agricultural Business Inheritance Tax (IHT Reliefs)

Farmers are very well treated by the IHT rules and farming is the only type of business where the proprietor can claim an exemption from IHT on their home.  However, farmers are notoriously poor at keeping records and there are a number of pitfalls which need to be avoided if the farm is to be passed smoothly down to the next generation without adverse IHT or CGT consequences.

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Wills, Probate & Taxation 

Which survey do I need? - Purchasing a Property

Once you have found your next home, whether it be a house or a flat, you should always consider carrying out a survey before you sign the contract and commit to your purchase.

No purchaser would want to move in to their property and find out too late that the roof is in need of repair, or perhaps that the windows are reaching the end of their life span, or the walls are showing signs of damp. A survey can help avoid the hassle and expense of costly repairs and if not, at least provide you with peace of mind.

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Residential Property 

Are you facing the challenge of divorce and dealing with autistic children or an autistic partner?

It’s World Autism Awareness Week from 1st – 7th April. The saying goes “If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism”. I’ve always found that really helpful to remember when advising clients who have children with Autism or Aspergers because their child’s needs will be specific to that child. It’s not helpful to assume they will be like the Dustin Hoffman character in the movie “Rain man” or The Governess from “The Chase”, as they will have their own behaviours and personalities which need to be carefully factored into discussions surrounding the divorce process, so as not to cause unnecessary upset to the child.

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Divorce & Separation 

Social Media

Recently, we have experienced a number of cases where the information provided to us by our clients has not matched the image they provide to the public; whilst this would seem largely irrelevant to matrimonial proceedings, what information we allow the wider world to see about us can be contradictory to points to be raised in considering the division of matrimonial assets, and divorce as a whole.

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Divorce & Separation